Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Chicken & Gravy with Glazed Carrots and Mashed Potatoes

Since we both had the day off today, I decided to put a little more effort into dinner than I have been able to lately. Brought out a bottle of our red wine to accompany it too!

We took one of our huge chickens out of the freezer on Monday in preparation. When I say huge I mean.....

Jason was in charge of the chicken, as he always is. Since my 9 year stint as a strict vegetarian, I have never felt fully comfortable cooking meat.  I don't think he made any sort of rub this time - just put it in the oven au natural. He also made his delicious gravy. To go along with the chicken, I boiled some potatoes (still from our garden!) and mashed those up. I found this recipe for Balsamic Butter Glazed Baby Carrots on RecipeZaar and gave it a shot:

Balsamic Butter Glazed Carrots

1 (1 lb) bag baby carrot
2 cups water
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2/3 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter (margerine)
2/3 teaspoon minced thyme
2/3 teaspoon tarragon (didn't have any of this)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 Combine carrots and 2 cups water in the dutch oven. Bring to a boil over medium high heat; reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes or until crisp tender.
2 Drain carrots and keep warm.
3 Cook balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium high heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half.
4 Stir in brown sugar and butter until smooth.
5 Pour vinegar mixture over warm carrots, toss to coat.
6 Stir in thyme, tarragon and salt and pepper.
7 Serve immediately.

For dessert, I wanted to try out my new beautiful ramekins! Here they are before going in the oven:

I found a fairly simple recipe for Chocolate Lava Cake and tried it out:

Chocolate Lava Cake

Ingredients (4 people):
6 oz. Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate (or use your favorite 70% dark chocolate bar)
6 oz. Butter (diced, room temperature) (I actually used butter!)
3 Eggs
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1/3 cup Flour
Butter for Ramekins (I just sprayed vegetable oil)

How to Make It:
Preheat oven to 350°F
1. Melt chocolate on low flame in a bain-marie (double boiler). When melted, take of flame, and… (I put it in the microwave. I'm so fancy.)
2. Stir in diced butter, until it melts.
3. In another bowl, beat eggs and sugar, until it starts to whiten.
4. Stir in melted chocolate and then the flour.
5. Butter 4 individual ramekins, and pour in chocolate batter.
6. Cook for about 10 minutes. (Closer to 20 in our fantastic oven)
7. Tip ramekins upside down onto dessert plates and serve. (Perhaps wait about 5-10 minutes before doing this)
VoilĂ !

I tried to capture the inside oozing out as best I could:

As you know, I'm not a chocolate fan. Once Jason was finished his, he happily moved onto mine:

MY REVIEW: Great dinner! We've been having lots of macaroni and perogies lately. The carrots had a nice flavor but they looked kind of dirty. I guess that's not a big deal if the flavors there. Potatoes were great and chicken nice and moist. If you like chocolate, you must try the lava cake. Very rich and gooey and warm.

JASONS REVIEW: Effin' fantastic. The lava cakes blew my mind.

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