Monday, October 14, 2013

Long Weekend

It's Columbus Day weekend, a holiday much loved by federal government employees and, I believe, Italians. I forget why, but I remember something about it on the Sopranos.

Saturday is market day, and I decided I wanted to roast a chicken, or some chicken parts. I bought potatoes, carrots and garlic at the green market, and then, on what was an unseasonably warm day in the WC, I headed up to the Greek supermarket, where I got some chicken legs and thighs.

I looked around for an interesting recipe, and found this one. I haven't roasted garlic in a long time, but I hadn't forgotten how much I love it. I used smoked paprika instead of the herbs called for, and I made pan gravy with flour, butter, white wine and chicken stock after removing the chicken, garlic  and vegetables. The results were very satisfying. It took about 20 minutes longer than the recipe suggests (it calls for boneless breasts) but I brought my meat thermometer with me, so I pulled it out of the oven as soon as it hit 165 degrees.

Yesterday, I wondered if you could make risotto with brown rice. I was on a bit of a whole grain kick before leaving, and had grown fond of a grain I rejected long ago when my parents brought some home from the food co-op. Mark Bittman told me everything I needed to know, and I made a version with pancetta and spinach. I crisped up the pancetta and set it aside; sauteed an onion and a cup of parboiled rice in the fat and some olive oil, and then added the crumbled bacon, some parmesan and chopped spinach after the rice had absorbed enough chicken stock to be ready for consumption.

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