Thursday, October 8, 2009

Welcome to the gun show (she says, flexing) or are you CHICKEN?

Get it? Chicken?
Get it?
Enh? Enh?... I’m not funny

So um, yeah.
A little while ago, I met Caty (Not in person, on the twitterwebs). She is the master of Snack a very entertaining and informative blog that you should definitely check out. About 2 weeks ago, she challenged me to a blog showdown, a chicken showdown. I must say, I’m not feeling very competitive about this whole showdown, because a) I’m not sure how it will be judged and because b) I like Caty and I want us both to win, but I am very excited about the collaboration.
The recipe choosing process was a difficult one, I didn’t want it to be too elaborate to look like I was trying to show off and possibly set myself up for a horrific failure. I also didn’t want to go too simple and not really flex my guns. (hee hee) Tamales were a very close second choice, but never having made a tamale, the uncertainty got the better of me and I went with a braised lentil cassoulet thingie.

Ok so if I need to boost the competitive energy here, I’ll start off by saying ‘oh yeah New York, oh yeah?! Let’s go, you wanna go? Let’s go! I’ll wipe the floor with your chicken recipe! Montreal RUUUULES!!!’
Ok no, sorry, just kidding. I’m sorry, I’m sorry. We are both equally good. Please don’t be mad at me! (By the way, this is also how I discipline my cats.)

Speaking of cats, poor Olive thought that now that she's all famous, that there would be more fans knocking at her door

She's been looking everywhere! So I decided to throw a few pictures up on our blog of the littlest contributor.

Ok, the food. Right! Here's an unappetizing picture of 4 chicken legs marinating in buttermilk. And might I add that buttermilk stinks. Yum Yum. I marinated overnight.

There was a round of pancetta that I diced finely, I really don't need a reason to post a picture of pancetta, it's just a beautiful thing.

One diced yellow onion and a few (3-4) minced garlic cloves. There was also 2 carrots and 2 celery stalks that were diced, but not photographed.

I then browned the chicken legs in a hot, high-sided skillet, 2 at a time, and transferred them to a roasting pan and sprinkled with salt. I think next time, I'll remove the skins, they got a little too brown. At this point it's a good idea to preheat the oven to 400 - 375°F

Gratuitous shot of pancetta frying.

I then added the vegetables (onions & garlic first, then carrots and celery about 1-2 minutes later) After frying for about 5 minutes total, the vegetables start creating enough steam amongst themselves to start lifting the brown bits from the pan. At this point I added about 1/4 cup of white wine to help it along. Check out the gross stovetop. I really made a mess that night!

Once that was done and the pan was relatively clean under the veg, I mixed with 2 cups of green lentils (rinsed) and added to the roasting pan. Chicken on top, with many stalks of thyme. Then I added another 1/4 cup of wine and about a cup of chicken stock, enough so that the lentils are covered in liquid.

After about 45 minutes in the oven, it should look like this. Cook it until your lentils are tender.

And then I took it into a subterranean cavern to add creme fraiche... ok no, it's just a bad picture. We're still in the kitchen. The only thing left is to pick out the thyme branches.

And serve! It is is sublimely tasty and fortifying. I hope you can get that from the photo.

Well, that's my effort for chicken challllannngge. Hope you like! xoxox
Cast your votes... or something. (Nothing pointy though)


  1. If I didn't know any better (and if I hadn't read), I would look at the sequence of pictures and think that Olive had been diced up and soaked in buttermilk, especially since the 2nd picture makes her look like she's hiding from something...

  2. OH! The HORROR! It's about CHICKEN kyle! CHICKEN!

  3. Mmm, this looks delicious. I will have to try it to do a personal taste test!

    Bonus points for kitties!

  4. Olive is so cute!!! Your recipe sounds delicious :)

  5. Wow - this looks absolutely perfect.