Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Annie Cooks

Two days running this weekend, Ann planned dinner and got it rolling! Somehow I got suckered into finishing both meals: maybe this was the plan all along, to get us back in the kitchen together? It was really awesome to have Annie back in the kitchen planning meals: it's been a long time and the last few months have been tough. I kind of like it this way: not having to worry about what is for dinner, just executing it.

On Sunday, she put a pork shoulder in the crockpot with a bunch of balsamic vinegar and braised it. I pulled and defatted the shoulder and defatted and reduced the braising liquid and it made pretty fine pulled pork. I forgot to get a picture of it: we were starving and launched right into attacking it.

Chicken with Artichokes and Porcini
On Monday, she decided to do chicken thighs roasted with white wine, shallots, and mushrooms. At the last minute, she decided she wanted artichokes too so she ran out to the store while I did some work remodeling our bathroom. Later on, she soaked the porcini and got everything out to make the dish when all of a sudden she asked me to cook it. I didn't want to steal her thunder but she seemed like she really wanted me to cook dinner, so I finished the chicken while she cooked the accompanying orzo. It was a great tag team effort.

The deboned chicken thighs are dredged in flour, browned, and removed to a baking dish. Then minced shallots and a bit of butter go in for a few seconds followed by the drained and chopped rehydrated porcini and halved artichoke hearts. A quick sauté is then followed by a deglazing with a little fresh lemon juice and a couple splashes of white Burgundy. Then it cooks for a minute or two and is poured over the chicken and into a moderate oven, uncovered, for about a half an hour until the chicken is done and the sauce has reduced to a good consistency.

This dish is pretty much identical to Nancy's pasta or shrimp that we cook at the restaurant, save for a slight few details. At the restaurant, this dish gets a lot more butter, lots of garlic, lots of parsley, and shiitakes rather than porcini.

It was delicious Annie. Thank you for taking the lead the last couple of days!

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