Aphorisms from the Professor: Brillat-Savarin

Monday, December 21, 2009

come eat chicken

One item we have been getting from our meat CSA this winter is whole chickens, and it isn't easy to motivate ourselves to cook chicken in that form when it is just the two of us...which makes a perfect excuse to invite people over for dinner.

In terms of what went on in the kitchen, I think this was our most successful "cooking for others" experience for two reasons:
1) We had a solid plan for the menu so could do a lot of prep work an hour or so before we had to actually begin cooking. This made for less clean-up and chaos once the cooking was underway
2) I was responsible for two dishes (mushrooms and parsnips), and actually made them myself with very little assistance from my boyfriend, aside from frequently requiring reassurance - "Do you think I cut these too small? Is it okay that they aren't all the same size? Do you think I can add cream now?..." ...my boyfriend's patience with me is really pretty impressive.

Mushroom caviar (inspired by this post on Smitten Kitchen, although I didn't follow the recipe): crimini mushrooms, portabello mushroom soup, garlic, beer, rice vinegar, cream, chives
Served with toasted ciabatta

Butternut squash & sweet potato bisque: butternut squash, sweet potato, apple, carrot, celery, onion, smoked paprika, maple syrup, and sage

Chicken lined with bacon and stuffed with cabbage, carrots, celery, turnips, fennel and garlic
Rapini sauteed with garlic and bacon served on a bed of purple cabbage

I think it was generally agreed that the horseradish parsnips were the star of the night. Even though this was a recipe I got from Simply Recipes (linked above), I was still very proud since I executed the dish completely on my own. This is definitely something I will make again.
As for the chicken, it was cooked well, but despite my boyfriend's elaborate efforts (involving the bacon layer underneath the chicken skin as well as soaking the chicken overnight with the veggies and chicken stock) these flavors didn't really penetrate the meat: the chicken tasted like chicken. I think next time we are going to focus our efforts on some kind of sauce to go with the chicken, rather than killing ourselves trying to inject more flavor into the meat itself.

1 comment:

  1. Ha ha! Quite serendipitously my mother and I were discussing menu plans for our impending Christmas dinner today and I suggested those horseradish parsnips! I'm glad to hear they were a success and now look forward to making them later this week!