Happy Birthday Julia Child

It feels like I've been doing a lot of cooking in the last week. Even now, I'm trying to figure out if it makes sense to make "bagel bombs" this weekend. They sound delicious and pretty much have all my favorite ingredients - carbs, cheese, bacon, and salt.

I feel like bagel bombs would make me sweat a whole lot less than my "Julia Child Birthday Dinner" feast. Because, I'm not joking. I was legit sweating in my kitchen as the result of cooking slash prepping for a solid 2 hours. However, it was .... amazing. I should note that we did have prosecco and we did eat on a roof deck in the North End overlooking the Boston skyline .... 

So here's what I served my guests:
In deciding what I wanted to make, I knew I wanted it to be half Julia half Jen. Julia seemed to love a good roast chicken. Jen hates bones and carcasses. So I compromised by crafting a marinade and seasoning that seemed to resemble the Julia Child roast chicken. Plus while the chicken was marinating in the cocktail I made for it, I got a chance to do all of the dishes I accumulated from making chocolate mousse from scratch.

You can read about the mousse extravaganza here

So the chicken. Super easy. I'll even try to pretend like I know how much of each ingredient I used ... even though I clearly do not. I hate measuring and for some reason measuring for a  marinade seems like a waste of numbers. I really wanted to not waste a lot of time with my oven on and to get a nice "crust" on the chicken so I went with the approach of a quick sear in the pan followed by a roast in the oven. Using chicken breast might have cut down on some flavor you'd get from the bones .... but it resulted in quick cooking and an even quicker clean-up.

Most of recipes I saw called for the following: rosemary, thyme, garlic and lemon. But since I like honey... I threw some of that in there as well. In addition to the standard olive oil, salt, and pepper that everything seems to require.

Here's how it goes. Don't blink because you'll be done before you know it.

(Step 1) Mix up all the ingredients (garlic, salt, pepper, lemon zest, lemon juice, rosemary, thyme, olive oil, honey). The best part of this type of thing is that if you like honey.... just add more of it and less olive oil. You hate thyme.... well leave it out. Do your own thing.

(Step 2) Put the mixture in a ziplock plastic bag and toss in the chicken. Give it a good shake.Doesn't look like enough liquid? Well just add a bit more olive oil. See how easy this is?

(Step 3) I read once that you should try and remove most of the air from a marinade bag, I have no idea if this really does anything but for some reason it makes sense. So just give the bag a bit of a squeeze until you have most of it out, then toss it in the fridge for as long as you can handle it. I did mine for an hour.

(Step 4) Remove chicken from the bag and toss onto a medium-high skillet with a bit of olive oil in the pan. Cook for about two or three minutes on either side .... or until you are happy with the color.

(Step 5) While the chicken is in the skillet, get your baking dish ready. I was serving the chicken with some garden fresh string beans so I tossed them in the dish with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Shook them around with my hands to get them all nice and covered.
(Step 6) Put your chicken on top of the beans and toss in an 375 F oven for 25 minutes (or so). Your cooking time will depend on how old your oven is (mine = super) and how much you cooked it in the skillet first. 

And.... you are done.

Congrats on your Julia Child faux-roast chicken. You were amazing.

If you are lucky, your dinner guests will call you Julia... mine did and it was amazing.

Shopping List
chicken breasts
green beans
1 1/2 tbsp rosemary
2 cloves of garlic minced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon
one more lemon cut in quarters for the baking dish
4 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp honey

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