Monday, January 24, 2011

Last Night's Dinner: Spiced Chicken and Braised Endive

I've been tearing up the Food & Wine recipes recently. Early last week, just after receiving the February issue (which is jam-packed with genuinely appealing recipes), I tackled not one, but two of the issue's offerings.

First up, crispy coriander-spiced and oven roasted chicken, served on a bed of couscous with pomegranate seeds and pepitas mixed with a tangy green hummus vinaigrette:

This recipe came from the "Fast" section, which was F&W's own version of "Semi-Homemade Meals" this month (but without the forced tablescapes and partially drunk first lady of New York). The article focused on using store-bought foods as a starting point for more involved recipes. This one was impressively simple, despite the number of ingredients, but not because of the pre-prepped ingredient. That was hummus which is something you can make at home, but as a vinaigrette ingredient? I don't think so. That said, the vinaigrette was very good and I'll use the leftovers to dress a salad.

To accompany the chicken, I turned to another article - one that I found particularly charming. It's about the staff at a Madison, WI restaurant and their wintry activities (including broomball). The whole article focused on white foods, including a dish of endive braised in gin and orange juice. We like gin and I had some endive cooling its heels in the fridge, so it seemed like a date with destiny.

And in theory, right up until I tasted it, destiny seemed kind indeed:

Texturally, I loved the endive - it's soft without being mushy - and I really like the idea of serving lettuce as a cooked vegetable. Unfortunately, the flavor of the gin was just a little too bitter for me. I used Tanqueray - it's what we have - and maybe I didn't reduce it quite enough, or maybe I'm just sensitive to bitter flavors, but each bite was a little unpleasant.

Which is too bad, because I before I ate the endive, when I was just gazing lovingly at it in the dish, I had big plans to make this one regularly.

Later this week: a report on the weekend's rib-sticking beef and cheddar biscuit potpie (F&W November 2010).


theminx said...

I love endive, raw, with bleu cheese and a light vinaigrette, but it's so darn expensive! Giant doesn't seem as spendy as other chains; where did you buy yours?

I'm happy I finally subscribed to F&W - every month has several "must make" recipes.

Laura said...

The chicken looks and sounds great, though the hummus in the vinaigrette is an interesting idea. As for the endive, I'm sorry it disappointed you so. At the very least, it looks absolutely delicious!


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