13 October 2011

bs, bacon, hash & nuts

To thank my folks for a lovely weekend at their place, and for buying all the ingredients for my cooking spree and for taking care of me for the past month and a half and for their 31 year wedding anniversary, I decided to prepare them a feast of a Sunday supper.  I even got the kid sis and her fancy fiance to join us!  It was truly a family affair.  Because I'm me and I love a good theme, I decided that our meal should be traditional and seasonal with a roast chicken being the main attraction.  Unsurprisingly however, it was the sides that stole the show.  Check out our festive fall family dinner -

the menu
roast chicken
wild mushroom & pecan cornbread stuffing
brussel sprout hash with bacon & toasted hazelnuts
spring greens with beets and crumbled goat cheese in a dijon vinaigrette

wild mushroom & pecan cornbread stuffing
1 loaf day-old cornbread
1 1/2 c sliced cremini mushrooms (or any variety of mushroom you like)
2/3 c chopped pecans
1/2 tsp sage
1 tsp parsley
fresh ground salt & pepper, to taste
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 c chicken stock (or drippings from the chicken roasting in the oven)
1. Tear the stale cornbread into bite-sized pieces tossing in an oven-safe dish with mushrooms, pecans and spices.  This can be set aside until you're ready to bake.
2. When ready to bake, toss with the beaten egg and chicken drippings until moist and well-coated.  Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until the top starts to brown and crisp.

brussel sprout hash with bacon & toasted hazelnuts
4 c brussel sprouts
1/2 lb thick cut bacon
2/3 c chopped hazelnuts
fresh ground salt & pepper, to taste
1. Clean brussel sprouts and remove the stems.  Chop into strips and toss in an oven-safe dish with s&p.
2. Slice bacon into small strips and cook up in a pan until crispy.  Remove cooked bacon from pan, reserving drippings, and toss with sliced brussel sprouts.  With the flame still on, toss the hazelnuts in the bacon grease until they begin to get brown and toasty.  Toss with brussel sprouts and bacon, grease and all.
3. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes until brussel sprouts are tender and begin to crisp and brown.

I find that the key to a perfect roast chicken, and anything else you ever cook, is butter.  Just keep basting that sucker with butter and juices to give a perfectly brown and crispy skin.  Also, fresh ground salt & pepper and a few cloves of garlic.  Any chicken you don't eat will make for a delicious chicken salad because it's going to be so moist and tender.  But until then, enjoy a perfectly warm and seasonal meal that will satisfy the entire family!  It also makes a great dinner party menu so give it a try and make  sure I get an invite.

festive fall family feast

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