Monday, November 2, 2009

Mondays Are Made For Sunday Dinners

Last night at dinner James and I were talking about-- yes I am embarrassed to admit it -- an episode of Hell's Kitchen where the cheftestants (oh wait that's the other show) are blindfolded and asked to identify fairly common cooking ingredients. James -- although I think he has an excellent palette and offers astute dinnertime critiques -- mentioned offhand that he wouldn't be able to taste the difference between a parsnip and a . . . James left the end blank. I was certain that he could -- whether or not he could identify the vegetable (I don't know if he's ever knowingly had a parsnip, for instance) I felt certain he would taste the difference. And so was born tonight's dinner of roasted root vegetables. Sweet potatoes (the purple variety), little round Yukon Gold potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and turnips were chopped into 1/2" pieces and tossed with a little olive oil and salt in the bottom of a roasting pan. I rubbed a whole chicken with garlic sage butter (under the breast skin and on top), trussed it and let it sit on top of the prepared vegetables. I sprinkled everything with salt and popped it into a 400º over to crisp. After 15 minutes I lowered the temperature to 375º and roasted about an hour more. I covered a platter with chopped fresh dandelion leaves (the big man loves bitter greens) and when the bird was ready, drizzled a few tablespoons of the fat from the pan onto the waiting leaves. I then layered the roasted vegetables on top of the dressed greens. While the bird rested I whipped up a quick pan sauce. With the roasting pan across two burners on high I poured in a bit of white wine and a bit of water and let them bubble while I scrapped the yummy brown bits from the bottom of the pan. I finished the sauce with a little S&P and a knob of butter and served alongside the carved bird.
Oh, by the way, he could tell the difference.

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