06 December 2014

table for two. and two recipes. or three.

these days i'm setting the table at about 4pm which is the time i'm concentrating on dinner prep. i look for lovely glimpses and i thought this was such a one so i snapped and shared. 

earlier in the week we enjoyed a roasted chicken* dinner with green beans*** and potatoes/gravy alongside. after removing the meat from the carcass i put it in the crockpot with some water, seasonings and vegies, and left it on the low setting to make magic, for about 24 hours. the result was a beautifully rich stock. and with that stock i made soup**. the first night the soup was clear broth .. the second night i added some heavy cream. both soup styles were fantastic. there's enough for lunch today and since it's soggy outside it's the perfect choice, along with a salad, for a rainy day meal. 

below are the recipes... 
keep in mind that the measurements are "to taste." i don't measure.

* roast chicken *

- good size chicken (mine was about 7 pounds)

- rinse the bird well then pat dry with paper towels. put into a roaster .. i use a clay roaster (top & bottom).

- drizzle with olive oil and massage into the bird. add a quartered lemon (2 slices inside the cavity and 2 out), fresh sage, one onion (also quartered), fresh cracked pepper, fresh cracked salt, and parsley. cover the chicken with the roaster lid and put into a 425 oven for about 1-1.5 hours. 

** chicken soup **

- dice some onion, celery, carrot.. now put it in a tall soup pot along with a bit of olive oil. cook it until it's very lightly browned and translucent. at that point add a couple cloves of garlic through a garlic press, along with about a half cup of dry white wine. cook that down by half.. the alcohol cooks out - the aroma and flavor stays in... whatever you do, **don't** use cooking wine! you will ruin your soup and be forever shamed. wink.

- add a cup of (uncooked) wild rice. stir it up and saute it with the veggie mixture for about 5 minutes.

- break up the chicken meat (we prefer white meat for soup) into good size pieces .. about 3/4 inch or so. add it to the pot.

- good stock (make it from scratch as i briefly outlined earlier in this post) .. drain the stock and throw out the dredges (bones etc). put the stock in the pot with the vegies. 

- bring it to a boil then turn it down to low and put a lid on the pot. let it do its thing for about 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so. 

- ladle into soup bowls and have a leafy green salad and crusty bread on the table. mmm.

{{{ if you prefer a cream soup, add about 3/4 cup heavy cream about 5 minutes before serving.}}}

*** green beans ***
{i made these on thanksgiving and folks seemed to love them .. made them again just for the hubs and me and we seemed to love them. understatement. nothing is better than  using fresh ingredients rather than canned or frozen.}

- fresh green beans, vine end removed, snapped in about 1 inch pieces. rinse well.

- in tall pot add about 6 ounces of bacon, already cut into small pieces. cook that up to a fairly crispy condition and drain. set the bacon aside. and don't nibble..

- add the green beans to the bacon grease and while the fire is on high, toss to coat well and get the cooking process going.

- add about 4 tablespoons white vinegar and stir.

- now add enough chicken stock (i used a store bought carton) to cover the green beans, bring to a boil then set the fire to low and put the lid on. check them every 15 minutes or so and stir. let it cook for about an hour or even more to get the green beans on the soft side. 

- when the green beans are on the soft side, drain all the liquid from the pot. add a good pat of butter along with the crispy bacon pieces, and fresh cracked pepper. serve.

today is saturday and with both of us home some necessary tasks will be completed. it has been raining a fair amount (much needed in this drought stricken area) and with the leaves still falling it makes for a bit of a mess. the hubs will be tending to that little job today. i've got some painting to do, and we both need to hit the lumber yard to buy wood for a project -- i'll share details at a later time. 

thinking this morning i'll put together a pasta dish .. and have it in the fridge until about an hour before dinner, at which time it will bake and bubble and our aromatic senses will be overcome with joy once the baking process is well underway. how 'bout you? what's on your table tonight? and what's on your agenda for the weekend?



Cheryl said...

Your recipes are always the best! Love the simplicity and the yumminess.

I love that you looks for little bits of loveliness and then capture it with your camera and share it with us.

Jeanine C. said...

This is such a pretty view of your table. Your plans for today sound similar to ours :). A Lowes run, gathering up the very wet leaves ( we got your much needed rain), a constructing of something for me to paint is on our "to do list." I am planning to use MMS Milk Paint with distressing and her Hemp Oil. I have been excited to use it. Hope it turns out! On the menu is a left over Tuscan bean soup (always better the second day), salad, and some crusty bread. Blessings of a day spent together.

Seawashed Living said...

Oh yes This is wonderful. We got in the routine of roasting organic chickens last winter and then making stock afterwards to freeze. One of my favorite quick soups to make with the broth is adding sauted diced mushroom and green onion in olive oil with a bit of garlic. Its so yummy.

Lovely table setting for two xxo

Anonymous said...

Lovely dining. Bacon, man makes all things yumm-0!!! Sounds delish. Weekend is to be spent with wedding shower, birthday party, and monthly church pot luck. Thankful! tammyp

Jeanne said...

Love the recipes..........
Your postings are always wonderful