Bite in the Attic: A Digable Dish from The Planets' Ish Butler

Bite in the Attic: A Digable Dish from The Planets' Ish Butler
Each Light in the Attic release has a unique story behind it, and even more unique are the artists themselves.  A few years back, we launched an ongoing series in our zine called Bite in the Attic, in which we asked some of our artists for their favorite recipes. This recipe comes to you from Ishmael Butler of the Digable Planets. Music supervisor & former LITA staffer Hilary Staff linked up with Ish for some pro tips on the recipe before putting it to the test.

Hilary: When we saw that Digable Planets would be playing a reunion show in LA, we thought, "What better time to do a Bite in the Attic?" Ish Butler sent us his favorite recipe for herby, roasty chicken, and we jumped at the chance to try it out. We were even fortunate enough to deliver a batch to Ish personally!

If you haven't already been enlightened by their previous album, 1993's debut Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space), Ishmael "Butterfly" Butler, Craig "Doodlebug" Irving, and Mary Ann "Ladybug Mecca" Vieira team up with guests such as Gang Starr's Guru, Jeru the Damaja, and Jazzy Joyce on their follow-up album, Blowout Comb. The second album by the Digable Planets is intelligent, alternative hip hop with lyrics that are dense with wit, social commentary, and politics. Although it originally came out in 1994, many of the themes represented in this album still hold true today.

Because this recipe is so simple and involves a long baking time, sit back, relax, and put yourself in the mood by checking out "The Art of Easing" to get things started.


6 chicken thighs from Bob's on Rainier
12 cloves garlic white onion
3 serrano peppers
rosemary bunch
6 thin lemon slices

Wash and dry chicken. Salt and pepper both sides. Place a tbsp coconut oil in a baking pan and warm it up so it melts and spreads the pan. Chop 6 cloves of garlic (I use a cheese grater, the fine side), take half the rosemary off the stem and chop finely. Combine garlic and rosemary with some salt and pepper, lemon juice, and some melted coconut oil mix and spread over chicken, tucking some under the skin. Place in pan, skin up, with the rest of the garlic and rosemary and lemon slices.

Preheat oven to 250. Let roast for at least 6 hours. When done, raise temp. to 450 to brown and crisp the chicken.

Take out and eat with rice.

Note: I usually also add my veg. of choice--potatoes or broccoli or mushroom--when appropriate, so they will be finished when the chicken is done. This recipe is both hard to mess up and also hard to master. Keep a close eye on it during the browning process. Take it out when it looks the way you would want. I like shit kinda crispy.
I realized slow-cooked meat was delicious watching some Cuban dudes roast a pig when I was with my dad somewhere in California when I was like 14. Drink BeeHaven mead with it.

Hilary: When making the chicken, we realized that there is no mention of the onions nor the serrano peppers in the directions, so we just cut 'em into a few chunks and threw 'em in the pan with everything else, which yielded some dank juicy caramelized onions! Also, keep an eye on your chicky bits, because ours only took about 3 hours at 250 degrees to be completely done. Periodic basting with a spoon is also recommended to keep things tender. Also, the fresh herbs and garlic made the house smell insanely good for hours.

Thanks for the dish, Ish!

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Bite in the Attic: A Digable Dish from The Planets' Ish Butler