Fresh Yogurt

Homemade yogurt: 

IMG_1280

This was an easy cooking project and one I plan to make again. I didn’t allow my milk to “ferment” for a full 12 hours but definitely will next time as I prefer a tart and tangy yogurt. I also went for the Greek version so I strained my mixture overnight and wound up with a thick, rich and creamy yogurt. This version was almost akin to a velvety, mild fresh cheese so I think it would work well for desserts. Now I have an excuse to whip up some lemon curd and make parfaits!

Boozy Chicken

A sip for you, a splash for the birdie, sip for you, splash for birdie … oh wait, that’s a good way to never get dinner on the table.

So you have a bunch of prunes. Now what? Simmer them in Armagnac (or Cognac if you prefer), toss them in a pot with chicken, splash with even more Armagnac and leave them to frolick.

Not only will the house smell marvelous, you will then get to tuck into a cozy meal with a sauce worthy of bread sopping or bowl-licking (I myself prefer the latter).

This dish makes a wonderful Sunday supper, but is also elegant enough for a dinner party feast. It’s delicious as leftovers too. The chicken dish is wine-friendly, so have fun with your pairings — just about any medium bodied red or white will do. We chose a Cartograph 2013 Floodgate Vineyard pinot noir from the Russian River Valley in Northern California. I dig this wine. It’s the kind that lures you in as it’s a chameleon in the glass — fruity, chocolaty, mushroomy, leafy. Delightful!

 

 

Clementine & Kalamata Compote

 

Easy, delicious and a spectacular way to liven up leftover roast chicken. I definitely made this less “candied” than the recipe called for by cutting way back on the sugar. The result? A bright and savory relish to adorn just about anything — spoon it into yogurt, sprinkle it over roast duck or just eat it right out of the jar. Enjoy!

Candied Clementine and Kalamata Compote 

1 cup sugar (I used about 1/4 cup)

10 to to 12 clementines, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

2 TBSP orange liqueur

24 pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped

Scatter half the amount of sugar you are using over the bottom of a slow cooker. Layer the clementine slices over the sugar, then scatter remaining sugar over the top. Cover the crock with a kitchen towel, cover with the lid and cook on high for 4 hours or until the clementines are soft and a syrup has formed at the bottom. Uncover and drizzle the liqueur over the top. Cool the compote and then gently mix in the chopped olives. Refrigerate and enjoy.

(recipe adapted from Art of the Slow Cooker by Andrew Schloss)

Ultimate Roast Chicken

This is, hands-down, the best roast chicken I have ever pulled out of my oven. I have tried so many different recipes and tricks and flips and rubs and butter bastes, etc., but this wins every category — taste, moist meat, crispy skin and EASE! Go get yourself a birdie and get brining.

Feta-Brined Roast Chicken

feta brined chicken

If you have feta cheese already swimming in brine (as I did), go ahead and use that brine rather than blend water and feta chunks. Just make sure you cover your remaining cheese with water afterward and don’t wait too long to finish it up.

Enjoy!