Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Neither Chris nor I go in for Valentine's Day much. Maybe it's because I spent so many of them barricaded in my apartment afraid to go out for fear of running into someone and letting the world know what indeed it already knew - that I was "terminally single", but I like to think it's because I see it as the money making proposition that it is. I like a little romance every now and again, but to me it's nicer when it's spur of the moment.

I did make us a lovely meal last night which we shared over a bottle of vintage champagne. That was my nod to the Valentine's Day madness. In fairness, I would have cooked this meal in any case, but the quaffing of the great bottle of champagne would probably not have been done on a Tuesday night!

I made a beautiful roast chicken, which recipe I loosely based on one I found in Patricia Wells' Bistro Cooking. Patricia Wells is one of my favorite cookbook authors. She is the food critic for the International Herald Tribune and is based in Provence. Nice work if you can get it! She has written many cookbooks over the years. I like them because they often are based directly on classics and are fairly accessible. I don't think I have ever had a misfire with a Patricia Wells recipe and I think that's saying a lot.

The recipe which follows is based upon a recipe Patricia coaxed out of the late great Pile Ou Face Bistro in Paris.

Roast Chicken Pile Ou Face with Fabulous Pan Drippings....

1 Roasting Chicken 5-6 lbs.
2 large sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 lemon - cut into eight pieces
6 small shallots, halved
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Pepper
1 chicken liver from gizzard package
2 egg yolks
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, as needed
A liberal handful of Herbes de Provence
1 T tarragon
A few handfuls of any fresh herbs you might have on hand, chopped finely (tarragon, parsley, sorrel, chervil, etc.) or if you only have them in a dried version, use that and reduce the quantity.
3 or 4 T Sherry Wine Vinegar, go to Moore Brothers and spend some money - it's worth it!

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Wash the chicken and dry witha paper towel and salt and pepper the cavity.
3. Place the lemon, shallots, and rosemary in the cavity and truss the legs with string.
4. Beat the egg yolks and a tablespoon or two of extra virgin olive oil and add all the herbs, dried and fresh to this making a thick paste.
5. Brush the paste on the chicken
6. Shake some sea salt and fresh ground pepper on the chicken.
7. Place in the oven for 2 - 2-1/2 hours, basting frequently. Add the liver to the roasting pan in last fifteen minutes of roasting.
8. The chicken is done when the temperature in the middle of the thigh reaches 170 degrees, or when the juices run clear at the joint between where the thigh meets the leg.
9. Place the turkey on a platter to rest. Give it a good ten or fifteen minutes before you carve it.
10.Chop the liver coarsely and add to the roasting pan. Place the pan over high heat on your stove and deglaze with the sherry wine vinegar until it reduces a bit. This will be the most heavenly smell you could ever begin to imagine. Serve atop the roasted chicken. Makes a nice rustic meal. It's especially nice when served with mashed potatoes,a leafy green vegetable and a lighly dressed salad. Posted by Picasa


Anonymous Planty01 said...

Hey Jane, the pics are great. Love the snow... I am the same on Valentines too... we just argued instead :-) haha. Dont go in for it.. although we sent valentines email cards, and I didnt get Martys... :-( even funnnier! anyway have fun, miss you both... laters...!xx

12:29 PM  

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