The feast began with a charcuterie plate with layers of cheese, prosciutto, salami, cornichons and crostini served with whole-grain mustard and glazed fruit. Grilled Radicchio Pear and Marcona Almond Salad with Citrus Dressing accompanied Roast Chicken with Bacon Rosemary Root Vegetables. Pinot Noir and Côtes du Rhône were the recommended wines. Butterscotch Pudding and Hot Buttered Spiced Apple Cider provided a sweet finish to a lovely family dinner.
Grilled Radicchio, Pear and Marcona Almond Salad
2 heads radicchio, quartered and soaked in
cold water for 1 hour to remove any bitterness
1 ripe bosc pear, thinly sliced
⅓ cup gorgonzola cheese crumbles
¼ cup marcona almonds, roughly chopped
Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high.
Coat radicchio wedges with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill radicchio uncovered until light grill marks appear.
Arrange grilled radicchio on platter with pear slices and crumbled cheese. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with almonds.
Makes 5 cups
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
¾ cup lemon juice
½ cup rice vinegar
¾ cup honey
3 cups canola or olive oil
½ cup water
Combine all the ingredients except the oil and water in a blender. Blend on medium to puree, then slowly drizzle in the oil. Use water to thin if dressing is getting too thick. Season with salt. Store leftover dressing in refrigerator for up to one week.
Roast Chicken with Bacon Rosemary Root Vegetables
3 Tbsp. Kosher salt
2½ tsp. chopped fresh thyme
½ tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
6 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
1 dozen fresh baby carrots (not bagged), unpeeled and scrubbed
1 celery root, washed, peeled and cut into thick planks
2 parsnips, scrubbed and cut into 2″-thick disks
3 medium turnips, peeled and cut into thick wedges
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into medium chunks
salt and pepper
6 small beets, scrubbed and cut in half
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
4 slices bacon, frozen and cut crosswise into ½” strips
Remove the excess fat from the inside of the chicken. Remove the wishbone, if desired, for greater ease in carving. Rub the chicken all over with the combined dry brine ingredients and place on a large plate uncovered in the refrigerator overnight. This will help dry out the skin and make it crisp.
Preheat oven to 475°. Remove chicken from refrigerator at least 1 hour before cooking to bring to room temperature. Place the halved lemon and the garlic bulb inside the chicken. Truss the chicken and place in a large roasting pan and rub the skin with 1 Tbsp. olive oil.
In a large bowl, toss the remaining oil with all the vegetables except the beets (if red). Add the rosemary. Season with salt and pepper. Toss red beets separately with additional 1 Tbsp. oil, salt and pepper to avoid discoloring the other vegetables. Arrange the vegetables around the chicken in a single layer and divide the frozen chopped bacon around.
Roast for 25 minutes at 475°, then reduce temperature to 400° and cook an additional 45-55 minutes or until done and the thickest part of the thigh registers 155-160°. Remove and let rest 15-20 minutes.
Turn off the oven and keep the vegetables warm while the chicken is resting.
Hot Buttered Spiced Apple Cider
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. plus 1tsp. cinnamon
1¼ tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. sea salt
4 cups vanilla ice cream
4 cups unsweetened apple juice
Melt the first 7 ingredients over medium heat, then allow to cool but not solidify. Using the paddle attachment on a standing mixer or using a hand mixer, beat the cooled combined ingredients with the ice cream until smooth. Freeze mixture overnight.
When ready to serve, bring apple juice to a boil. Fill each heat-proof cup ¼ with ice cream mixture and ¾ with hot apple juice and stir. Top with whipped cream, ground nutmeg and a cinnamon stick to stir.
Add rum or whiskey if desired.
Leftover ice cream mixture can be stored in the freezer up to one month.
9 egg yolks
1½ cups brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
½ vanilla bean
3½ cups heavy cream
Caramel sauce (see recipe)
Whipped sour cream (see recipe)
In a large bowl whisk together the egg yolks and set aside. Melt the butter over medium heat, whisk in the brown sugar and salt, stir in the scraped vanilla bean and cook over medium heat until sugar darkens slightly and takes on a caramel fragrance, about 5 minutes.
Turn the heat to medium low and whisk in the cream, pouring slowly. The sugar will harden but will dissolve as you stir. Stir until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and mix a small amount into the egg yolks before gradually adding the egg yolks to the hot liquid. Strain and pour into oven-proof ramekins.
Bake in water bath at 325° covered until custards are just set but still jiggly, about 55 minutes. Refrigerate until cool. Serve chilled, topped with Caramel sauce, Whipped sour cream, roasted peanuts and a sprinkle of sea salt.
2 cups sugar
½ cup water
1½ sticks butter
1½ cups cream
Combine sugar and water in heavy-bottom pan and cook until deep amber. Add the butter and stir until melted and well blended. Add the cream a little at a time and stir; the sugar will harden but melt again. Stir until completely smooth.
Whipped sour cream
½ cup whipped heavy cream
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup powdered sugar
Beat heavy cream, sugar and sour cream on medium high in standing mixer with whisk attachment until thick. Adjust amounts to taste. Should have a slightly tangy flavor and not be too sweet.
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