Friday, November 12, 2010

FFWD: Roast Chicken for Les Paresseux

Roast Chicken with potatoes, carrots, and onions.

For this French Friday with Dorie I decided to make the roast chicken for les paresseux. Les Paresseux means "lazy people." I love recipes for lazy people. My mom has a fabulous recipe for lemon roast chicken, that is extremely easy and delicious, so I was hoping for similar results.

Roast chicken in dutch oven, stuffed with garlic and herbs.

This recipe really is rather lazy. You simply season and stuff the chicken with half a head of garlic, fresh rosemary, thyme, and oregano and put it in a dutch oven for 90 minutes. BAM! Dinner is served. (Emeril couldn't have said it better.)

New Le Creuset! Thanks Mom and Dad!

The great thing about this dish is that it will give you chicken for days to come! There are only two in this household, so I have been eating chicken sandwiches for lunch (which are delicious). It's like I'm preparing for Thanksgiving early. But seriously, the chicken is extremely moist and allows you to spend time doing other things (like baking cookies or watching reruns of "Parks and Recreation" - you know the important things).

Beautiful bird out of the oven.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Apple Cider Doughnuts

Apple Cider Doughnut and Coffee

There are a couple of things that come to mind when I think of Fall: leaves, pumpkins, turkeys, crisp air, and apples. I love apples, don't you? Malia went apple picking recently, and boy was i jealous. I love walking through orchards and hauling a big bag of fruit home with you. Apples are great on their own, versatile in sweet and savory dishes, and darn do they make some nice cider.

And of course apple cider makes me think of apple cider doughnuts. Apple cider doughnuts may be more of an east coast thing, as I haven't seen these in California. So when Malia came to visit, we decided to make something epic - and apple cider doughnuts are pretty epic if you ask me.

I thought it would be cute to make doughnuts shaped liked pumpkins
(but you couldn't really tell).

Cute shapes don't work well for frying.

Test batch of doughnut holes.

Smitten Kitchen has a great recipe for apple cider doughnuts (see link for recipe) with excellent tips from how to heat the oil, to rolling out the dough. Her pictures are absolutely lovely. Now let me make it clear that these are cake doughnuts, no yeast involved. I usually prefer yeast doughnuts to cake, but you haven't lived until you've had a cake doughnut straight out of the oil!

The oil is probably the most critical step. You want to make sure that the oil heats up to the correct temperature and stays there. Too hot and you'll burn your doughnuts, but too cold and they won't cook all the way through. You need a thermometer. Unfortunately, Malia and I picked up a meat thermometer (only goes up to 250 degrees). So we ran a test batch and ended up with the right temperature (but I don't recommend this kind of improvisation).

Frying up the big ones.

We served these doughnuts on Sunday morning for some friends who came over to watch the Redskins play. These were a hit! We dusted them in sugar and cinnamon mixture. Delicious! These are more dense than a yeast doughnut, but still rather delicate, with a perfectly crisp exterior. I wish the apple cider would have been more of a dominant flavor, but that is my only minor complaint. The dough was really easy to put together. Just make sure to give yourself adequate time to prepare these if you're serving them for brunch. Now go make them.

Enjoying the finished product.

Caught me doughnut handed.

Don't forget to fry the doughnut holes. Because they're smaller you can eat more.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

FFWD: Pumpkin Flan

Pumpkin Flan with Brown Butter Fried Sage

Happy Friday everyone! This Friday marks the fourth recipe I have made with French Fridays with Dorie(check out the other members' posts using this link), from Dorie Greenspan's cookbook, "Around My French Table". We were given free reign to choose the order that we want to cook the four recipes for the month of November. Being in the pumpkin mood, I decided to make the Pumpkin Gorgonzola Flans. Flan makes me think of Sabrina the Teenage Witch (anyone get that reference?) and delicious caramel. However, this recipe is for savory flan. Because I don't care much for gorgonzola, I excluded the cheese and the walnuts. Due to my substitutions, my flans could aptly be named "pumpkin flan with brown butter fried sage".

Frying the sage leaves in brown butter.

My flans had some cracks in them, but they were the perfect consistency.

These flans came together in a snap. You simply toss eggs, heavy cream, pumpkin, salt, and pepper (and my secret addition of nutmeg) in a blender and the flan is ready to be poured and baked.

Mmm savory pumpkin flan.

These flans were like a pumpkin pie without the sugar. AJ kept thanking me for making pumpkin pie for dinner! They were creamy, yet light. I loved the hint of nutmeg and the crunchy sage leaves. Really a wonderful meal, especially with the weather getting cooler. I served these with sauteed garlic kale and a Riesling. Delicious and by far my favorite dish thus far!