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!

 

 

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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!

Wooing My Man

Beef. Bacon. Wine. Cognac.

Brown the hell out of that beef. Crisp up that bacon. Deglaze the whole darn thing with cognac and then drown everything in wine and let it simmer. The aromas of browning bacon and beefy wine welcomed my husband home after 6 hours of shoveling snow yesterday.

wine going in

I was very much rewarded when he walked into the house and, before peeling off his wet gloves and boots, he took one huge whiff, grinned and said, “now that’s what I’m talking about! You are my darling, gorgeous, queen-of-all-things-wife who does no wrong and deserves an enormous 5-carat rock, which we shall go out and purchase toot sweet.” Ok, it’s possible I might be leaning heavily on some creative license here …

brown beef

Boeuf Bourguignon is my husband’s absolute favorite meal. So, while he was shoveling and shoveling and shoveling, I was having a grand time in my kitchen, flinging wine and bacon fat and singing along to the new Adele CD.

IMG_1075Happy husband, happy wife. 🙂

More to come on the wine we opened and decanted  —  A 2006 Saint-Julien Bordeaux.

Whole Fish

I love whole fish on the grill. Crispy skin, moist meat, a bit of char … oh my. Well, it’s winter and it’s cold, but my craving for whole fish — head and all — doesn’t disappear when grilling season sets. Sometimes I can convince my husband to bundle up and brave the frigid temperatures to tend the grill, but whole fish is just as easy in the oven.

Whole Fish

Whole Fish Wrapped in Grape Leaves: 

Ask your fish monger to clean and scale the fish for you. Bronzino is always a good choice as is red snapper or black bass (above). Salt and pepper the entire fish, stuff with a few lemon slices and fresh herbs, then wrap tightly in grape leaves. The skin certainly won’t crisp up with this method, but you are guaranteed moist fish! Drizzle the whole darn thing with olive oil and bake in a 400 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes (for a 1 1/2 to 2 pound fish). Unwrap and enjoy.

Recipe adapted from the cookbook Zahav by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook