Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Shaun's Special Birthday Menu

Happy birthday to my wonderful partner and best friend Shaun Daniel! Photo by Lindsay Wallace

 Interrupting posts on what we eat during the week. We sometimes make extra special dishes for extra special occasions. Shaun's birthday was a couple of weeks ago. We celebrated by having a special dinner together at home. The menu included: spinach salad with bacon, roast chicken, wild rice, creamy mushroom sauce.

We very rarely eat meat at home, and Shaun had requested that his birthday menu include some. Both the chicken and the bacon came from a small family farm in Minnesota, though I purchased it at the Wedge co-op, not directly from the farmer. This meal was my gift to Shaun, so it is not reflected in our weekly budget of $85. Many of the ingredients were more expensive than we usually purchase. I think everything including a bottle of inexpensive wine cost about $30, but we had leftover chicken sufficient for several other meals. It was a lot of fun preparing the meal together, and it is still less expensive than if we went out.

Spinach Salad
2 to 3 large hand fulls of spinach
2 slices of bacon
1/2 red onion sliced thin
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil

Roast chicken with creamy mushroom sauce and wild rice!
Roast Chicken
1 chicken
1 small apple, cored, and cut into quarters
1 onion, sliced
3 or 4 carrots, sliced
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp sage
1 tsp thyme
salt and pepper

Mushroom Sauce
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp cream
salt and pepper to taste

Wild Rice
1/2 cup wild rice
2 cups vegetable broth

The chicken before it went into the oven
Start with the chicken. Remove any giblets that are inside the chicken. Put the apple in the now empty cavity. Mix spices and butter. I just used my hands to do this. Pry skin away from chicken and rub herb butter underneath the skin. I try to get the butter mixture under the skin around the breast, because I think that is the part of the chicken that is most likely to dry out, and because it is easiest. I usually rub some remaining herb butter over the skin and put a little in the cavity. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the chicken. Put onions and carrots on the bottom of the pan you are going to use to roast the chicken (I used a large cast iron skillet). Place chicken on top of vegetables. Roast at 425 for about an hour, or until the internal temperature is 165 degrees.

While the chicken is roasting start the wild rice. Wild rice is a 4 to 1 ration so use four parts liquid to one part rice. It takes about 50 minutes to cook.

For the mushroom sauce, saute mushrooms in a little olive oil for 5 to 10 minutes. They are done when they have released all of their liquid and turned golden brown. Then just add the two tbsp cream along with some salt and pepper.

For the salad (not pictured) cook the two slices of bacon until crispy and then set aside. Leave bacon fat in pan. Add the red onions and saute in bacon fat until tender. Add all other ingredients and heat for another minute or two. Pour warm dressing over spinach and toss until just wilted. Serve immediately.

No comments:

Post a Comment