GQ: Is there a dish you think every guy should know how to cook for a woman?
Elizabeth Gilbert: I think that if you can roast a chicken, you can get whatever you want out of a woman. Maybe it's just me but I would suspect that a man trying to impress a woman would be more likely to bring out the steak–"I killed this for you, now I'm grilling it for you." Which is just going to remind her of her dad in a bad way. Or he's going to try and go full Food Network, which just makes you think that if you have sex, he's going to be performing other stuff that he saw on TV, as well. [Laughs] A man that can cook you a proper meal that is like a weekday meal–which I think cannot be better than in the form of a roast chicken–that's the greatest.
It's quite simple, really. All you have to do is pat a whole chicken completely dry, inside and out. Rub with dry seasonings of choice–and freshly chopped garlic, if you please. Truss the chicken with twine. Set it on a baking pan and bake at 450F for an hour or until the juices run clear.
I make a decently good omelette, but it's a skill that I've only recently acquired. With the bounty of eggs from our chickens, I've gone through the whole gamut of egg preparations: scrambled, fried, coddled, soft-boiled, hard-boiled, poached... I shied away from omelettes because it's the litmus test for chefs. Real chefs. I'm just a lowly home cook. Believe me, despite seeming simple, it's very easy to screw up an omelette.
According to André Soltner, the chef behind the famed but now-closed restaurant Lutèce, an omelette should take no more than two minutes to prepare and has to be shaped like a cigar. The final result should be smooth–no browned spots–and baveuse on the inside, meaning "soft but not runny." It's all about technique and heart, which is why it's the mark of a great chef.
My omelettes, on the other hand, are shaped like a tortilla that's been folded over and I'm pretty sure that it takes me longer than two minutes to make. I should practice his technique and also learn how to expertly tap the omelette out of the pan and onto a plate as he does. That'll give the whole show some more flair. I learned how to make mine from watching a Jamie Oliver video on YouTube. Unlike Monsieur Soltner, Jamie has a casual, loosey-goosey approach and says that a tiny bit of color is O.K. (I personally don't mind it being a touch browned here and there.)
In one of my favorite films Frances Ha, there's a scene where Frances is in the kitchen and she says to her roomie something like: "I made an omelette, but it turned out to be more of a scramble." Thankfully, those days are behind me–and for Frances too. Later in the film, she masters a late-night omelette for a group of hungry friends.