I opened Susan Goin’s “Sunday Suppers at Lucques”, a favorite cookbook of mine. What to do tonight? Inspired by my recent trip to LA, I defrosted an organic chicken from Iaconne Farms in East Hampton, bought two containers of English peas – because one is never enough, and a couple of Meyer lemons and kumquats due to my daughters prompting…and now dinner.
Split Chicken with Meyer Lemons and Garlic
5 lbs Whole Chicken
3 Meyer Lemons
1 Head of Garlic
Fresh Sage Leaves
Herbes de Provence
1 – Cut the back bone out of the chicken- you can do this with a sharp knife or cheat and use poultry sheers then split the bird for more instruction see http://italianfood.about.com/od/tipstricks1/ss/aa051505_5.htm)
2 – Zest the 3 Meyer lemons. Reserve the zest and juice 2 of the lemons.
3 – I rinse the chicken under running water and then “wash”with Meyer lemon juice.
4 – Mix the Meyer lemon zest, herbes de provence, sea salt, chopped sage and white pepper in a small bowl.
5 -Rub well into the chicken – both front and back.
6 – Chop the onion and 1/2 the head of garlic .
7 – Pour 1 to 2 T of olive oil into a small roasting pan – add the onion and garlic. They will be your aromatics.
8 – Rest the chicken over the vegetables.
9 -Place the roasting pan in a 400 degree oven – close door and immediately and lower heat to 375 degrees.
10 – Chop the second half of the garlic into chunky pieces.
11- Roast for 20 minutes – take out the bird, begin basting and sprinkle the chopped garlic over the bird. It is important to remove the roasting pan from the oven – close the door and baste the chicken outside of the oven every 20 minutes. Doing so allows the oven to remain hot.
12 – I roast my chickens for 90 minutes – the basting interrupts the cooking time but insures a juicy bird.
13 – When the chicken is cooked – the juices run clear.
14 – Tent the chicken and rest for 10 to 15 minutes. In the mean time juice the last lemon and drizzle the juice over the carved chicken pieces.
Easy Peasy English Peas with Kumquats
What shouts Spring more than English Peas? nothing! Absolutely nothing. Their season is short so cook them when you can. Traditionally they are cooked with mint and butter. But what about kumquats? The colors are so spectacular together – it has to be good.
1 lb. of Fresh English Peas
9 to 12 Kumquats
Pitch of Sea Salt
Pat of Butter -optional
1 – Slice the kumquats painfully thin – 5 to 6 slices per kumquat.
2 – Add to a pot with a scant 1/2 cup of water. Simmer on a low flame while you shell the peas.
3 – When the peas are shelled add a pinch of sea salt to the simmering water and then add the peas.
4 – Cover and cook longer than you think – about 4 to 5 minutes – the peas should still be bright green and not a bit grey.
5 – You can add a pat of butter to the pot – but I find them delicious as is. A nice change from mint and equally as fresh.
Green & Yellow Squash Gratin
Truthfully, I have to clean out my refrigerator and the yellow & green squash have to go into a gratin. This one is easy and very light – using milk and a tablespoon of flour instead of cream. Honestly if I had the cream, I would have used it – but cooking in the moment is my best at – so here goes.
2 Yellow Squash
2 Green Squash
1 T of Unsalted Butter
1/2 cup of Grated Parmesan Cheese
3/4 cup of Low Fat Milk
1 T Flour
Pitch of Salt
1- Slice the green & yellow squash on a long slim diagonal.
2 – Butter a gratin dish with 1/2 the butter.
3 – Layer the squash alternating with a layer of grated parmesan cheese.
4 – when finished, wish the milk, flour, salt, white pepper, and nutmeg in a bowl and pour over the gratin.
5 – Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes – when the top is golden.
6 – Lets cool for 5 minutes and slice into serving pieces with a sharp knife and serve with an off set spatula.