Tuesday, March 9, 2010

sunday night supp[er

A good friend requested a cooking lesson. She came over a couple of days earlier to choose a menu and make a shopping list. I proposed a chicken dish I'd not yet prepared but that sounded seductively flavorful. With that decided upon, we agreed on a mealange of rices and sauteed snow peas with slivered garlic as accompaniments, to be preceded by a refreshing salad of escarole, blood oranges and thinly sliced fennel. For dessert, a lovely lemon tart made with the zest and juice of meyer lemons, available locally for only a short time. I buy bags of them and freeze the juice.The tart has a press-in crust,delicious and simple. The chicken thighs were sauteed till brown,removed from the skillet to be put aside while onions were cooked until translucent. While saffron softened in hot water, marsala, fig agrodolce, cinnamon and coriander were added to the skillet. Then the saffron and additional water. The chicken was returned to the pot, which cooked, covered for about forty-five minutes. Meanwhile, we heated vodka to just below boiling and infused it with a tablespoon of lavender buds. Around twenty minutes before serving, we strained the vodka into the skillet and cooked it down a bit, burning off the alcohol. At serving time we poured a bit of honey over the chicken and plated it topped with crisp, roughly chopped roasted almonds. Heavenly!! Incredibly flavorful, almost mysterious and thoroughly delicious. We were joined at table by her partner who was gratifyingly enthusiastic and happy to take home leftovers.

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