Good gracious. Where have I been? I promise I haven’t forgotten about you. I only hope you haven’t forgotten about me. I guess the past month has been filled with curve balls. But mostly my Time appears to have changed. Again.
I’ve talked about Time a lot on here over the years. How intrigued I am by how it passes away and how it moves forward - the memories we create from our past, the things we look toward in our future, and most of all, how, at different times, it has the uncanny power to expand and/or contract. How does the same twenty-four hours have the ability to feel like more or less than what it actually is?
As a kid I thought a year was like forever. I would make a point to tell people I was six and three quarters years old, because that quarter of a year was a significant chunk of Time. A significant chunk of Time that I earned to be exactly that old. Yet over the past few years I have felt that Time has been whirling past me at dizzying speeds. Where did that day go? Where did that week go? Where did that month go? How did a year just happen?
Nastassia and Esi were to put their sweet minds together to materialize my brain flower of dessert: a honey-garlic mousse with pinenut-garlic brittle. My mom was going to bake the bread. Me, I had the rest covered. And even though each and every one of these dinners has had one *&%%@# ingredient that gives me issues, I even found my elusive green garlic at the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers’Market. This was for the creamy green garlic soup garnished with black garlic chips and bacon.
Then the day was upon us. Forty-three days since the last dinner and an unknown number of days until the next dinner. Mom sliced her finger open the day before and had to get five stitches. Not only was she unable to bake the bread for the dinner, she was unable to attend at all.
Maggie was in the (tiny) kitchen pickling onions (always a hit) as take-away gifts for the guests (in her union suit!) until late-morning, until she worked her magic on The Room (see picture below).
That’s totally cool.
By the by, all photographs in this post are credited to Fred. The reason for my Time being what it presently is can probably also be credited to Fred.
Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
(Recipe from Ina Garten)
(Recipe from Ina Garten)
2 (3 1/2-pound) chickens, cut into eighths
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons good olive oil
1 1/2 Tablespoons Madeira, divided
1 ½ Tablespoons Sherry, divided
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
A bunch of Italian parsley, chopped
Separate the cloves of garlic and drop them into a pot of boiling water for 60 seconds. Drain the garlic and peel. Set aside.
Dry the chicken with paper towels. Season liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat the butter and oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. In batches, sauté the chicken in the fat, skin side down first, until nicely browned, about 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Turn with tongs or a spatula; you don't want to pierce the skin with a fork. If the fat is burning, turn the heat down to medium. When a batch is done, transfer it to a plate and continue to sauté all the chicken in batches. Remove the last chicken to the plate and add all of the garlic to the pot. Lower the heat and sauté for 5 to 10 minutes, turning often, until evenly browned. Add 1 tablespoon of the Madeira, 1 tablespoon of the Sherry and the wine, return to a boil, and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pot with the juices and sprinkle with the thyme leaves. Cover and simmer over the lowest heat for about 30 minutes, until all the chicken is done.
Remove the chicken to a platter and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of the sauce and the flour and then whisk it back into the sauce in the pot. Raise the heat, add the remaining tablespoon of both the Madeira and the Sherry and the cream, and boil for 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper, to taste; it should be very flavorful because chicken tends to be bland. Pour the sauce and the garlic over the chicken and serve hot.
Garnish with parsley.
One year ago: Mercantile
Two years ago: Swiss Fondue with Truffle Essence
Four years ago: The Hungry Cat, Santa Barbara