Posts tagged ‘chicken’

October 13, 2011

Truffled Mushroom Risotto with Chicken Confit

Fall has definitely arrived here in the Pacific Northwest and despite my love for the sun, I am excited for fall to be here.  There is a nice crispness to the air and it’s time for some hearty, warming meals.  I wanted to surprise Margie with a nice dinner and knowing her love for mushrooms and risotto, I mixed these two recipes together to make a really nice fall/winter meal.  It actually came out much better than I had hoped and was really decadent.

Truffled Mushroon Risotto with Chicken Confit

This dinner is not for the faint of heart.  I’m not going to lie…this is not a healthy dish, but it sure is outstanding.  I had not previously done much “confit-ing”, so it was a lot of fun trying a new technique.

Confit – is a generic term for various kinds of food that have been immersed in a substance for both flavor and preservation. Sealed and stored in a cool place, confit can last for several months. Confit is one of the oldest ways to preserve food, and is a speciality of southwestern France

The slow cooking really makes the chicken moist and tender and the smell that permeates the house is amazing.  This rich meal is easily now in my top 10 favorite decadent meals.  It is worth all the effort and time involved in cooking.

Chicken Confit

1   whole chicken, divided into 7 parts

2-2.5 cups duck fat

5 cloves  garlic, smashed

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.  Place rinsed, dried and chicken in a glass baking dish.  Season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle garlic over chicken.  Cover chicken completely with duck fat.

Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 4-5 hours.

Remove chicken from liquid duck fat.   The chicken can be pan seared for crisping or preserved for a later meal.

chicken in duck fat after an couple hours in the oven at low temp

after the 4-5 hours in the oven, I quickly browned the chicken in a frying pan before serving

Risotto with Leeks, Shiitake Mushrooms, and Truffles

Gabriel Rucker of Le Pigeon in Portland, OR, published in Bon Appetit

Yield: Makes 6-8 first-course servings

Leeks:

2 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), halved, thinly sliced crosswise (about 2 cups)

3/4 cup whipping cream

Mushrooms:

1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, cut into 1/4- to 1/3-inch-thick slices

1 large onion, halved, thinly sliced lengthwise

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted

1 tablespoon white truffle oil

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves

Risotto:

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, divided

1 large onion, chopped

1 1/2 cups arborio rice or medium-grain white rice

1/2 cup dry white wine

5 cups (or more) hot vegetable broth

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons shaved or chopped black truffle (you can also use truffle oil, which is what I did when I made it)

Chopped fresh parsley

For leeks:

Bring leeks and cream to boil in heavy medium saucepan. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until leeks are tender and cream is thick, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Re-warm before continuing.

For mushrooms:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss all ingredients on rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until mushrooms are tender and light brown around edges, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

mushroom mixture before roasting

For risotto:

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add rice; stir 1 minute. Add wine and stir until almost all liquid is absorbed, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup hot broth. Simmer until broth is almost absorbed, stirring often, about 4 minutes. Add more broth, 1 cup at a time, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding next and stirring often, until rice is tender and mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes longer. Stir in leek mixture, mushroom mixture, remaining 2 tablespoons butter, cheese, and truffle. Transfer to large bowl, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.

Top risotto with a piece of browned chicken confit.

Truffled Mushroom Risotto w/ Chicken Confit

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August 26, 2011

Roughin’ it!

Expeditions can take you many places.  You can journey to a far off place.  You can find yourself trying a new cuisine or preparation.  In this case, Margie and I journeyed to Hosmer Lake in Central Oregon to go camping and enjoy the bounty of outdoor opportunity that Oregon provides.  Margie is still relatively new to the “camping” thing and we are still sorting out just how much we “rough it” in the great outdoors.  I like to keep things simple and pack fairly lightly for overnight camping trips, while Margie still enjoys the comforts of a very nicely padded sleeping surface.  We both agree, however, that there is no reason camping food has to suffer at all.  We take a lot of pride in our meals while camping. With a little extra forethought and planning anyone can still make some tasty (some might even say fancy) meals with simple camp cookware.

On this particular three day camping trip, we were well equipped with plenty of food and beverage for our expedition into the great outdoors.  The car was filled to the brim and we were off to enjoy ourselves and do a little fly fishing, relaxing, and mostly just escaping from the normal day to day life.  In past camping trips, we have been known to make such meals as chicken or beef fajitas, or fish tacos, or steak and potatoes.  All very good camping meals, by the way, and not all that difficult to prepare and cook outdoors.  On this particular trip, we were going to make Pesto Linguine with Sauteed Chicken and Artichokes.

First things first….a little wine.

Nothing but the best while camping 😉

Laugh all you want, but it’s not as bad as you think.  Wine Spectator agrees….they gave it a whopping 87 points.  More than you would have guessed, huh?

This meal isn’t about making every component ourselves or even using the freshest, hand selected ingredients.  It’s more like what one would make at home for a convenient, but enjoyable weeknight meal.  We purchased dried pasta, pre-made pesto sauce, canned artichoke hearts, and pre-shredded parmesan cheese.  We weren’t quite ready to go all Pilgrim and make all that out there.  Perhaps at a later time…

The chicken was one component that we spent more time with.  The chicken was cut into smaller pieces to make it cook faster and also to give more surface area for the spices to adhere to.  I like spiced up food!  After marinating the chicken for awhile, it was time to cook.

Since the meal really is simple, i’m not going to spend time talking through each step.  We got a late start that evening on cooking, so you will notice that it started out nice and light, but by the time everything was ready to eat, we had lanterns going and were squinting to see our food!

Uh oh! It's getting kinda dark out.

Yes, that is a camping wine glass!

Almost ready!

It may not be the prettiest meal we have ever made, but on this night in this place, it tasted REALLY GOOD!  We’re pretty certain our meal was the best in the campground that night!  For us, the extra effort to cook fun and unusual camping food is enjoyable and it makes the trip even more memorable.

Does anyone else have some favorite camping meals that they want to share?  We are looking for new meals to try on the next trip…