Someday we will make this work. The idea is to choose a cookbook on the first of the month and make ten things from that book by the end of the month. The broken spines of unfinished cookbooks litter the path behind us. When we didn’t finish the first cookbook I wrote “From the Cookbook #9 and #10: Shame and Scorn” and apologized for our failure to live up to our end of the bargain. Shame and Scorn Vol. 2 continues in that apologetic vein when we disastrously neglected The Silver Spoon. Not this time. Once is understandable. Twice might make you rethink the way you are approaching things. Three times is just the way things are. Sorry occasionally snooty The Provencal Cookbook. We just didn’t have the hearth for it.
For the record, we did make recipe #6 and sort of made recipe #7. Recipe #6, savory-stuffed chicken legs, page 174, was fantastic. The stuffing is made by sauteing diced chicken breast with leeks, shallots, garlic, thyme, and savory until the chicken is golden brown. Remove the stuffing from heat and, when cooled, stir in egg and a pinch of nutmeg. Remove the thigh bone from leg-thigh pieces of chicken (if anyone knows a better name for this cut than leg-thigh piece, it would be appreciated) and fill the cavity with stuffing, securing with a wooden tooth pick. Put them in a buttered dish and toss a couple of hands full of mirepoix, and add a bit of water and bake. When the chicken is ready, reduce the juices on the bottom of the pan and pour over the meat before serving. So good, and depending on whether you end up with a deboned leg-thigh piece (arghh!) that are more toward the chicken side of a chicken-morphs-to-game-day-shaker graph, relatively easy.
We were unfortunately to distracted with making sure our guest had everything she needed and convincing a five year old boy to get past his “That doesn’t look like the chicken I usually eat,” mantra (the key is to point out that eating chicken off the bone is the way Tyrannosaurus Rex would eat it) to remember to take any pictures.
We started recipe #7, tomatoes with hot goat’s cheese, page 87, but ended up adding so many things that we wanted to use before they went bad that I can’t claim an opinion of the author’s intended final product. What was supposed to be tomatoes stuffed with goat cheese, savory, lemon and butter became tomatoes stuffed with all of that minus the savory but with the addition of flat leaf, bread crumbs, kalamata olives, garlic, shallots, and a splash of white wine. It was good, but not really from the cookbook.
We paired it with a 2006 Hippolyte Reverdy Sancerre that was holding onto its last vestige of respectability. It drank well, but I expect that given another few months, it would have made a fine cooking wine. The meal was well received. My mother in law said “Wow.” My wife, who made the chicken said “Mmm.” My son said “ROOOAAARRRR! I am a carnivore!”