Sunday, September 5, 2010

Panic, it's what's for dinner.

The not so executive summary, for those that were following this...

Asked what the dinner plans were, as I am one of those that takes HOURS to get things done for a Sunday dinner. No plans, no word; fine, I'm going shopping.

I had planned to try Nikki's Ginger Chicken recipe (did I mis-type before? Yipes), but I didn't get things done on Saturday; it is one of those "best prepared the day before" things. That's okay, I do know how to roast a chicken, so went hunting for that.

Got to the market; chickens hadn't run away yet, so get a couple of those. Run over to produce to see what they have (I revise on the run, sometimes build menus on the run). Found fresh thyme (favorite herb. Don't smoke), saw strawberries (2-fer), found some lemons, organic greens and butter, garlic. Red and russet potatoes; (s)mash sounds like a good idea (I leave the skin on the reds), so got some cream, too. Mushrooms, must have mushrooms, at almost any cost. And ice cream; 2-fer here, too.

Get home, put the strawberries to macerating (sugar, vanilla extract). Start the lemon butter (thyme, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon zest, lemon juice) for the chicken, and someone gets home with food, announcing they have dinner. Yay, no need cook. Shut it down and go back to vegging with Anthony Bourdain (No Reservations marathon!).

Hour later; announcement that I am cooking after all. Ack! Timing is all off; I normally start at 2:00, and it is now after 3:00.

Get the chickens (2) going; clean up the chickens, reserving the parts for gravy, rip out the excess fat. Run the prepared butter under the skin, put lemons in the cavity, truss the birdies up, rub them down with the rest of the butter, get them in the oven.

Get the mushroom giblet gravy going; brown off the chicken guts, get them boiling. Slice up the mushrooms, get them toasted. Add broth, demiglace and seasoning later (use veal demiglace in all my gravies...I'm lazy). Thickening and mushrooms at the end.

Peel the russets, cut up the reds, get them boiling. Put out the butter to soften, get some cream warmed up.

Prepped some salad stuffs; needed to offset the massive fat-footprint this meal will leave behind.

Stopped to type up an update; hmm....

Potatoes are done; get them mashed and seasoned. This, I can do even while delirious; it's been done. Besides, the knife-work is already done, so the worst that can happen is I pour boiling water on my foot. O_o

Check the chicken; added 30 minutes, and it appeared to be done. Pull and rest. Finish off the gravy, add mushrooms.

Start breaking down the chicken (it's a paper-plate dinner), and find some light red areas. Now, I am actually okay with this, but some are not, so cut everything up and threw it back in for another 15 minutes. In the meantime, got the rest of the spread out and rang the dinner bell (we're on "Hawaiian Time").

Ice cream and strawberries for the post repast fill-the-gaps finish.

- Biggest surprise; the seasoning was pretty much right-on, across the board. First time for everything.


  1. Wow, long post but a fun read. But how did it all turn out? Did everyone enjoy the meal you worked so hard to prepare?

  2. oh my gosh, we really need to sit down and swap recipes. I am not as fancy as you... I am a "cook" not a "chef" your meal puts mine to shame. And yay... you are a skin lifter too (sounds weird I know) but I do that with my poultry too, seperate the skin from the meat and season there with butter. C always gets a kick out of it when he sees me doing it to a 25lb turkey :) and OMG sugar and vanilla extract for your strawberries!!! Man I need to try that! the kids will defiantely love that!

  3. @Chris - yes, it turned, thank you. i can get verbose, huh?

    @Nikki - haha! i was imagining that you were thinking "yeah, so, that's normal here!" with an eye-roll. thanks!

    absolutely! i actually don't use "recipes," per se, but am always looking for new ideas and techniques. and yes, get the flavor to where it needs to be; love crispy chicken (and pork) skin, but the meat needs the flavor kick.

    if the strawberries are not cosmetically perfect, or they are not going to be used right away, we chop and macerate. i usually use grand marnier, and sometimes add a lemon peel (no pith) or finely-chopped zest.