Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pollo en Salsa

This is translated by the cookbook as Chicken in Sauce, in a manner somewhat reminiscient of the BF's father. Said father was an imposing, red-faced gentleman with a wicked sense of humor who once told an unsuspecting lady from Texas that he was the British Ambassador to Pakistan. What's more, he had the presence to carry it off, so much so that the woman when chatting with my mother, told her she had just met the most interesting man, and pointed him out. To which my mother responded, "Don't be ridiculous. That's my husband. He's never been to Pakistan in his life."
Anyhow, my father would use cognates to translate straight from French into English, irregardless of the meaning. I found this hilarious, and chicken in sauce reminds me of something he would say.
Anyhow, BF's son and fiance came to dinner, so I made chicken in sauce. This recipe takes a while. It isn't hard, like making pastry, or fussy, like making egg based sauces, but it does have several steps and ends up with a sink full of dirty dishes. First you take your largish chicken, season it inside and out with salt and pepper, and annoint it with olive oil. Then you bake it for 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven whilst going to the next step, or walking the dog, as the case may be.
Back from your dog walk, you chop up 4 carrots, 2 scallions, three ribs of celery, one onion and two cloves of garlic, and sprinkle it around the chicken in the baking dish and pour a half a cup of red wine over the whole thing. Then you stick it back into the oven after turning down the temperature to 325.
After an hour and a half of chatting, I went back into the kitchen and removed the chicken from the oven. There was a confab over whether or not this chicken was sufficiently cooked. The little plastic tab that acts as the thermometer had not poked out. However, when the BF stabbed the breast of the chicken with a fork, the juices ran clean. I said it was cooked. Son and husband resorted to a meat thermometer stuck into the breast. Not cooked was the verdict. Back it went into the oven for further cooking while I dealt with the vegetables that had been roasting under the chicken.
These were to be spooned out of the roasting pan, and pureed in the mixer. So they were, making a greenish puree that I set aside to cut a large red pepper into strips and fry in a quarter cup of butter, along with 3/4 of a pound of sliced mushrooms and a jar of black olives. Then, back to the puree, which was supposed to have a half a cup of red wine and 1 1/4 cup of chicken broth added, and then thickened with 3 tablespoons of flour.
Because of daughter's diet, which has been amazingly effective in improving her general well-being, I skipped the red wine, used vegetable broth, and thickened the whole thing with corn starch, which seemed to work just fine. So, that was chicken in sauce, or roast chicken with vegetables and sauce.

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