October 05, 2009

The Luckiest Man...

My wife is fond of telling me I am the luckiest man in Louisville.  And for the record... I believe this to be true for many reasons that I won’t discuss here and for a few that I will.  Where I made my mistake, if that’s what it was, was saying that Jeffrey Garten was the luckiest man in America one afternoon.  For those of you that are unaware of Jeffrey I will say that he is very accomplished, apparently brilliant, works hard,  and his wiki page bears that out.  The portion of his life that is pertinent to this discussion is that he is married to Ina Garten-- The Barefoot Contessa.

I said this because she cooks for Jeffrey daily.  He comes home on Fridays to Roasted chicken, she makes lunches with sandwiches from past picnics in France, and other things too.  The best part is that the food rocks and anyone that has seen her show knows this to be true.  Plus, as you have probably guessed I am a total addict to roasted chicken.  Yes, I love barbecue and all things beef and pork, but there is nothing quite like a good chicken; barbecued or not.  So when we watched the show where she roasted the whole bird and made garlic mashed potatoes etc... For his arrival home every freakin' Friday night... I said "That must be the luckiest man in America."

So there is my fait accomplis.  I said it... I did it... I meant no harm... no foul... no insult of any kind.  I should also add that I never slept outside or on the furniture over this slip of the tongue, but I could tell I had said the wrong thing.  It happens.  But since I was out of Godiva Chocolate money, it had to stand.  :)

I do a lot of the cooking, because I like to cook, but my wife can throw it down too.  In this case it might have worked out pretty well.  See, she took the comment, internalized it, and waited for just the right moment to turn it around.  It’s a female thing... all of the opposite sex does it... I can’t tell you why... I don't even want to think any more about it... it just is what it is.  Well.  Turns out last night was the night.  It had the added bonus of being delicious.  

I had plans on Sunday and she had told me we were having Roasted Chicken with Broccoli and Yukon Gold Potatoes.  For 2 days she had been working on this chicken.  Seasoning... drying the skin... etc... So when we were getting close to eating the aromas were killing me.  Chicken, broccoli, taters, lemon, garlic, fresh herbs, and whatever else was going on in there.  As a hopefully quick aside, if you have never roasted broccoli and hit it with some lemon juice you need to try that very soon.  Anyway, she plates it up and says... "Would you like to take some pictures?"  I said sure.  Now maybe I should have seen it coming right there, but I didn’t.  Many of you are already seeing where this is going.  We sit down to eat.  The meal is wonderful and I am sure to say so.  All of the succulence that is expected from roasted chicken is right there.  Plus, the brightness of the fresh lemon and herbs and the pan jus over the top.  Wonderful and delicious on every level.  I said "Honey, this is definitely a keeper recipe."  It’s what we say when we like something.  That is when she said... yes, here it comes... "Well, do you feel as lucky as Jeffrey Garten tonight?" :)  Ah ha!

Since I am writing this and not consulting an attorney you all can figure out my answer.  It’s always been my answer.  I am far and away the luckiest man around.  Not just for the chicken... for a lot of reasons.  But... the chicken doesn’t hurt a bit! :)

Till next time...
I remain...
The luckiest man...

October 01, 2009

Sometimes the Chicken is Committed

Y'all know the old story... The chicken is involved, but the pig is committed.  Well, in this case, the chicken was too.

I was making a new dish with roasted chicken and mushrooms with creme fraiche.  One of my favorite things is roasted chicken-- done almost any way.  Crispy skin, succulent meat, fresh herbs, and a rich flavor that can only be had by slow roasting.  Adding shitake mushrooms and morels to creme fraiche, chicken stock, white wine, rosemary, and thyme completes this dish with fragrant notes and woody undertones.  Throw in a side of broccoli and dinner is done-- yeah, it is just steamed.

Well... almost.  I thought that an appetizer would be nice.  I was intrigued by a total chicken concept and decided to make something with an egg.  What kind of appetizer can one make from an egg?  Hmmm... various breakfast fare came to mind and none seemed appropriate.  I recalled an appetizer that was created by David Chang of Momofuku Ko that involved an egg, caviar, onions, and fresh made potato chips.  Sad to say, but I didn't have any caviar and wasn't going to make homemade potato chips, but I did have eggs, onions, kettle chips, and time.  So I made my variation on the masters theme.

Soft Cooked Egg and Onion Soubise with Potato Chip and Smoked Sea Salt

Pan Roasted Chicken with Morel and Shitake Mushrooms in Creme Fraiche Sauce

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