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Ned’s Impromptu Fall Dinner

October 30, 2009 at 12:00 am | Posted in Dinner | 4 Comments

Well WOO HOOO we are back from the South! And boy was that a trip to remember. πŸ˜€ So much pork, so many smiles and laughs, and what a beautiful married couple that Kelly and Elliot! So lets rewind about 2 weeks from today to a Sunday afternoon: I was driving back up I-95 from Fredericksburg and Ned was wandering around Wegman’s trying to come up with something original and seasonal to make for a fantastic Sunday meal. Well here it is folks! And this might be one of the tastiest Ned creations that has ever passed through our kitchen!

Chicken drumsticks and amazing glazed vegetables with a bacon and red wine sauce with lots of fresh thyme!

So I got nothing for a Halloween themed post, so go back and enjoy this one from last year and have fun traipsing around town! (I am going as a strawberry!! BIG surprise πŸ˜› ) HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

Oh and we also included some baby food! actually it was butternut squash/banana soup… haha, but Lisa claimed it looked and tasted as such when I force fed it down her throat at lunch the next day! This soup is verrrrry easy to make. -Ned note- It is not actually original, but is from an improvised (read: lazy) take on a recipe from the Alinea cookbook. It may sound a little crazy, but the flavor combination is amazing! Cut a squash lengthwise in half, put 2 tbsp butter into each “squash bowl”, roast at 375 for 1 hour. Roast a banana right in the skin for 30 minutes. After letting everything cool, put all of the squash (skin removed) and 1/2 of the banana into a large pot, add 1 cup cream and simmer for 10 minutes. Put everything into the blender, and voila! SOUP! I added some fresh nutmeg and walnut oil for a perfect garnish.

And here is Ned’s dinner broken down into a suuuuper recipe!

Ingredients (serves 2)

Chicken and red wine bacon sauce

4-5 bone-in skin-on chicken pieces (i used drumsticks, because that was all i found, but any broken down pieces are great)

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp butter

1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed

2 shallots, roughly chopped (get strained out later)

2 slices thickly sliced bacon, diced

fresh thyme

1 cup red wine that you would drink (never use cooking wine)
salt and pepper

Glazed root vegetables (from the Bouchon cookbook)
Note-this certainly seems like a lot of work for root vegetables, but the effort will totally be worth it when you are done

I used 3 carrots, 6 cipolline onions, and 2 parsnips, but any veggies such as turnips, pearl onions, rutabagas, celeriac (celery root), etc. can be used
1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
fresh thyme
1 and 1/2 tbsp butter
1 and 1/2 tsp sugar
finely chopped chives
salt

For the chicken, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Season the pieces with salt and pepper, pat dry, heat the oil with 1 tbsp butter over medium-high heat in a saute pan until hot, and add the chicken pieces. After a minute or so, turn to brown on next side, and continue until all skin is crispy and brown. Remove the chicken from the pan and place in the oven on a plate with 1/2 inch water and fresh thyme to finish cooking for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, pour the extra oil and fat from the pan, and heat over medium heat. Add the bacon, and cook until crispy, removing the cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Pour off all but 1/2 tbsp bacon grease, and saute the onion for about 5 minutes over medium heat, until translucent and soft. Add red wine and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to dislodge the delicious stuck chicken and bacon pieces. Bring to a boil, and when sauce has almost reduced to the desired consistency, add the last tbsp butter and some thyme, and continue reducing until desired thickness has been reached. Strain to a smaller saucepan, and keep warm over low heat. Season to taste with salt, and serve by placing the chicken pieces on top of a pool of the sauce, with fresh thyme leaves sprinkled over the top. Add bacon back to the sauce on the plate!

For the glazed vegetables, (and this does take time, for sure), peel the vegetables, and cut (except for the onions, just peel them) into similarly-sized football shaped pieces, about 1 and 1/2 by 1/2 inch (see picture above). Place each vegetable into its own saucepan (yes, seriously), with enough room to have the veggies in one layer with room to roll around), and cover by about 1/2 inch with cold water. To each pan, add 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tbsp butter, and whatever herbs and spices you want (whole black peppercorns, tarragon, sage, rosemary, thyme, etc), and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 15 minutes. The idea is for the water to be reduced to a shiny, beautiful glaze right as the vegetables are done cooking. (Guess what, this likely won’t happen unless you have experience glazing vegetables, but no worry!). Check the vegetables to see when they are almost completely cooked (should be very tender), and if they are cooked too soon, remove from the pan, continue reducing, and return when the liquid is reduced to a glaze. If they are not cooked when the glaze is ready, just add more water and continue reducing until the veggies are done. When the liquid is almost gone, roll the footballs or round onions around in the glaze in the pan. They will look shiny and amazing, and will taste as good as they look! Season with salt, add chopped chives, and keep warm or at room temperature, and heat before serving.

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4 Comments »

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  1. Sounds like a really nice dinner. It puts me in the mood to roast a chicken.

  2. Liz, Liz, Liz,..that dinner looks freakin’ amazing! The chicken perfectly seasoned and crisp, the veggiess perfect in every way. I want this for dinner tonight!! YUM-OMG!

  3. Cute little turned veggies!!

  4. If only for the photo…if only. I want the carrots, with a bit of toasted cumin, orange zest and chopped cilantro! But I’ll have the chicken too…and some soup. Thank you very much


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