11/10/2005

sunday, schmunday. this one's worthy of a wednesday. suzanne goin's sunday suppers at lucques might just be my new favorite cookbook. not that i've gotten my hands on it yet. but the nytimes' piece about it yesterday gave us a few recipes, all of which look great to me, and two of which managed to derail carla and me from my chicken pot pie plans. [aside: the nyt's food section yesterday may have been one of their best in recent memory, restaurant reviews and other bullshit aside. i wanted to make every recipe i saw.] instead, we made goin's devil's chicken with braised leeks. and maybe we should have read a bit more closely (or read the article and recipes, period): we thought this was going to be an easy, quick dinner. but no, even double-teaming, this manages to be time-consuming and requires lots and lots of pots and pans and dishes, with a multiplicity of steps that could very well be done way in advance, if one has the foresight. but god, this mustard-vermouth coating and the bread crumbs drenched with brown butter make this totally worthwhile: first, the leeks have to be softened in a pan and then braised for a while in the oven, steeped in stock. when we saw this come out of the oven, we knew the finished dish was going to be a winner. after the chicken is browned thoroughly, it all gets a nice coating of this mustard-egg-vermouth-parsley-thyme mixture. yeah, this one's an action shot. we were afraid that the crumb topping would burn (particularly because i have no idea what the temperature is -- ever -- in my oven. and yes, i have an oven thermometer. and no, i don't use it.), so we basted it a little with all the excess stock/deglazed-chicken juice-yummies, which doesn't look quite as impressive maybe, but yields some extra flavorful and just as crunchy crumb crust. i suck at plating. but don't let that keep you from admiring the glorious results of our wednesday-night sunday supper (i also threw in some lentils i'd made the day before that i'd adulterated with lardo -- because really, i can't leave well enough alone). i think i'm going to have to buy this cookbook.

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