Sunday, October 19, 2008

Diane's Menu October 18 - October 24

Diane's Menu October 18 - October 24
Saturday - BBQ ribs and soba noodles in the Rice Cooker
Sunday - Bulgur Pilaf with Moroccan Roast Chicken **
Monday - Weekly take out pizza
Tueday - Diane's 30 Minute Coq au Vin **
Wednesday - Roasted Garlic and Asparagus Risotto in Rice Cooker
Thursday - Curried Chicken Salad (with roast chicken leftover from Sunday)**
Friday - Ginger Pumpkin Bisque ** and Ham Sandwiches

** Recipes included below.


Bulgur Pilaf with Moroccan Roast Chicken


For the Chicken:

One 4-pound chicken, rinsed and patted dry
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 cup (tightly packed) pitted prunes, quartered
6 thin slices lemon, pitted, plus more for garnish
2 Tbsp. butter, melted (optional)

For the Bulgur Pilaf:

Generous pinch of saffron threads
1 1/2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup finely diced shallots or onion1
1/2 cups coarse bulgur
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint


Set a rack in the center and preheat the oven to 350° F.
Season the chicken well, inside and out, with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, blend the oil with the ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, cardamom, and cayenne.
Starting at the neck opening, gently press your hand between the skin and the flesh all over the chicken to loosen the skin. Rub half of the spice oil into the flesh under the skin.

Toss the prunes and lemon slices in the remaining spice oil. Stuff these into the cavity of the chicken. Secure the opening with skewers or toothpicks. For a very crisp skin, brush the chicken with the melted butter.

Set the chicken on a roasting rack in a roasting pan and bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted where the thigh meets the leg registers 165°F, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the oven, and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.

After the chicken has been roasting for about 35 minutes, begin preparing the bulgur pilaf; in a small bowl, stir the saffron into 1 tablespoon of warm water. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a heavy 2-quart saucepan. Add the shallots and cook over medium-high heat until they soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the bulgur and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the bulgur emits a faint toasted aroma, about 3 minutes. Add 3 1/4 cups of water plus the saffron and its soaking water. Bring to a boil. Stir in the salt. Cover, lower the heat, and simmer until the bulgur is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. If all of the water has been absorbed and the bulgur is not done, stir in 1/4 cup hot water and cook over a very low heat for a few more minutes. Turn off the heat, and let the bulgur steam for 10 minutes or until the chicken is done. To serve: Remove the stuffing from the chicken. Discard the lemon slices. Stir the prunes, almonds, and mint into the bulgur. Add salt to taste. If you wish, skim the fat from the chicken pan juices and stir them in.

Carve the chicken and serve each portion with a large spoonful of the bulgur pilaf.
From "Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way" by Lorna Sass


Diane's 30 Minute Coq Au Vin

3 boneless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
4 ounces pancetta, diced (I find it dices easier when it is partially frozen)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3/4 cup red wine
3/4 cup boiling water
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 medium onion, in large dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-4 ounces unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground pepper

Empty can of mushroom soup into a bowl. In the can place the dried porcini mushrooms crushed up in smaller pieces. Pour boiling water into the can to the halfway point and let sit to cool.In skillet (preferably NOT non-stick), melt 2 tablespoons butter over low heat. Add oil and onion and pancetta. Cook slowly, do not let onion color. Raise heat and add chicken and garlic and cook until all pinkness of chicken is gone and some browning has occurred. Remove chicken from pan. Add red wine and scrape up bits. Return chicken to the pan.Mix the cooled porcini mushroom mixture with the bowl of cream of mushroom soup. Pour over the chicken in the pan. Bring to a slow simmer stirring occasionally to mix all ingredients. Add the other 2 tablespoons of butter and let melt and blend in.Serve over rice or noodles. Garnish with parsley.


Curried Chicken Salad

3 cups diced cooked chicken
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1 can (8 ounces) water chestnuts, drained
1 medium apple, diced
3/4 cup halved green grapes
3/4 cup pineapple tidbits, juice drained and reserved
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup slivered almonds


1-1/4 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup reserved pineapple juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon vinegar
1/4 teaspoon lemon or lime juice
1 to 3 teaspoons curry powder

In a large bowl, combine first eight ingredients. Blend all dressing ingredients and toss with chicken mixture. Chill several hours. Yield: 8 servings.

Ginger Pumpkin Bisque
(from the Marsh Tavern, Manchester, Vermont as published in Yankee Magazine)

3/4 cup of chopped shallots AND1/2 cup chopped onions
OR1 large onion chopped
2 tsp. of grated gingeroot OR 2 tsp. ground ginger
2 Tbsp. oil
1/4 cup flour
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup apple cider
1 16 oz. can pumpkin (in a pinch substitute squash)
1/3 cup maple syrup (the REAL stuff...don't skimp!!!)
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1 cup whipping or heavy cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla(nutmeg for garnish)

In a 3-quart saucepan cook shallots, onions, and gingerroot/ground ginger in hot oil over medium heat till tender but not brown. Stir in flour. Add chicken broth and cider all at once. Cook and stir> over medium heat till thickened and bubbly. Sitr in pumpkin, maple syrup, bay leaves, cinnamon, thyme, pepper and cloves. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Discard bay leaves. Cool slightly. In a food processor or blender container cover and blend mixture in 3 or 4 batches. Return the soup to the saucepan. Stir in the 1 cup of cream and vanilla. Heat through but do not boil!!!! If desired, swirl cream into each servin and garnish with sprinkled nutmeg OR a sprig of fresh thyme.

Makes approx. 8 cups or 8 to 10 appetizer servings.

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