Roast chicken and root vegetables; salad; tree decorating – 17 December 2011

D suggested roasting a chicken for Saturday dinner, while we decorated our tree. He looked up a method in Alice Waters’ Simple Foods book, and it was terrific.

He began by salting and peppering the chicken a day in advance and returning it to the fridge. Then he stuffed it very full of rosemary branches for roasting. He cut up root veggies all into about the same sized pieces: carrots, parsnips, turnips, fennel, and …. um, Brussels sprouts. OK, the sprouts are not roots by any stretch of the imagination, and the fennel bulb is above ground too, but they worked extremely well. The veggies are just tossed in oil, salted and peppered, and roasted. Fantastic taste!

We started with a salad of romaine, some treviso, and pomegranate seeds. I think D used sherry vinegar and also my basil & garlic grapeseed oil from Chateau St. Jean in Sonoma (bought at Ghirardelli Square).

We had a Sauvignon Blanc with the salad that was a gift from our neighbor T, and we let that stretch into the chicken course. Then with the main course we had a red called “Insoglio del cinghiale” the first word of which kept the etymologists busy for much of dinner. That one D bought at the Bowl.

We actually started the evening with eggnog (while decorating the tree), which R made with home-spiced rum and salmonella-proofed (slightly cooked) eggs. It was excellent!

we ended with a pumpkin mousse with candied ginger, also made by R – it’s a family favorite but we have not made it in years. a great way to end a fantastic meal!

{Written the 20th}

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