Roast Chicken with Naughty Bread Salad

August 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

The dish I’m writing about is well-documented in the blogosphere.  Google ‘Zuni Cafe Chicken with Bread Salad’ and you’ll see.  I’ve been trawling the internet for nearly an hour, looking for a blog post to link to that describes this dish the way I cooked it tonight, and I haven’t found one.  So I need to write one, because I hope you make this dinner, and I hope you make it JUST LIKE THIS.  This is essentially a warm bread salad –  Croutons of the Gods, tossed with warm greens and crowned with golden roasted chicken.

A little background… One evening last winter I cooked my usual roast chicken. On this fateful night I took the very good advice of cookbook author Dorie Greenspan and placed a few slices of baguette under the chicken.  The bread soaked up the juices from the chicken, caramelized, and transformed into crispy but chewy pieces of Nirvana.  It’s like roasted chicken skin, but bread.  “This is naughty,” my husband declared with a gleeful smile.  And there hasn’t been a chicken roasted in this house without Naughty Bread since.  Cholesterol, wha…?   « Read the rest of this entry »

Rabbit Stew, à la Rainier

August 1, 2011 § 1 Comment

My family spent this weekend camping near Mount Rainier.  It was dry and it was sunny and I was so so grateful for that.  I’m a reluctant camper at best, and a little sunshine helps a whole lot.  We packed  light – I was determined to keep it simple.  What’s better than a hot dog cooked on a stick over a roaring fire, really?   My one concession to complex campfire cookery: Rabbit Stew.  It sounds so rustic, just the sort of thing one should make when braving the wilds of  a National Forest Service campground (beetles and skeeters and pit toilets, oh my!).

I ate a lot of rabbit when I was in my twenties and just starting to get interested in cooking.  It’s delicious meat – flavorful but lean.  But something happened after I had children.  I think it was reading all of those children’s books to my daughters – ‘rabbits’ became ‘bunnies’…sweet lil’ bunnies with twitching noses and soft fluffy tails, hop-hop-hopping down the bunny trail.  What kind of mother would I be, devouring a bunny?  I assumed that my kids would object to cooking and eating a rabbit for dinner.  Well, I was wrong.  Turns out they think with their stomachs first, just like their mom and dad.  Heartless little gourmands. A few weeks ago they had their first tastes of rabbit and enthusiastically devoured much bunny.  Although, they preferred it if I called the meat ‘hare’, not ‘bunny’ while they got used to the idea.  So, now that I knew where they stood on the matter I was eager to cook rabbit again.  If you’re going camping this summer, or just like the idea of cooking up a batch of stew over your backyard fire pit, read on for some tips.  This technique could be used for any number of meat/vegetable combinations.  But bunny is best. « Read the rest of this entry »

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