about face

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress

Categories: Poultry, Veggies and Sides, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on June 26, 2022 by Sandy Bergsten

It’s incredible how much family we’ve had visit. Literally each weekend another crew has come to stay with us. After two years of quiet isolation on the sixteenth floor of our Chicago apartment it’s been a welcome change filling our home with those we love. Each time it’ been a completely different adventure, and it’s remarkable how different everyone’s eating habits are.

The other weekend our son-in-law and four-year-old grandson came from LA. Turns out the father is on a keto diet. Ketogenic is a very low carb, high fat diet. The point is to drastically reduce carbohydrate intake and replace it with fat to put oneself into a metabolic state called ketosis. This meat, butter, cream regime is a one-eighty from plant-based fare that we served up the week before where nothing one eats can have a mother or a face.

For our first night together, I decided to embrace this change and prepare a protein-rich carb-free meal. The best part is that everything can, and should be prepped a day in advance, allowing 100% of my attention to be on our little visitor who just flew in from across the country.

For the apricot-glazed chicken make a marinade by sautéing a chopped shallot and tablespoon of minced ginger with vegetable oil in a small heavy saucepan until softened and golden. Stir in three tablespoons of red wine vinegar and boil until reduced by about half. Add a quarter cup of soy sauce, three tablespoons of apricot preserves, three tablespoons orange marmalade, a pinch of kosher salt and a few grinds of pepper. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for fifteen minutes. Allow to cool. Then place the marinade in a Pyrex glass measuring cup and carefully puree with a hand blender until smooth.

Place boneless, skinless chicken thighs in a large sealable bag along with the room temperature marinade. Gently toss to completely coat the chicken. Seal the bag, pressing out the excess air, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least eight hours, turning the bag over occasionally. It is best if the chicken marinates for twenty-four hours.

When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed heavy baking sheet with foil, using two overlapping sheets if necessary. Arrange the chicken in a single layer and drizzle with the marinade.

Roast the chicken, turning once, until deep brown, cooked through, and glazed, about thirty minutes.

For the parsnip puree with sauteed brussels sprouts peel and cut a pound of parsnips into 1-inch pieces. 

Place in a large saucepan and two cups of chicken broth, bring to a boil, cover with a lid and simmer lower until tender, approximately twenty minutes. Drain, reserve some of the broth for thinning.

Place the drained parsnips back in the pan with a quarter teaspoon salt, two tablespoons butter, and a third of a cup of whole milk. With a hand blender carefully puree until smooth. Add some of the reserved broth and a bit of heavy cream to achieve the desired silky consistency. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Place in a microwave- safe bowl, cool then cover and refrigerate. 

Remove the leaves from four to six ounces of brussels sprouts. Discard the small centers. 

Place the leaves in a large Ziploc bag and refrigerate.

Right before serving, warm the puree in the microwave, stirring in between intervals until heated through. Heat two teaspoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Cook the leaves, tossing occasionally, until browned in patches, 2 to 3 minutes. Add one tablespoon of water at a time if needed. Season with salt and pepper.

Scatter the leaves over the parsnip purée and serve alongside the chicken thighs.

Making a satisfying meal that allows you to be with those you love is magical.

post a comment

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.