Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Roast Chicken with Stewed Winter Vegetables and Balsamic Fig Preserves

I'm a sucker for Thomas Keller. I buy his cookbooks (okay . . . James bought them for me), I dream of eating in his restaurants, I cook his recipes at home.
Yesterday while browsing recipes for dinner I came across the great chef's (and his brother's) recipe for stewed winter vegetables. I just happened to have everything I needed right from the farmer's market.
First I peeled shallots (I did about 4), sprinkled them with S&P and wrapped them in tin foil with 1/2 TB of butter. Those I popped into the oven (350º) for 30 minutes.
Carrots and parsnips are peeled and cut into 2 inch lengths (I made sort of batons about 1/2" x 2"). Leeks are split in half, cleaned and cut into 1" lengths. Turnips, quartered. All of these cut vegetables go into a pot with a sprig of thyme, 2 TB of butter, and 2 1/2 cups chicken stock. I brought the vegetables up to a boil, covered and allowed to simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile I boiled some small potatoes until tender, and when the vegetable were just soft added in the drained potatoes and the roasted shallots and seasoned to taste.
On the side -- when a Thomas Keller recipe is on the table everything else is a side-dish -- a quick roast chicken. I simply stuffed the cavity with garlic cloves, lemons and herbs from our garden, trussed, basted with olive oil, sprinkled on S&P and popped it in the oven for an hour and 20 minutes (I basted with more olive oil about 20 minutes into roasting) at 350º -- good company for the roasting shallots.
Thomas Keller was not the only chef on our table last night. Yesterday at work I commented on the delicious balsamic fig preserves served on the grilled chicken breast, and the boys in the truck were kind enough to give me not only the recipe but a little to go container. A little extra autumn flavor complements of our friends at "Off The Shelf."

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