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Friday, December 30, 2011

Back to Real Life in the Kitchen

After making that fantastic rib roast for Christmas, and spending three days prepping for a major meal and multiple desserts, it's hard to know where to go next.  I need to eat to live and I should cook if I want to eat, but what?

I decided to start small and simple, using just what I had in the house.  This is so basic, I don't need a recipe.

Brown 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs on both sides in a little olive oil.  You can use breasts if you prefer.


Remove from pan and saute` two large diced shallots until soft and add 3 cloves of minced garlic.

Deglaze the pan with a cup of white wine.  Scrape up the brown bits in the bottom.  Add about a tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary and the zest of a lemon and the juice of half a lemon.


Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and add chicken back to pan and cook another 10 minutes (more if you're using thicker pieces of chicken).  Finish the sauce with a pat of butter if you're so inclined.

I got a bit more elaborate with the next meal because I used up all of my duck fat at Christmas and wanted to make more duck so I would have a supply of duck fat again.

I took a whole breast, scored the skin with a knife, and put it skin-side-down in a pan at a very low temperature for 20 minutes, pouring off rendered fat periodically and saving it.


Then it went 10 minutes in a 400 degree oven. 

Meanwhile I caramelized an onion, then added some port wine (about a cup) and chopped dried figs (around 6).  I let the figs soften up in this mixture and let it simmer and reduce down.


It all got whirled in the blender with some stock and a pinch each of cinnamon and powdered ginger.

 It went over the finished duck.  I served spinach on the side, but for once I didn't cream it.  (Yes, I do have an obsession with cooking spinach with lots of onions.)

Hope everyone has a very happy new year.  What are you doing to celebrate?  Going out somewhere fancy? Staying home?  Going to a house party?  SPP and I will be hanging at the home of one of our horsie set friends and spending the weekend at a B&B.  I'm making Emily's Chocolate Rum Cake for dessert.

6 comments:

The Blonde Duck said...

I'm so jealous of your rib roast! I'm staying in and working on a painting for a friend!

Nicole Gamble said...

So simple and so perfect! Yammy!

Emily said...

I'm thinking duck is going to be hot in 2012. It's the new, hot meat. This looks great! I hope you had a good Christmas and New Year!

Sue said...

I love that you cooked your duck as rare as I like it. That looks and sounds so delicious. Hubby is lucky he didn't get a bologna sandwich after all your holiday cooking and entertaining.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Em - I hope it's the hot new meat. It's one of my favorites.

Sue - Duck is definitely better when it's not well done - at least when you're serving breasts like that. I'm surpirsed SPP eats it that way, but I guess he'slearned to just accept what's on his plate.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Em - I hope it's the hot new meat. It's one of my favorites.

Sue - Duck is definitely better when it's not well done - at least when you're serving breasts like that. I'm surpirsed SPP eats it that way, but I guess he'slearned to just accept what's on his plate.