Thursday, October 27, 2011

The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude. ~Julia Child

Well, I didn't intend to use two quotes from Julia back to back, but that's how it worked out today.

Chicken Legs with Wine and Yams.
Jacques Pepin - Jacques Pepin's Table

This was dinner tonight.  I pretty much followed the recipe, except that I didn't have the mushrooms that it calls for so I just skipped them.  I've made this dish a few times before and the mushrooms really are lovely in this.  However, I have usually made this with chicken breasts, as my husband really does not care for dark meat.  Today was my first time with legs - well, I actually used just thighs.  I ran into a little snag with them.  I'm used to sauteing chicken breasts, so I'm familiar with how hot to have the pan and how long to have them on each side.  This recipe called for browning the legs first, so I proceeded as usual.  He said to have them in the pan about 10 minutes, so 5 minutes per side, right?  But they didn't want to release from the pan  :-(  so I left them alone for a bit longer, but it didn't seem to be helping so I ended up kinda pulling them off.  Thoughts?

The ingredients and today's cookbook.

Here's the beginning.  (TIP: notice how I keep my parsley in a tall 4 C plastic cup with a bit of water?  I put this in the fridge with a loose plastic bag on top.  Cilantro gets the same treatment.  It stays nicer longer like this vs. just in a bag in the veggie drawer.)

Sorry this one's a bit blurry...I was holding the
camera way above my head to get this shot.
I was working with a Costco pack, so I had a little more chicken than the recipe called for.  I browned it up in two pans so it wouldn't be crowded.   

Here's the veggies waiting for their turn.  I could've used a bit more garlic and shallots.

Here's everything in the pan, ready for lidding up and braising.

Then I deglazed the stainless pan with just a little water and scraped up the bits.  I put all of that into the braising pan and viola! the stainless pan is most of the way cleaned.

Oh, almost forgot...if there's no one around to keep me company in the kitchen, I like to cook with music.  This was today's choice.  Seemed fitting for Jacques!

Isn't this little pyramid pot-holder thingy neat?  It's neoprene and small so it doesn't have anything to drag into the fire.  (I still remember once when I was little and my Mom used a dish towel to remove something from the oven and it caught fire.  All was ok - she put it into the sink and ran water over it, but that memory stays with me...)  I got a set of two at a Le Creuset store, but I don't think it's their product.

TIP: Bar Keeper's Friend is AWESOME stuff!  If you have that last little bit that won't come off, put on a little of this powder and a bit of water - scrubs up nice and clean!  They make it in liquid form, too, but I like the powder.  Some grocery stores have it...I've also seen it in Target.

For some reason, my sweet potatoes didn't get fully cooked in the braising pan in the time allotted.  So I plucked them out and put them in a covered microwavable dish and zapped 'em for just a couple of minutes with a little of the braising liquid.

So.  There it is.

This is a really nice dish.  I loved the legs, although my husband will be happier if I return to breast meat next time.  ;-)


1 comment:

  1. This was great!!!!! I use chicken breast and not any other part,but now I would give it a try.. Love that you pointed out that the potatoes take a while to soften. Some people would get nervous and just give up but you found a solution and shared it. Love the pictures in this blog it helps to have a visual.Thanks