Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Stars Aligned

I cook three meals a day quite often, and usually there is something that needs salt or a longer cooking or something.  But not this time:  we had a perfect meal with my parents and sister last week.  I almost feel like I can't take credit for that meal because I'm not sure I could make it perfectly again.  How nice to preserve that lovely evening here on my blog!

We ate:
white sauce chicken, grilled to dark gold
baked potatoes - fluffy and creamy in the way of good potatoes
tender roma green beans with brown butter
cucumber salad with onions, rice vinegar and mint
fresh peach and blackberry pie

I'm not sure exactly how the stars did align, but each dish was perfect in its own right.  I felt really proud of myself, like I had somehow achieved "good cook" status, although unsure how I actually pulled it off (and on time, I might add).

And then my husband wisely brought out the homemade raspberry cordial with the coffee and pie.  It's there in the large bottle, next to Ben's "flower" centerpieces, which he likes to arrange and set on the table for every dinner.

White Sauce Chicken - recipe from Bill Clark in our local newspaper a few years back

3/4 c. mayo
1/4 c. cider vinegar
2 Tbs. lemon juice
1 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. black pepper
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. salt

Whisk together.  Marinate 8 legs/thighs in the mixture overnight. 
To grill, heat one side of the grill to medium and place the chicken, skin side up, on the side with no heat.  Cook for 2 hours without turning; the key to this chicken is looooooong (cooking) and slooooooow (heat).  The chicken will be beautifully deep gold and falling off the bones.

Updated, at Jeanie's request:

Raspberry Cordial
1/3 bottle white rum
1 1/2 pint red raspberries, washed
1 c. sugar

Combine the ingredients in a glass bottle, cap tightly and allow to sit for one year.  Great for sipping with dessert, especially chocolate.  A little cough syrupy tasting on its own.  We got this method from our friend Daryl, but all the other methods I've seen online and in cookbooks are more involved. 


Jennifer Jo said...

1. Congratulations!

2. So you never put the chicken directly over the heat? And have you ever tried making it in the oven?

3. Your kids sit beside each other at the table? How risque!

Jennifer Jo said...

The verification word for my last comment was "lardom." Thought you might appreciate that.

Anonymous said...

Goodness you have made me hungry, and I love the perfection of it. (I have yet to get a meal out on time, perfectly coordinated.) Good for you!

BrotherDearest said...

I expect my share of this perfect meal to be in a UPS box, post haste...

Margo said...

JJ, right, the chicken is over the unlit side of the grill. I haven't tried making it in the oven but I'd love for you to experiment with that and report back.
My kids sit on the piano bench beside each other when we have guests so their lazy parents don't have to put a board in the table. Otherwise, it's one parent per kid :)

Bro, you come and I'll cook! We missed you guys.

Christian - Modobject@Home said...

Oh yes, such a perfect and delightful meal should be rightfully noted and enjoyed! The white sauce chicken sounds wonderful... you cooked it on a gas grill, right? I'll be trying this recipe soon.

Ben's "flowers" are perfect!

Margo said...

Christian, yup, gas grill. Actually, I usually halve the recipe, but since we had enough people, I made all 8 pieces. I put them on the top rack of the grill and put my cast iron griddle on the main rack just to be sure the flames were not too direct (our grill is a bit old and undependable).

Deanna Beth said...

My first experience as chair of the kitchen committee at church was preparing a funeral dinner for 75. I felt very grown up and accomplished when it turned out all right and on time, as I imagine you felt.

Anonymous said...

Any chance that you will post the raspberry cordial recipe? I'm assuming you made it yourself. My family had a huge red raspberry harvest this year and I have benefited from the bounty! I enjoy reading your blog. It inspires me to do more in the kitchen. Thanks.