As promised in my last post, I am going to share the meal I prepared for my female friends on Valentine’s Day. This year, I really wanted to make something decadent and yet something that felt like a down home Sunday dinner.
I recalled a recipe that Wendy Battles (now Plasse) shared with me and other graduate students at Yale back in 2006–Apple Rosemary Cornish Game Hens. I decided to modify her recipe a little and use a whole chicken and do a play on “beer can chicken” by roasting the chicken sitting on a mason jar filled with cider (the alcoholic kind)
Here’s the result:
Here’s the recipe for the chicken:
1 whole chicken
2-3 apples, peeled and diced
1 cup cranberries (fresh or frozen)–I used dried because I couldn’t find fresh or frozen
6 cups hard cider ( I was very liberal with my usage and I am sure I used more than 2 cups)
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 twigs fresh rosemary, left whole
2 teaspoons curry powder
sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
To create the sauce, combine the apples, cranberries, maple syrup, apple cider (2 cups), curry, and rosemary twigs in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir frequently, blending all ingredients and bring to a boil.
Decrease the heat to low, cover the saucepan and simmer, stirring frequently until the apple pieces are very soft and berries have been broken open and released their juices about 8 to 10 minutes.
To prepare the chicken, rinse the chicken inside and out (remove the organ bag first) and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fill a mason jar half way with hard cider and sit the chicken on the jar. Push the jar inside of the chicken, so that it looks like it is sitting on it. The legs will serve as an extra balance to keep the chicken upright. Stick rosemary twigs inside the opening of the neck and then rub the sauce all over the chicken. (note: it will slide off because the chicken is up right, but that is ok–you will be basting the chicken every 20 to 30 minutes with that mixture and some more cider as the time goes on, so it will get flavorful)
Roast the chicken until it is cooked all the way through, it helps to have a meat thermometer. You will gauge this based on how big your chicken is–instructions should be on the back. My chicken was about 5 lbs and cooked for about 2 hours. I basted the chicken every twenty minutes while it was cooking with the sauce that fell off of the chicken and into the pan and mixed it liberally with extra cider.
After the chicken is done, you will have to wait for it to cool before you will be able to take it off the mason jar.
For my sides, I made the Barefoot Contessa’s Truffled Mac and Cheese with a few modifications: (click here for the recipe)
I didn’t add mushrooms, cream sherry, or parsley. Also, I used black truffle butter instead of white truffle butter because the white truffle butter was sold out at the store I went to.
Lastly, I was inspired by my sister-in-law to make green beans and mushrooms sautéed in red wine.
Here’s the recipe:
1 lb green beans
1 cup red wine
1 package of Portobello mushrooms
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped.
1 tbsp. olive oil
I cleaned the green beans and removed the ends and then set aside. I used a large pan (or you can use a wok) to cook the onion and garlic first in the olive oil. Then I added the green beans and cooked them for about 3 to 5 minutes. Then I added the red wine, and soy sauce and cooked until the green beans were dark green and the sauce had thickened.
Here’s the final meal put together. Doesn’t it look awesome?