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When the cat’s away, the mice will play…  It’s May long weekend here in Canada and T.’s away partaking in some male bonding over fishing. I decided to take advantage of having the house to myself and invite the girls over for dinner.. Or as my Trini friend or my blog creative consultant S. called it liming. Liming is a Trinidadian saying/state of being referring to hanging out with good friends, good food, and good drinks… My fur baby getting in the spirit of liming.

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Auntie J. always the bad influence!

While none of us were broken hearted, but I had tagged Dolores’s Brokenhearted Chicken a while back and thought it was a cheeky selection for girls night. Plus I wanted to make Ottolenghi’s Asparagus and Chive Bread Pudding which said roast chicken was the ideal accompaniment, so my dinner party planning was coming together nicely. As I started prepping the meal, I really began to think I should stick with tested recipes I know when entertaining not guess-imating measurement conversions – BUT if you can’t experiment on your friends who can you?!?

Now we’ve all seen disastrous on Come Dine With Me when guests are eating at midnight and I have to admit that is one of my biggest fears when hosting a dinner party.  While I will say I’ve never hit midnight I have probably come pretty close, particularly when cooking with my Aunt, so it is something I am conscious of. Overall my time management was pretty good, a little delayed but nothing major, we ate maybe 20 minutes later than I planned. I was aiming to have everything ready to go in the over when my guests arrived, when they arrived I was just browning the chicken. The cooking time on these dishes (35 – 55 mins) works well for entertaining, as you can set them in the oven having a drink and appy with your guests while they are cooking. Totally hands off till you serve giving you time to be a good host.

First step was the bread pudding since it had to set for an hour before cooking. This was one the best (i.e. simplest) Ottolenghi’s recipes I’ve made. I generally like skinny asparagus over the fat stalks but if you are making this I should suggest getting thicker stalks the thin ones were a pain to chop. This picture really shows how uneven they were, guess I shouldn’t chop and talk on the phone…

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Mixed 1/3 cup of butter, 1 clove of garlic, and a handful of fresh chives in the food processor.

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Terrible focus on the pic sorry!

Substitution note instead of feta I used ricotta in the layering the bread pudding and it worked really well. Once all together time to get messy and press the bread under the custard mixture.

IMG_0709I then placed the pudding in the fridge for an hour using cans of tomatoes as my weights.

On to the chicken..

IMG_0710I luckily stumbled upon guanciale at my local Italian shop this week, so I swapped out the bacon for this yummy version 🙂

IMG_0711Browning the chicken

IMG_0712Once the chicken is browned on both sides remove from the pan, add the garlic, stock and sherry (yes bought my first bottle of sherry this wk!). Return the chicken skin side up, top with the bacon and fresh parsley.

IMG_0713I cooked these at the same time at 350F. I started the bread pudding about 10 mins before the chicken. Then cooked the chicken for 35 mins, when I removed the chicken I turned the oven down to 335F to finish cooking the bread pudding for about 15 mins. Cover the chicken with foil and set aside.

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When you remove the bread pudding it will raised, but deflated as it sat for about 10 mins.IMG_0716IMG_0719Together it was yummy! The chicken was supposed to be served on bread so the bread pudding worked really well, it just didn’t look that pretty on the plate…

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Happy Long Weekend Everyone! Hope you enjoy some “liming” 😉

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