The Julia Dinner

When I started my dinner last night (comprised entirely of Juila Child recipes), I didn't think I could go through with browning a whole chicken in one whole stick of butter. I gingerly started with about 3 T., then casually threw in another 2 T., and I'm not sure, but I think by the end of the browning stage an actual 8 T. of butter actually made it into the pot to result in some of the best chicken ever.

And when the time came to build the sauce for said butter browned chicken, I certainly didn't add the additional 3 T. of butter to the end result, but at least it was optional. I whisked like lightening, and was amazing myself at the lemon yellow yolks that result from even a minor hand beating effort. The whole time I was in the kitchen, I kept thinking how butter truly smells phenomenal. If you want to make a memorable dinner, by all means, use a whole stick of butter.

A good indication that the chicken was well received...

I was glad that I invited my in-laws over, or we would have been eating a buttery chicken for 2 days. The original recipe calls for a 3 to 3 1/2 lb. chicken, but the chickens that we get are usually much larger. Mine was 4 1/2 lbs. When my Mother was still raising chickens, she would have some as large as small turkeys. I don't know, maybe it's in the water out there. This was also the first time I cut up a chicken into 8 pieces. Considering I was consulting a book, I think I did OK. Note to self: watch someone who knows what they are doing, so I don't have to second guess myself again.

I think that handling a whole animal causes you to think more about where your food is coming from. I know that this chicken had a good life, and was killed in a humane way by small farmers who cared. Not only does it taste better then, but I don't feel the pangs of guilt that I know a movie like Food Inc. would cause me to feel. In no way do I support the mass farming of animals, that in the end results in company owners talking about "product"... in fact that really makes me angry.

The Ratatouille that is front and center on my plate (I think my company may have thought I was a bit crazy to be taking pictures of my food, so I didn't take too many...) was also delicious. Because I didn't have a smaller covered saucepan, I actually had to use my tagine, which worked out perfectly. After the dishes were done and about to be put away, I left it out on the stove thinking that it may be time for a tagine this week.

And the cake! I almost forgot about the cake! It was so good, I could not help myself from talking about it after every bite. Normally I wait a couple of hours after dinner to have my dessert, but we ate this right away. Boy-O ate his up in record time, and I made mine last so long, I could see my company growing restless.

All in all, I think it was a good idea to have a theme dinner, even one that had to revolve around a recent obsession. I hope to host some more dinners before the end of the year, and pledge to find a better way to take pics in a darkish kitchen after the sun goes down.

And because I had 2 egg whites left over from the sauce, I concocted a new pancake recipe which I will post after this one. Aces!