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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday dinner........

that's what today is all about.....

Vince is in town for an alumni event, Carmen starts a big project at work that will consume most of his time for the next month or so, my sister and nephew are coming over to watch the Penguin game, it was a lovely sunny warm weekend and chicken breasts were buy one, get one free yesterday. Add that all together and we've got the fixings for a family Sunday dinner.
Here's what's on the menu......

Baby Spring Green Salad with Vadalia Onion Dressing and Garlic Croutons
(straight from the bag, the bottle and the box!)

Forty Clove of Garlic Chicken
Incredible recipe from Ina Garten.....honestly, it's amazing! The sauce alone is worth the effort. And, considering that my band is pretty tight--the sauce may be all I'll be eating!

* 3 whole heads garlic, about 40 cloves
* 2 (3 1/2-pound) chickens, cut into eighths
* Kosher salt
* Freshly ground black pepper
* 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
* 2 tablespoons good olive oil
* 3 tablespoons Cognac, divided
* 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
* 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 2 tablespoons heavy cream


Separate the cloves of garlic and drop them into a pot of boiling water for 60 seconds. Drain the garlic and peel. Set aside.

Dry the chicken with paper towels. Season liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat the butter and oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. In batches, saute the chicken in the fat, skin side down first, until nicely browned, about 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Turn with tongs or a spatula; you don't want to pierce the skin with a fork. If the fat is burning, turn the heat down to medium. When a batch is done, transfer it to a plate and continue to saute all the chicken in batches. Remove the last chicken to the plate and add all of the garlic to the pot. Lower the heat and saute for 5 to 10 minutes, turning often, until evenly browned. Add 2 tablespoons of the Cognac and the wine, return to a boil, and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pot with the juices and sprinkle with the thyme leaves. Cover and simmer over the lowest heat for about 30 minutes, until all the chicken is done.

Remove the chicken to a platter and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of the sauce and the flour and then whisk it back into the sauce in the pot. Raise the heat, add the remaining tablespoon of Cognac and the cream, and boil for 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper, to taste; it should be very flavorful because chicken tends to be bland. Pour the sauce and the garlic over the chicken and serve hot.

Rice Pilaf

* 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
*Handful of pignolia (pine) nuts
* 1 shallot, thinly sliced
* 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
* Freshly ground black pepper
* 2 cups basmati-style long grain rice
* 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
* 1 bay leaf
* 1 sprig fresh rosemary


Melt the butter with the shallot in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Season with the salt and pepper and cook until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Lightly toast pignolia nuts in skillet. Add the rice and stir until coated with the butter. Increase the heat to medium-high. Let the rice cook until toasted, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes more.

Stir in the broth, bay leaf, and rosemary. Bring to a simmer over low heat, cover, and cook until all the broth has been absorbed by the rice and the rice is tender, about 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from the heat and let set for 5 minutes. Discard the rosemary and bay leaf. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve.

As for the wine of choice----one of our favorites from our wine tour--

Lailey Vineyard 2008 Vidal
and, for desert--Lemon Pound Cake with William's Sonoma Meyer Lemon Curd and Fresh Whipped Cream

Here's hoping your Sunday is just what you need to kick off your week!


Kathy said...

My mouth is watering and it's only 8:30 in the morning. What a delightful meal that is. I think that recipe is one I will definitely try. Have a good day my friend.

Eileen, Founder, Organizer, Mayor and Chief Cook And Bottle Washer of the Anger Management Girls. said...

Way, way too much work. Sounds good though.
When I need rice pilaf. Uncle Bens 90 second pouch.
What's the difference? You gain an hour of your life back.

Anonymous said...

dont you just love Ina Garten?? she is one of my favorites on the food channel. I would love a private cooking session with her!!

sounds like a great meal!! you have a lucky family!!

We had a big family weekend also, got to play with the neice and nephew and then send them back home, haha, but they are fun (ages 5 and 3) and I got to read a story to my neice....nothing sweeter than that!!

Jill from NY