After a week of eating out, I was so happy to cook my own supper. I wanted something simple and healthy, but since it was St. Patrick’s Day, something a little special (and Irish maybe). Since I had the opportunity to go to our local farmers’ market (normally I can’t since it’s during the day on Thursdays, when I’m teaching) and buy a fresh roasting chicken, I decided on roast chicken.
The picture doesn’t do it justice, but it was quite tasty. I had some leftover beer from the stout cupcakes so I poured that in as the liquid (my mom and I both agreed that it didn’t really add a unique flavour) and stuffed the chicken with a lemon, cut in half, and a head of garlic. I seasoned liberally with salt and pepper, then roasted at 375 for about an hour and a half, removing the lid during the last 1/2 hour of cook time to allow the chicken to brown. It was very moist and juicy….I LOVE a roast chicken…it is comfort food to me (and thankfully one that’s not super-fattening, if you don’t eat the skin). And it’s great for leftovers. 🙂
2 of my sides were purchases that I made on my trip to London – rainbow carrots (aren’t they pretty?) and Israeli couscous. I roasted the carrots with a tsp of olive oil, cinnamon, cumin and coriander (YUM) during the last 45 minutes of the chicken’s cook time. For the couscous (I’ve been wanting to try Israeli couscous for some time now, and finally found it at the Bulk Barn. It’s little pearls which taste kind of like pasta, and are bigger than regular couscous…overall, I liked it), I sauteed some mushrooms and garlic in a tsp of olive oil, seasoned with salt, pepper and thyme, then added a bit of defrosted, drained spinach. I cooked the couscous in chicken broth (for added flavour) then added to the cooked veggies. Finally, for an Irish component, I made braised cabbage. I cut up some cabbage, then cooked in chicken broth and a splash of wine. My seasonings were salt, pepper, thyme, Dijon mustard, mustard powder and caraway seeds (I had remembered hearing that they go good with cabbage somewhere, and it even said so on the back of the spice jar, and as I was adding them, I was watching Rachael Ray on tv, and she was making a cabbage dish with caraway…weird, eh?). I liked the flavours in this…I’ll certainly pair caraway and cabbage again (caraway seeds are what give rye bread it’s unique flavour, FYI).
And of course, St. Paddy’s Day needed a special dessert. 😀 I had yet to try one of the stout cupcakes, so I used one as a base to make Irish sundaes 🙂 (my apologies if you’re Irish and reading this and thinking that I have killed your country’s cuisine :P). I cut the cupcake in half, topped with a scoop of the light thin mint ice cream I bought in Buffalo, a splash of Bailey’s mint and fat-free Reddi Whip (another Buffalo purchase). This dessert was a little more decadent than my usual guilt-free concoctions, but it was St. Paddy’s and March Break, so a bit of a special occasion called for something special, right? My verdict on the cupcake? I found it a touch dry (maybe because it was a couple days old or maybe because I cut back on the oil?), but I thought the beer added a bit of complexity to the flavour…it tasted a bit different that your typical gingerbread. And the ganache was really good!
Before I leave this post…something a little different (and not food-related). That’s the beauty of having your own blog….you can post whatever you want, and show off your own little projects. My friends Tracy and Lisa brought me this lovely bouquet at the Trop Swap last weekend (thanks ladies!) but by Thursday, it was looking a little droopy. Check out my bouquet makeover! By switching out the main vase, cutting down the flowers and adding in some little egg cups as mini vases, I had a whole new arrangement. It didn’t look sad and droopy at all. I love doing fun home things like that (and love having the blog to show them off)! I think Martha would be proud, don’t you?