Tuesday, January 15, 2008

picking up the ball

So we're 15 days into the new year and we haven't posted a single post.

Shame on us.

I know, I know, you've heard it all before...'we've been busy', 'so much going on'...yada yada yada. The truth is that we dropped the ball and have had a heck of a hard time picking it up again. There really has been so much happening that we don't even know where to begin.

The good news is that the condo is officially sold.

The bad news is that we need to leave sooner than we anticipated...and this is why our lives seem to have turned upside down overnight. We're trying our best to stay as cool as a cucumber but the truth is, there is nothing cool about having to move back in with your parents until the house is ready.

Yes, you read that right.

I think during those couple of weeks, this blog will either take advantage of the writers strike or all you loyal readers will become experts on Indian food!

So this past weekend, we started packing up the little things and it dawned on us that the majority of our freezer goods will need to be consumed before the big move. I knew I had a package of chicken legs in there and decided on the recipe below.

Chicken with olives, caramelized onions, and sage
Bon Appétit | December

2 3 1/2- to 3 3/4-pound chickens, each cut into quarters, backbones removed
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric or saffron
1/3 cup olive oil
1 pound white onions, thinly sliced
1 pound red onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 750-ml bottle dry white wine, divided
9 large fresh sage leaves
8 large shallots, peeled
8 large garlic cloves, peeled
3 bay leaves

3 cups assorted brine-cured Mediterranean olives (such as Kalamata and picholine)

Rinse chicken; pat dry. Arrange on foil. Mix cumin, salt, paprika, and turmeric in bowl. Sprinkle over both sides of chicken. Let stand while preparing onions. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add all onions. Sauté until pale golden, about 30 minutes. Mix in honey. Sauté until onions are deep brown, about 15 minutes. Turn off heat. Tilt skillet, pushing onions toward top and allowing oil to pool at bottom. Using slotted spoon, spread onions evenly in large roasting pan. Reserve skillet with oil.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Heat oil reserved in skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown chicken, about 5 minutes per side. Arrange chicken, skin side up, in single layer atop onions in roasting pan. Remove skillet from heat.

Add 1/2 cup wine to hot skillet. Let stand until bubbling stops. Add remaining wine. Place skillet over medium-high heat; boil until reduced to 2 cups, scraping up bits, about 9 minutes. Tuck sage, shallots, garlic, and bay leaves among chicken quarters. Sprinkle with pepper. Spoon wine mixture over.

Cover pan tightly with foil and bake chicken 30 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle olives over chicken. Baste with juices. Return to oven, uncovered, and continue baking until chicken is tender, basting 2 more times, about 35 minutes.

Transfer chicken, vegetables, and olives to platter. Serve with pan juices over a rice pilaf.

This is a terrific little recipe. I also added a few pepperoncini's as I had them on hand; we enjoy the spiciness it adds to dishes. The whole dish was super flavorful and the brininess from the olives added an unexpected complex flavor. It reminded us of sitting in a terrace in the narrow alleyways of Spain. I'm not sure if it was the saffron or the paprika that caused us a trip down memory lane but it sure was a nice getaway.


ima said...

Finally a new blog ! I enjoyed reading it allot, the dish you made looks so delicious and such a deep color to it, I look forward to try it when we return from our cruise...

Aimée said...

A move is never easy, no matter where you are going! Still it sounds like exciting times are ahead for you guys. Indian food sounds intriguing...

Annie Ruok said...

Great new post - I've missed reading them! This looks delicious - how many portions does this recipe serve? Your photos are great as always, I love the different angles that you use, they always look professional! Best of luck with the move - can't wait to see the new house when u move in!

Hillary said...

Haha I've been waiting for your new post. Jeeeez :) So how long is it going to take before you move into the new house? That chicken dish looks greatttt.

deeeeeeena said...

Thanks everyone!

Jenn - the recipe makes a lot fo I would probably divide it in half and you wouold still have leftovers.

Hillary - hopefully it'll be less than a month!