Monday, June 21, 2010

Midsummer Dinner...

The plan was to have dinner on the deck. I wanted to make something nice, but not overly complicated to celebrate the solstice and enjoy the early evening sun. I decided on a quick rice pilaf with browned vermicelli pasta cooked with a smoked-chicken stock for maximum flavor. I find that substituting chicken stock for water is an easy way to jazz up recipes. Making your own chicken stock after roasting or smoking a chicken is also a good way to make use of every part of the chicken – even the bones, skin, and other parts not normally consumed.

I rubbed down the chicken breasts in a mixture of curry powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. I then browned the chicken breasts in a little bit of rendered bacon grease. That's another staple that I like to keep on hand. It adds a nice smoky flavor and reduces sticking. After the chicken was a nice golden brown, I took them off the heat and began to caramelize some onions. Once the onions were nice and translucent, I added some more curry powder and some late harvest chardonnay. Late harvest chardonnays are sweeter and more like moscato dessert wines with a bright, citrusy flavor. I made a reduction sauce and then added the chicken back to the pan, letting the meat simmer in the amber-colored sauce. The chicken turned out moist, flavorful, and a nice accompaniment to the pilaf. With its bright, bold flavors, this was the perfect dinner to celebrate the season!

5 comments:

SueBeads said...

Looks yummy, Andrew! Hope you are enjoying your deck, your garden, and your flowers!

Janet said...

Andrew you are some kind of cook! I thought I was a good cook but not now! lol

moonlitfantaseas said...

is there any thing you aren't good at? seems everything you put your mind to you are very good at! multifaceted and multitalented as well!

Andrea Guarino-Slemmons said...

you can cook for me anytime!! man that sounds delicious!

Alice said...

Mmmmm, it looks wonderful! The bright colors are very fitting for the occasion.