This Sunday, I decided it was a nice day for a chicken dinner. I didn't want to roast one-- I just didn't feel like a whole chicken that day-- so I decided to fall back on one of my favorite recipes: Chicken in Balsamic Vinaigrette.
Roasted Chicken with Balsamic Vinaigrette, courtesy Giada di Laurentiis.
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (4-pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces (giblets, neck and backbone reserved for another use)
1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
Whisk the vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper in small bowl to blend. Combine the vinaigrette and chicken pieces in a large resealable plastic bag; seal the bag and toss to coat. Refrigerate, turning the chicken pieces occasionally, for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove chicken from the bag and arrange the chicken pieces on a large greased baking dish. Roast until the chicken is just cooked through, about 1 hour. If your chicken browns too quickly, cover it with foil for the remaining cooking time. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Place the baking dish on a burner over medium-low heat. Whisk the chicken broth into the pan drippings, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the baking sheet with a wooden spoon and mixing them into the broth and pan drippings. Drizzle the pan drippings over the chicken. Sprinkle the lemon zest and parsley over the chicken, and serve.Seriously. Yum. And really good cold, too. I just did the thighs-- I think the flavor is perfect with thigh meat-- but it works well with any chicken part. Maybe not feet.
Instead of doing the pan dripping sauce as called for in the recipe, Terry requested actual gravy. So I threw together a slurry, popped it in the pan, thinned it with some chicken stock and voila: gravy.
He also wanted mashed potatoes, so I cut up some potatoes, boiled and mashed, added cream and butter and parmesan cheese. Delish. Too bad I was an idiot and used my chef's knife when my paring knife would do. This was the result:
However, the food turned out great. The mashed potatoes-- skin on-- went well with the gravy, which went well with the chicken. The conversation went something like this:
Me: "So how is it?"
Him: "Mmmm. Oooh. Mmmm."
Me: "Is that a good 'mmm'?"
Him: "Mmmph. Ohm nohm nohm."
He's normally far more loquacious. He had earlier complained about the portion I gave him (for photographic purposes, of course) but he only left about two spoonfuls of potatoes. He said, and I quote, "This is the best gravy I've ever had." This man is from Alabama. He knows gravy. I am pleased as punch.
My organic co-op delivery came (thus the potatoes and broccoli), and it also delivered green peppers. Due to a pizza-and-drinking binge in college, I don't eat a whole lot of green peppers anymore, and definitely not stuffed ones, so I used them to make stuffed peppers for Terry's lunch. I followed a recipe out of the America's Test Kitchen cookbook, which I don't have here to copy. They're stuffed peppers. Not that complicated.
This is pre-baking; I popped them into the oven when we ate and sent them home with him for lunch this week. I had borrowed his loaf pan, so it worked out quite swimmingly. Yesterday, he reported that they were pretty darn good.
The finger, by the way, is recovering nicely, though I now realize that I use my left thumb far more than I thought...