This recipe (Barefoot Contessa Parties!) was amazing. I substituted (what else?) a rotisserie chicken for the roasted chicken breasts, and we used less than half of a recipe for dinner. It took me less than 10 minutes to throw this together for dinner. This kind of recipe makes me really excited for fresh, local vegetables this summer: I can imagine shredded raw carrots and lightly steamed green beans in this recipe to replace the asparagus and bell peppers. The dressing is versatile enough to work with any range of vegetables (or possibly even seared beef in place of the roasted chicken). The sesame oil in the dressing gives it a nice Asian flair, and I like to keep it on hand for other stir-fry recipes as well.
Tag Archives: chicken
This chicken (Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics) was supposed to be a whole chicken, cut up and grilled. As I made it, it was chicken pieces (thank you, Trader Joe’s) made in the oven (thank you, Minnesota spring winds). It was delicious. Not pictured: the chicken breasts that were still cooking in the oven, which were frozen after they cooked to be used in another recipe calling for cooked chicken.
This recipe (Barefoot Contessa at Home) wasn’t so different from the Chicken Chili, but I don’t mind an excuse to eat avocados and cheese.
Christmas Eve at our house is a grazing event, and always has been. I grew up in a clergy family and married into a clergy family, so we always have people coming and going at odd hours, and needing a little bite to eat on their way out the door, or after shoveling, or between toy assembling sessions. This soup fits the bill nicely, and it even made a nice Christmas Day lunch before the gorge-fest later in the evening. I like that it’s a little bit light and has lots of veggies in it, since I’m always paranoid about getting sick this time of year. The recipe (Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics) calls for making 40 meatballs, but I only made two dozen large meatballs, because the meat mixture was so sticky that I couldn’t separate them very well. They turned out fine, and actually didn’t take any longer to cook than the recommended time for the smaller meatballs.
You’ve heard of the famous French recipe, Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic? Well, this is just that recipe, halved, because there were only three of us eating that night, and still enough leftovers to make another meal out of it. This recipe made the whole house smell like garlic (in a good way), and it tasted fantastic.
Barefoot in Paris, pp. 114-115
I’ve made a white chicken chili for years, and was anxious to try out this version (Barefoot Contessa…..) for something different. I made a half-batch, which still turned out to be plenty for at least 8 main dish servings. As you’ll see from the photo, I made some mistakes. The onions were supposed to be chopped and not sliced, and the peppers could have been chopped more finely. I roasted the chicken breasts as directed, and when I started adding the chicken to the chili, it looked like it would be heavy on chicken (perhaps given the size of these particular chicken breasts), so I added half of the recommended amount. In retrospect, I probably should have added the entire recommended amount of chicken, or at least closer to 3/4 of the recommended amount.
All of that said, though, it still turned out well, and I would definitely make it again. My husband preferred this over the white version of chicken chili, so I imagine it will be appearing again in our kitchen before winter is over. The sour cream, as suggested on the side, was essential.
Barefoot Contessa Parties! p. 232
I’d never cooked capon before using this recipe (Barefoot Contessa at Home, p. 102), and I figured it couldn’t be all that different from a roast chicken. After all, a capon is merely a rooster which is… no longer a rooster. A gender-confused (or relieved-of-gender) bird. The capons are the castrati of the poultry world, so to speak. I purchased the last capon available at the grocery store, ignoring the fact that it was frozen solid. The packaging was slightly misleading in its promise that this bird was “ready to cook.” I thawed it overnight in the refrigerator, and when it was still partially frozen the next day, I continued to thaw it in a large bowl of cold water, changing the water frequently. When I was satisfied that the bird was sufficiently thawed, I set upon the task of removing the bag of innards from the body cavity. Really, why is this nasty little bag necessary, poultry people? I know there are some people who like gizzards, and God bless them, but why do the rest of us have to suffer through extracting a bag of them from the body cavity of the poultry we’re about to cook? Can’t they be sold separately? Or packaged outside the bird? Why? WHY?! (This process always reminds me of a Butterball commercial from a few years back, in which a woman was on the telephone with the poultry hotline, raw turkey in hand, saying, “You want me to put my who-who in the what-what?!”)
Apparently the capon wasn’t quite as thawed as it should have been, because it took an extra hour of roasting to get the breast meat to 165 degrees, the temperature recommended by the USDA for poultry. Of course, the sufficiently-thawed parts became overcooked in the process, and by the time the whole thing was done, I was afraid we’d encounter something like this scene from National Lampoons’ Christmas Vacation:
Alas, the capon was edible, if a little dry. Next time, I will thaw the whole damn thing before roasting it. Or, I’ll just make two smaller chickens instead.
This recipe (The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, p. 125) calls for two whole chickens, but I just use whatever bone-in, skin-on chicken I happen to have on hand (usually whatever is in the freezer from the last grocery store sale). It makes quite a bit of marinade, so if you’re only cooking for a few people, you could freeze some uncooked chicken in the marinade for another time (although I wouldn’t recommend re-freezing previously frozen, thawed chicken). This time, I used a package of chicken thighs, and it was delicious. I’d made this years ago, but had forgotten how easy (and good) it was. The picky toddler even ate some, and as you can see, we ate it with rice and green beans on the side.