Braised Whole Hen

So tender and juicy

So tender and juicy

This will work well with a chicken if you do not have a hen. The leftover broth is excellent in stocks and stews.

Braised Hen

  • 4 lb whole hen cleaned, giblets separated, skinned and trussed
  • 1 large head garlic sliced in half
  • 1 large carrot cut into chunks
  • 2 ribs celery cut into chunks
  • 1 medium onion cut into chunks
  • 4 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 4 sprigs fresh marjoram
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp juniper berries
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 cup cream

In a large stock pot melt a tablespoon of bacon fat or oil over medium low heat. Saute onion until golden, then add carrot and celery. Saute vegetables until softened then add everything else but the cream and hen. Bring stock to a boil then cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add hen and place in an oven at 325 degrees. Braise bird, flipping once and basting with pan juices until cooked, about 2-3 hours. Remove bird from sauce and let rest 30 minutes before slicing. Meanwhile strain broth and reserve two cups. Use the rest of the sauce as stock in other recipes. Bring reserved two cups to a boil then add cream and simmer until it begins to thicken and coat a spoon. Sauce should still be very thin. Serve meat sliced drizzled with sauce.

Posted in Chicken, Dinner, Food, Italian, Recipes | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Sunday Suppers: Signs of Fall

Can you believe it’s October already?! Down here that means raking (or not) leaves in shorts. But hey, at least it feels like fall in the kitchen.

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

What a great salad

What a great salad

Chicken Marsala

Veal is a better choice

Veal is a better choice

Creamy Stovetop Risotto

This is not risotto

This is not risotto

Flambeed Pears with Star Anise

You can't go wrong with fruit, sugar and butter

You can’t go wrong with fruit, sugar and butter

Posted in Chicken, Dessert, Dinner, Food, Rice/Risotto, Sides | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Open-faced Sandwiches with Fried Green Tomato, Bacon and Egg

All I can say is yes

All I can say is yes

Our tomato plants still have a few lonely green tomatoes on them and we hate to let them go to waste. To make these sandwiches toast a nice thick slice of rye or whole wheat bread for each person, top with crispy or candied bacon, a few fried green tomatoes, and a poached, fried or over easy egg. Enjoy!

Posted in Breakfast, Food, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Fall Fruit Risotto

Sp creamy, tangy and sweet

Sp creamy, tangy and sweet

Katherine is not a fan of sweet risottos but as a light first course or first dessert they are very good. This was an attempt to blend the sweetness of a fruit risotto with a more savory meat and cheese. The result was a terrific success for me, but Katherine still was on the fence.

For those who do not know how to make risotto go here and remember how simple they are. Below is just a list of ingredients. I simmered the chicken stock with the apple and pear peels to increase the fruit flavor.

Apple, Pear and Ham Risotto with Blue Cheese

  • 1 apple peeled and diced small
  • 1 pear peeled and diced small
  • 1/2 cup finely diced sweet onion
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 4 slices quality ham diced small
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 4 oz blue cheese
  • Salt/pepper

Cook risotto as normal but simmer ham with onion before adding rice to fat. Finish with cheese and remove from heat to set up. If simmering fruit peels in stock strain so they do not get into the rice.

Posted in Dinner, Food, Italian, Pork, Recipes, Rice/Risotto | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Elderflower Martini

So mysterious

So mysterious

This comes from the St. Germain website. St. Germain is one of those liquors that has no cheap counterpart that tastes even close, so pony up the bucks because it is good stuff.

We garnished with a lemon, but a lime twist is traditional.

French Gimlet

  • 2 ounces Hendricks Gin
  • 1 ounce St. Germain
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice place all ingredients and shake well. Pour into a cocktail glass, drink and repeat.

Posted in Recipes, Spirits | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

(Not) In Our Kitchen

We recently visited some friends for a long weekend and as thanks for a free place to stay we cooked one day. Here are some photos of their fantastic kitchen and our meal.

First course served around noon.

First course served around noon

I really liked the chalk board as a cheese plate. Having the names of all the wacky cheeses made everyone sound like they knew what they were talking about without trying to figure out which crumpled plastic label went with which cheese. It also kept the food chilled longer.

A good start

A good start

Our friends liquor supply exceeds ours so we had many cocktails during our stay. Katherine found a forgotten jar of ginger pear preserves in the refrigerator and used it to make a simple syrup to flavor the bubbly. (Cook equal parts preserves and water over medium heat until thick and smooth then strain to remove any chunks. Use about a tablespoon per glass and throw in just a dash of Cointreau.)

All this for a soup

All this for a soup

For dinner we served Carrot and Red Bell Soup, Roast Veal Shoulder with crisp green beans, and Browned Nectarines for dessert. The menu was decided that day by what the farmers market in their neighborhood had to offer and the butcher had that was fresh. If we ever win the lottery that is how I would shop for dinner every day.

 

A fun kitchen element

A fun kitchen element

Another thing we really liked about their kitchen (aside from all the natural light) was the full sized chalk board on the wall. We had thought about doing the same thing during the kitchen remodel, but decided there was not enough space after all the cabinets went in.

 

Yes the ceiling and walls are covered in used soju wrappers

Yes the ceiling and walls are covered in used soju wrappers

Above is a photo of one of the best Korean restaurants ever. Bonus points if you know it.

Meanwhile back in our kitchen was one very unhappy dog. Mingus was waiting for us with an abscessed tooth.

He is better now

He’s better now

To get a peek inside other bloggers’ kitchens hop on over to Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for her monthly roundup. Celia, we hope we didn’t break any rules by taking In Our Kitchen on the road.

Posted in Appetizers, Food, Spirits | Tagged , , | 23 Comments

Baked Apple Pancake

It's like the surface of mars

It’s like the surface of mars

This is great as a course for brunch or as dessert for a night that breakfast was for dinner. The recipe is adapted from this one.

Baked Apple Pancake

  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tbsp sugar + 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 large apple cored and sliced somewhat thin

Beat milk, eggs and cinnamon sugar together until light and frothy. Add flour and beat until a smooth batter forms. In a 9×13 pan place butter and place in an oven at 425 degrees. Melt butter and then swirl to coat pan. Place apples in one even layer and place back in the oven. Roast until apples and butter begin to brown. Remove from heat, sprinkle with brown sugar and pour batter evenly over top. Place back in oven and bake until pancake puffs up and begins to turn brown. Remove from heat and sprinkle powdered sugar over top.

Posted in Breakfast, Dessert, Food, Recipes | Tagged , , | 7 Comments