Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

23 Dec

My grandma came into town yesterday.  Usually, my mom makes some kind of nice dinner whenever family arrives.  Yesterday, she planned on chicken.  When she got home from work, I was all, “Do you want me to make the chicken?”  After all, it was her mom who was visiting, and she should get some valuable family time with her.  However, she was all “No; I was gonna butterfly them and cook them and make some beets on the side.”  Fair enough.  I sat back and relaxed as my parents had miscommunication after miscommunication about what my dad was to get at the grocery store.  This is typical.  The words beets, zucchini, and baguettes, were among some of the things I heard them say we were having for dinner. Zucchini?  Boooring. Whatever.

I should have seen what was coming next.  My mom started talking to her mom, and around 4:45, I was all, “did you want to make that chicken ever?”  (She wanted to eat at six) And she was all “Oh yeah…How long is that gonna take? Should I just roast it?  Should we sear it in a pan first?  I don’t think we can fit both chickens in the cast iron pan at the same time…Bother…”  We went into the kitchen, and I attempted to get some beets in the oven while she preheated the oven and then went to get more wine and talk to my grandma.  Screw it, I was back on the schedule…After a fit of throwing random things on other random foods, we ended up with a decent dinner.  The beets, I just roasted and topped with a little honey and black pepper…The recipes for the chicken and zucchini follow, mostly because I was pleased with how that shit turned out, given our family’s mega disorganized kitchen life.

A few notes:

  • My mom makes great food; I don’t know why she has been in the weeds lately.  🙂 Don’t judge my mama
  • I am not fancy enough to have access to kaffir lime leaves in real life; I just happened to find some at our Whole Foods.
  • I seared my chicken in Crisco, mostly because I think I was a southern black lady in a previous life and Crisco was our way of life back then.  You can use oil unless you, like me, have soul and a large tub of Crisco and/or lard.

Enjoy these recipes; they really are simple.

Chicken Marinade:

3 T dijon mustard

1/2 white onion, chopped

3 scallions, sliced roughly

1/2 bunch parsley

6 sprigs of thyme, leaves only

2 T rice wine vinegar

3 T olive oil

1) Prep all the ingredients for the marinade; toss them in a blender.

2) Blend until mostly smooth.

For chicken:

1) Butterfly two small to medium chickens; rub both with marinade and refrigerate at least two hours.

2) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

3) Heat a cast iron skillet on high heat; remove chicken from marinade and pat dry.

4) Season chicken with salt on both sides.

5) Pour enough oil into the pan to cover the bottom.

6) Sear the chickens on both sides, starting with the skin side down and then transfer them to a lipped baking sheet covered with parchment paper.

7) Roast for one hour, or until a thermometer inserted into the thigh reads 165 degrees F.

8) Cut chicken into pieces and serve with kaffir lime beurre blanc (recipe follows)

Kaffir Lime Beurre Blanc:

1 and 1/2 c white wine

1/4 c rice wine vinegar

5 sprigs thyme

3 or 4 kaffir lime leaves, torn

1 c heavy cream

8 oz butter, cold

1) Simmer the wine, vinegar, thyme, and lime leaves until reduced by about half.

2) Add the cream and reduce down by about half again, or until the base is thick and coats a spoon

3) Reduce the heat to low.

4) Cut the butter into 16 pieces (1 T pieces), and add two pieces to the sauce at a time, whisking constantly, adding more only when the previous addition has dissolved.  Once you have added all the butter, the sauce should be thick, smooth, and shiny.

5) Remove the aromatics ( I used a slotted spoon because I was slothin it, but you can also strain the mixture before adding the butter).

6) Serve with the delicious chicken.

Roasted Actually Good Zucchini

4 small to medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and across, forming quarters

3 cloves garlic, minced to a paste with olive oil and salt

1/2 c finely grated parm regg cheese

5 large basil leaves, chiffonade.

1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2) Arrange the zucchini on a baking sheet with parchment, cut side up.

3) Salt the zucchini liberally and let it sit there for 20 minutes; pat dry.

4) Rub the zucchini with your garlic mixture; top with cheese and sliced basil.

5) Roast about 20 minutes, or until cheese is brown and everything looks all delicious and you legit want to eat it stat.

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