connie came for a visit yesterday with three of her friends and i decided that was reason enough to cook. my lengthy boycott of chicken has finally ended, i think, thanks to a recipe we tested in the saveur kitchen for chicken salad a la danny kaye, from pepin’s memoir. it’s poached for some time in a liquid flavored with the usual mirepoix, and comes out all juicy and succulent. shredded and tossed with a vinegary dressing, it’s pretty damn good. i’ve also been obsessed lately with the idea of roasting, especially now that i’ve discovered that my oven actually works on all temperature (and not just as a ‘broiler’). i’d also been eyeing this recipe in a recent issue of food & wine, vongerichten’s chicken braised in riesling. i came home from brooklyn heights yesterday with two very heavy chickens (both purchased from the excellent los paisanos butchershop on smith st.) and way too much other stuff besides.

i’m kind of bad about following directions. somehow i ended up braising only half a chicken in a full bottle of lugana (not riesling, but white, at least, and dry. and certainly not the cup — or was it half-cup? — specified.). the mushroom and roux part i think i managed alright, but i forgot to get some cognac and used vodka instead to ignite the braising contents. i decided to use all the excess broth and wine to baste the roasting chicken, which turned out nearly perfect (a little pale around the leg joints). i’d stuffed the cavity with branches of thyme and rosemary, cloves of garlic and sage leaves. after the chicken was nearly done, i dumped some cut-up carrots, new potatoes, celeriac, and parsnips into the drippings and liquid.

using the leftover carcass of the picked-over roast chicken for soup today.


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