My friend Margaret Ryder, Dallas, is the most amazing floral artist. I love the way she decorated this doggie. She does beautiful and unusual arrangements for your dining table too.
If someone asked me what my very favorite meal is, I might say roast chicken. Having been a vegetarian for so many years, when I roast a chicken it is also cooked with lots of vegetables. Okay, I do eat more of the veg than I do the chicken but my guests seem to love the whole thing. This gorgeous chicken was roasted with about six different vegetables and then they were tossed over the whole thing. The picture tells it all and the recipe follows.
I served it with sautéed mushrooms and dhal bat, a combination of rice, shallots and lentils. All the recipes follow.
Season the inside and outside of the chicken with salt, pepper and paprika. Paint it with some olive oil, I use my hand as the paintbrush. If your family likes the giblets, just place them into the cavity of the chicken and roast them all together. Living here in France, the giblets are loved by all. They even make a Périgourdine salad which uses them. That's for another time.
Into a very hot oven, place the chicken in a covered roasting pan. Add cubes of eggplant, chopped celery, carrot rounds, sliced onions, either sun dried or just raw tomatoes and mushrooms. You can use any vegetable you prefer but the total should be about 2 cups. Circle the chicken with the vegetables. Don't cover the chicken with the vegetables until ready to serve or the skin won't brown. Add two cups of chicken stock and cook on high heat for 45 minutes.
Remove cover and finish cooking in a semi-hot oven until chicken is nice and brown, maybe another 45 minutes depending on the size of the chicken. You might have to add additional water or stock as there should always be a bit of liquid on the bottom.
When chicken is finished, place on serving platter with vegetables scattered on top and cover with foil for about 15 minutes so juices will sink in.
Add 1 cup of white wine to the drippings in the pan and reduce by half. This should take 15 minutes.
Pour over the vegetable covered chicken.
A few years ago I trekked in the Himalayas and Dal Bhat was a staple for us. It is typically cooked in Nepal on a daily basis and is the center of the meal. Poultry and meat is very scarce in Nepal and we had very few fresh vegetables as well so we ate a lot of rice and lentils.
Recipe for Dhal Bat
Plain Rice (Bhat)
2 cups rice
4 cups (1 lt) water
1 tsp butter (optional)
Cook rice in the litre of water until done. Or you can used instant rice, it tastes fine.
1½ cups lentil (I used canned and they are just fine)
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp garlic, minced
2 tbsp butter
3/4 cup diced shallots sautéed
Salt to taste
Sauté shallots in butter, add seasoning and lentils.
Mix the Bhat with the Dal and Voila, there you go.
The perfect roasting pan
Yotam Ottolenghi's new book
Unique Vintage style apron
How cute you will look in this darling apron. Even if you never wear an apron while cooking, this one is irresistible.
From About.com comes this recipe and photo of Wine Poached Pears, the perfect ending to your meal.
4-6 Peeled, Cored and Sliced Pears (recommend Bosc or Anjou)
1 1/2 cups of red wine (recommend Zinfandel, Shiraz or Merlot)
3/4 cups of granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons of lemon juice (can also add lemon zest if desired)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
Combine all ingredients, except pears, and bring to a boil. Once the wine mixture is boiling, turn heat down to a simmer and add the pears. Simmer pears for 10-12 minutes and then turn pears and simmer for an additional 8-10 minutes - until they are tender and are easily poked through with a fork. Remove pears and let them cool. Boil wine sauce until the liquid has been reduced by half. Pour sauce over pears and serve with either marscapone, crème fraiche or Devonshire cream.
I have tried this recipe and it is delicious.
Square white plate
Perfect for serving those beautiful red pears.