ANECDOTE 010: January 21, 2007
Thinly Coated Thigh Chicken with Drumstick
Castle Chicken with Mashed Potato Moat Broth
I wanted to thank you for the gift, for the bottle of infused
I've cooked with the vinegar twice--a variation on the
same chicken dish. The ingredients were: flour, olive oil,
filtered water, infused white vinegar (with rosemary, oregano
and hot chili pepper), chicken (thigh/drumstick parts, or
leg quarter butchered), onion (yellow, cut in large triangles),
carrot (shaved), tomato (chunky), black pepper (freshly
twisted), and sea salt (ground).
When preparing the first version (Thinly Coated Thigh
Chicken with Drumstick), I started with the flour and
olive oil, then I added the vinegar. After, the flour and
liquids began to congeal, I made sure that I had at least
twenty-four ounces of roux before I put in the thighs and
drumsticks. I kept filtered water, vinegar, and olive oil
available for trickling to make sure that the roux didn't
The preparation of this dish was very interactive. I'm
used to cooking with cast-iron, but now I'm using a much
thinner sauté pan, which makes scorching a problematic
that I have to figure in by adjusting the burner's flame
in relation to the bubbling dryness that occurs more quickly.
Once the chicken was cooked, about three-quarters through,
I removed the pieces and added the onion, carrots, twisted
pepper and ground sea salt.
Simmering under low heat, I stirred the sauce pouring in
filtered water, vinegar and olive oil until the thickening
thinly coated the spoon. (I made sure that the olive oil
did not pool within the sauce as well as made sure that
the sauce did not get too vinegary.) Then I returned
the chicken pieces to the pan. I placed the tomatoes into
the pan one minute before the chicken was completely cooked,
and the viscous coated the pieces. I turned off the
burner, covered the pan, and let the food sit, allowing
the tomatoes to gently soften.
Accompanying the meal was some kiwi and cantaloupe, and
a bottle of mineral water. If I had planned ahead, I would've
had a baguette with butter (or slightly warmed brie)--nevertheless,
yummy as is: GLORIOUS!!!
The previous week, I had made some killer mashed potatoes
with leeks. I had plenty leftover. To rid myself of this
abundance, I created the second version: Castle Chicken
with Mashed Potato Moat Broth.
By the way, the ingredients for the mashed potatoes were:
potatoes (boiled, cooled, and pealed), leeks (bulb/root
sliced thread-like), butter, and milk.
First, I milled the potatoes. Second, I sautéed
the leeks with the butter and dribbles of milk until silky
(no bubbles, please). Then, I added the milled potatoes
by the spoonful, and discretely poured in more milk to maintain
silkiness. I used more butter, as needed, to prevent the
potatoes from sticking to the pan. I mashed, stirred, mashed,
and stirred with a firm whisk.
The mashed potatoes were the base starch of the meal. So,
I excluded the flour. Because the potatoes already had leeks,
I substituted the onion with leeks (thickly slivered). Yes,
more. Oh yeah, I increased the amount of dried oregano,
basil, and hot crushed pepper to offset the density of the
potatoes. I also made sure that there were plenty of juices
reserved from the chicken, the vinegar, olive oil, carrots,
leeks, and tomato to create the moat, a watery gravy
(with bits) for the castle: the chicken placed
atop the mashed potatoes in a shallow bowl.
This version was eaten without any additional fruit or
vegetable on the side.
Both versions were seasonal. The first version was sentimentally
Spring; while the second, comfortably Fall.
Wine recommendation: I would drink a Soave with the first,
a Chardonnay with the second. Perhaps my wine pairings have
something to do with the starchiness of the ingredients-and
then there is the swash factor: the contexture
of mealy-mouth. When chewing, some people like a sticky
roux to paste the tongue and inner cheek, while others like
the rubble/residue remaining from the mash. The sip of wine
moistens the mealy into a swash that relaxes the nasal passage
and subtly intensifies the sniffle in between the chews,
thus enhancing the flavor.
Me, my preference is mineral water; the swash aggrandizes
the flavor without distracting from the ingredients. Mineral
water is such a catalyst.
Anyhow, without the infused vinegar [insert brand name
here], these recipes would have not been made possible.
Thanks again, Meme.