Posts tagged ‘sunday dinner’

August 12, 2011

Sharing History | Gigot d’Agneau

Sometimes a memorable meal transcends your kitchen tools and cooking techniques.  Instead, it’s a celebration that connects you to your friends, family, and culture.  That’s what happens when you cook a leg of lamb.  It isn’t particularly complicated, but the result is magical.  If you appreciate the cut and revere the process, history will carry you along.

Lamb is the centerpiece of celebrations on every continent.  And the leg of lamb is the most sought after cut.  It’s lean, forgiving, and can take on flavors through marinading, grilling, roasting, or braising.  Most importantly, though, its sublimely delicious and it makes enough to share.

I simply scored the fat in a crisscrossed pattern and arranged a handful of garlic cloves in the cuts.  After seasoning quite generously with salt and pepper, I placed it in a roasting pan with diced carrots, onions, peppers and tomatoes.  About an inch of water and a bouquet garni later and the hard part was done.  Cover it tightly with foil, then its into the oven at 300F for five hours or so, checking the liquid level at the halfway point.  Then invite friends, family or both, and serve it with white beans and white wine.

But really, you should let your imagination be your guide.  It’s not everyday that you find yourself in possession of such beautiful meat (thank you dearly, Kate), so use the opportunity to celebrate and share your life.

Playlist included Rue St. Vincent, par Yves Montand.

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October 4, 2010

Dinner, Day Two: Needmore Chicken

Sunday dinner with the family is important to me.  It’s a time when the extended family  is invited (tonight it was Cronus and Rhea) and everyone partakes of a leisurely meal.  It’s a great thing for Cherub, who is three: she gets to practice her table manners and eat something the whole family is enjoying.    

For Local Foods Week, I thought chicken would make for a good Sunday dinner.  As it turns out, Hill Family Farm is in Xenia, about an hour away.  We bought a whole bird and decided to take it the French country route, a riff on a Coq au Vin.  Anthony Bourdain’s recipe in the les Halles Cookbook was a jumping off point.  I used Ohio wines for marinating and for the table.  Since we purchased our bird at Dorothy Lane Market, what better musical inspiration than Dayton’s Guided by Voices.   

Hades has hung with Franz Liszt; gave the odd tip to Stravinsky.  He’s held his own with Shane MacGowan, and there’s a rumor that he wrote the bassline to “Love Will Tear Us Apart.”  In short, he knows music.  He cannot impress upon me the greatness of Guided by Voices often enough.  Its time to rock.  Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome, Ohio’s own, Needmore Chicken!    

Needmore Chicken    

1 whole roasting chicken, giblets removed and reserved for another use    

2 parsnips, sliced (ours were from the backyard)    

4 green onions, white parts only, sliced in two lengthwise (we were late to the farmer’s market, feel free to use a whole diced onion)    

Bouquet Garni – cheesecloth wrapped bay leaf, 10 peppercorns, small sprig of fresh thyme, two sprigs of parsley)    

1 bottle of red wine (we used Firelands Cab Sauv)   

  

    

In a large bowl that will hold the chicken comfortably, combine all ingredients.  Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate overnight to 24 hours.    

Notice the lighter parts where a parsnip or chicken wing stuck close to the breast skin during marinating.

 

    

2 T butter    

1 T flour    

Salt and pepper    

After marinating, remove chicken and pat dry with paper towels.  Season inside and out with salt and pepper.    

Remove the bouquet garni, and strain the solids out of the marinade, reserving each seperately.  In a large, heavy lidded pot, add 2T of butter and heat over medium high heat until almost smoking.  

    

Using it for its God given purpose.

 

Place the chicken in the pot and sear on all sides until golden brown, turning as needed.  Remove chicken from the pot and set aside.  Tip in reserved vegtables from the marinade and cook until softened, about three to five minutes.  Sprinkle the vegetables with 1T of flour and stir to coat, cook for another minute.  Add back in the chicken, pour in the marinade.  Bring to a low boil, reduce heat to very low, cover and simmer for an hour and 15 minutes.   

1/4 pound bacon ends, chopped finely   

 1 large handful of shitake mushrooms, stems sliced, tops quartered   

 6 to 8 whole baby shallots (or pearl onions)   

Pinch of salt, pinch of sugar, water   

In a small skillet, render the bacon ends until crisp.  Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate.  Keeping only 1 T of bacon drippings, heat over medium high heat and add in the mushrooms.  Sear until browned, remove to same paper towel lined plate as the bacon.  In the same pan, add in the shallots or onions, along with the salt, sugar and water to cover.  Cut a piece of parchment or wax paper to cover the pan, reduce heat to low and cook until the liquid is evaporated and the shallots are carmelized a bit.  Add in two ladlefuls of the cooking liquid from the chicken and reduce until syrupy.  Remove from heat.   

When finished cooking, remove the chicken from the sauce and place on a cutting board to slice up.  Strain the liquid from the pot and add to the skillet with the reduction.  Mix in the bacon and mushrooms, remove from heat and whisk in 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter to finish the sauce.   

A simple, elegant appetizer for this meal, or any meal, let’s be honest, is French breakfast radishes with herb butter.  The butter was from Snowville cream, and mixed with backyard herbs (this time, parsley, tarragon, rosemary, basil, and green onion).   

Serve with egg noodles and Provencal tomatoes (tomatoes halved and stuffed with breadcrumbs, parsely, garlic and chopped tomatoes).  Pour a ladle of sauce over the noodles for good measure.   

Meal notes: breadcrumbs for the tomatoes were from the left over biscuits from this morning.  Noodles were from Mrs. Miller’s Homemade Noodles, Fredrickstown, Ohio.  Herbs were from Cronus’s garden.  All other sourcing can be found on the Farms and Producers page.  Wine served with dinner was a 2008 Syrah from Kinkead Ridge, Ripley, Ohio.  

  

Playlist included Bulldog Skin because it totally rocks and it’s my personal favorite GBV, unless you count My Valuable Hunting Knife…

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