Sunday Suppers

Happy January! I can’t believe that it’s 2020 and I’m not driving around in a Jetson style space car yet. I mean I love my mini cooper but my 6-year-old self thought I’d be zipping around the universe by now. Oh well, despite that I am welcoming 2020 with open arms and hoping that it’s a year full of great experiences.

 

The last month of 2019 was not kind to us. We had to say goodbye to our handsome guy Bailey. He got sick out of nowhere and went downhill fast. The vets couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him or what to do to make him well, so on Christmas we spent our last day with my favorite little guy.

I’d adopted Bailey right after I rented my first apartment 14 years ago so his absence has been really difficult for me. I decided I needed a project to take my mind off of his not being here, nothing big but something consistent that I could look forward too when I was having a rough day/week. Enter ‘Sunday Suppers’ It’s a simple concept, make a special meal to share on Sunday and maybe go out of your comfort zone when doing so. Andrew and I decided that we’d take turns planning and executing the meal so that the pressure wasn’t all on me. He’s a way better cook anyway. He can whip something amazing up with items from our pantry whereas I need a recipe, so I bought the America’s Test Kitchen Sunday Suppers to help me out. We have a million cookbooks but the pictures in this were just so appealing.

 

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We had our first Sunday Supper last week. I made a chicken bouillabaisse, a great budget friendly version of the original which contains seafood. We had most items that were in the recipe except for Pernod, which is a French liquor with an anise flavor. I never mind splurging on alcohol because it tends to keep for a while and I was crossing my fingers that that this dish would be a repeat. Andrew whipped up a pre dinner cocktail with the Pernod and it was delicious.

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The dish came out SO GOOD! The mix of flavors was so different from anything else that I’d made. It was definitely a dish that I never would have thought that I could make, but I did it! Bailey usually hangs out in the kitchen when we’re cooking so I found myself talking to him a bit while I was measuring out ingredients or dropping bits of garlic on the floor, (not only am I a crazy cat lady but I also make a mess of our kitchen whenever I’m in it) but that’s ok. He was a huge part of our lives and I’m sure I’ll find myself talking to him for the rest of mine.

Chicken Bouillabaisse                                                   Serves 6

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen                          Total Time: about 1 hour 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (breasts, thighs, and drumsticks, with breasts cut in half), trimmed of excess fat
  • Table salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large leek (white & light green parts only), halved lengthwise, rinsed, and sliced thin
  • 1 small fennel bulb, halved lengthwise, cored, and sliced thin
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 strip orange zest about 3 inches long
  • 1/4 cup pastis or Pernod (an anise liquor)
  • 3/4 pound Yukon Gold potato ( I’m a potato person so I used 4 potatoes)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon or parsley

Directions

  1. Adjust oven rack to the middle position of your oven and preheat to 375F. Pat chicken dry with paper towels, salt and pepper each side. Heat oil in your dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chicken until well browned on each side, about 5 minutes per side, transfer to a plate.
  2. Add you leeks and fennel to the fat left in the pot, stirring often, until the begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Add butter and once melted stir in your flour, making a roux. Stir in garlic, tomato paste, saffron, and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Slowly whisk in broth, scraping up any browned bits and smoothing out any lumps. Stir in tomatoes, potatoes, wine, Pernod, and orange zest. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. (at this point I started to work on my rouille)
  3. Nestle chicken pieces, skin up and above the surface of liquid. Cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Transfer pot to oven and cook, uncovered, until the breasts register 145 degrees and the thighs/drumsticks 160 degrees. This takes about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Remove pot from oven and heat broiler, I did mine on high. Return pot to oven and broil until skin is crispy and your meat registers 160 for breasts and 175 for thighs/drums. About 5-10 minutes.
  5. Discard orange zest. Skim excess fat from surface of stew, stir in tarragon/parsley, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with a dollop of rouille and crusty baguette.  Enjoy!

 

Rouille

  • 3 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
  • 1 3 inch piece of baguette, crusts removed and torn into 1 inch pieces. (about 1 cup)
  • 4 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup  extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Combine boiling water and saffron in a medium size bowl, steep for 5 minutes. stir lemon juice and bread into your saffron water and let soak for 5 minutes. Using a whisk, mash the bread mixture until a paste starts to form. Whisk in egg yolk, mustard, garlic, and cayenne until smooth, about 15 seconds. Are you ready for an arm workout? Whisking constantly, slowing drizzle in vegetable oil until you get a smooth, mayonnaise like consistency. Scrape down the down as needed. Now, slowly whisk in olive oil in a steady stream until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

 

Our first Sunday Supper was a success and now it’s Andrew’s turn! I can’t wait to share what he makes.

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