Tuesday, August 18, 2015

It has been an incredibly long time since I have last posted about food.  
Imagine that: a food blog without food!

Chicken with Bacon and White Wine Sauce

But I recently found a dish on Pinterest that I knew I had to try.  This dish is from the blog Pinch of Yum.  I made a few minor changes to the recipe, but this is a fairly faithful rendition of the recipe.

Oh, and did I happen to mention that somehow I can miraculously eat chicken again?!  After seven long years of having to avoid chicken for fear of having an asthma attack, my allergy to chicken disappeared as suddenly as it appeared.  But hey, I'm not complaining!

After gathering ingredients and clearing the clutter off my kitchen table, I photographed my mise en place.  Our new organic grocery store recently had bone-in chicken thighs on sale for $0.88 a pound, so I picked up a package.  I had the rest of the ingredients on hand, so this ended up being an inexpensive, but elegant meal. 

Skillet Chicken with Bacon and White Wine Sauce
(adapted from Pinch of Yum)

3 slices bacon
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence
1 1/2 - 2 lbs. chicken thighs with skin
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons white onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup vegetable stock
fresh parsley, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat a large ovenproof Dutch oven or cast iron skillet over medium high heat.  Cut the bacon into small pieces and fry for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving the bacon grease in the pan.  Turn down the heat before adding the chicken.

Salt and pepper the chicken and add the Herbes de Provence to the flour.  Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour mixture and transfer to the hot pan.  Pan-fry the chicken for a few minutes on each side, until golden brown (but not cooked through).  Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside on a plate.

Add the onions to the pan with the olive oil.  Saute for 5 to 10 minutes, until softened and fragrant and golden brown.  Add the wine slowly, stirring to get all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add the vegetable stock and let every thing cook until it reduces by about half.

Add the chicken and bacon back to the pan and bake for 40 minutes, basting every 10 or so minutes with the pan sauce.  Remove from the oven when the chicken skin is crispy and the chicken is fully cooked (165 degrees internal temperature).

Rather than mixing the salt and pepper into the flour mixture, I prefer to directly salt and pepper the meat.  I find that the meat is better seasoned using this method.  The Herbes de Provence were mixed into the flour and the seasoned meat was lightly coated in the herbed flour.

The first step in the cooking was to brown the bacon pieces in the cast iron skillet.  I added a fourth slice of bacon that would later be added to a side dish of green beans.

After the bacon was browned, the bits were removed from the pan and set aside on a paper towel to drain.  The chicken was placed in the skillet, skin side down, and sauteed until brown on both sides.

The chicken was set aside and the onion was sauteed until soft and translucent.  Then the wine was added to the skillet and the fond was gently scraped from the bottom of the pan.  Next, the vegetable stock was added and allowed to reduce for several minutes.

The chicken and bacon were added back to the skillet and the pan was placed in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. 

Meanwhile, I prepared freshly picked (or not so freshly picked, as the case may be) green beans from my garden in the microwave.  After cleaning and cutting the end of the green beans, I salted the beans and microwaved them on high for one minute.  Then I added the bacon, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, a splash of extra virgin olive oil, a grind of black pepper, and half a teaspoon of white sugar.  The beans cooked on high in the microwave for another three minutes.

The chicken is ready to be served.

This was a delightful meal.  I can't tell you how wonderful it is to be able to eat chicken again!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Hiking and Great BBQ

Last week the Foodie Daughter and I took a trip to Ohio to 
I had visited this beautiful area once as a child and wanted to visit again, this time to take photos for my photography business, Photoscapes by Marilyn.  The Foodie Daughter was kind enough to go along with me so that I would have a traveling companion and a hiking companion.

 All of these photos were taken on my iPhone.

 The lower falls at Old Man's Cave.

 The Foodie Daughter poses in one of the small caves in the
Old Man's Cave area.

Old Man's Cave is named after a hermit who lived in the area during the Civil War.

 The upper falls and the stone bridge at Old Man's Cave.

 Cedar Falls.

 Another view of the falls.

In all, we hiked nearly six miles along four trails including the one leading back to Ash Cave, Ohio's largest recess cave.  The cave stretches 700 feet across and is nearly 100 feet deep.  It is 90 feet to the top of the cave, where a seasonal waterfall spills over the ledge into a pool below.

We didn't get a chance to see everything during this trip and hope to return, perhaps in the spring time some year, when the waterfalls will be at their best.

While staying in Logan, Ohio, we ate at a local BBQ place called Millstone BBQ.

The online reviews were good and it was just down the road from the hotel.

The place was busy when we arrived on Monday evening.  Despite that, we were promptly seated and given menus to peruse.

It took us a while to decide what to have as so much on the menu looked good.

 I finally opted to have the Big Bad Wolf with sweet potato fries.

This was a delicious sandwich, but the bun either needed to be toasted longer, or it needed a heartier bread, as the bun fell apart after two bites and I ended up having to eat the sandwich with a knife and fork.  It was still the best tasting beef brisket I had ever eaten, though.

The Foodie Daughter decided to try the Texas Trio, an assortment of sandwiches, along with sweet potato fries.

I've had BBQ in Texas, but this far outshone anything I had there.
I'd go so far as to say this was the best BBQ I have ever had.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Composing a Beautiful Cheese Platter

You are having company over and you want to impress them with your food and hostessing skills?  A simple place to start is with this beautiful cheese platter, composed a la Ina Garten, of Barefoot Contessa fame.

Ina suggests placing large green leaves on a platter or cutting board, then arranging three cheeses, one hard, one medium, and one soft, on the leaves.  Here, I used a red-leafed lettuce as it complimented the color of the grapes.  Finally, scatter grapes or other fruit around the cheeses, allowing them to flow naturally on the platter.  If you do have mixed fruit, remember to keep like fruits together, as that makes for a more pleasing presentation.  Provide a knife for each cheese, set a plate of assorted crackers nearby, and your guests will be amazed at your culinary prowess.  And you didn't even have to cook a thing!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

I'm Back!

After a long hiatus, I have returned to blogdom.  These past few months have been extraordinarily busy for me; as I have been President of the University Club at our local Big 10 University, I have recently started my own business, Photoscapes by Marilyn, and I ran for County Council. 

My tenure for office as President of the UClub is in its last days, and I was defeated in the Primary for County Council, though I am remaining active in local politics (politics: poli - meaning many and tics - meaning blood sucking arachnids).  I am still working on getting my business off the ground and am trying to turn admiration of my photographs into sales.

Now you are caught up with what has been going on in the Foodie Household.  It's good to be back!

Peonies from my garden.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Happy Birthday
Foodie Son!

Sniff, I can't believe that it was only 30 years ago that your father and I welcomed you into the world.
And I still remember the doctor's bad jokes, and the bad hospital food...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Photo from the Foodie Daughter

I wanted to share a picture that my dear daughter took while on our trip out east last month.
She's quite the budding photographer, if I do say so myself.

Brood II cicada on phlox.

The Foodie Daughter is proud of this photo, and rightfully so.