Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Last Supper

Note that my title is not at all a religious reference but rather a reference to the fact that I will probably not be making any big dinners or feasts or posting about them between now and the end of the month.

After seeing the photo and reading about Zen Chef's Roast Chicken w/ Ginger and Soy-Whiskey Glaze, I decided I had to make it. First of all it looked great and secondly I thought this might be a meal my husband would actually like. He doesn't eat any seafood or 97% of vegetables or a lot of the different sauces but he loves chicken and is inclined to like Asian inspired flavors and cuisine. So I thought this would be a sure-fire winner. So LAST Sunday (haven't had time to upload or post) I made it.

Browning this baby in a pan first was HARD! Trying to turn it with the normal-size tongs I have and a large fork was really tricky.

My bird seemed to get REALLY brown! And was not as golden or beautiful as the Zen master. But then again he does do this for a living so maybe his should be better. The above is the only shot of the whole chicken because the kids were running around and crying for dinner. Paul was getting testy and telling me I wasn't watching the kids. Well I WAS making dinner for pete's sake! He wanted to watch a game and they were bugging him. (A little help please????!!!!)

But let's go back a couple hours. I decided I would make some rice and a vegetable to go with the chicken but I felt we needed something else... Something fun. I had recently purchased some won ton wrappers and thought they would be fun to use. I didn't want to spend a lot of time searching and knowing the vast collection of recipes Recipe Girl has on her site, I thought I must be able to find something. Sure enough! There it was. Chicken and Shrimp Won Tons with Chili Sweet and Sour Sauce! That would work. I had everything but the shrimp and the serrano chili. But Paul wouldn't eat it if he knew there was shrimp anyway. I just did without. I also really scaled down on the portions of the ingredients since there was just the 4 of us and I didn't think the kids would eat them.
Making the filling was a cinch. And assembling them wasn't that difficult either. (Lori has a step-by-step link if you need help) I hadn't worked with the won ton wrappers before. Now I realize you can pretty much take any sort of concoction that suits your taste and put it in the wrappers and fry it up to perfection. It is easy, fun and probably a great thing to have on hand for last-minute appetizers. The Recipe Girl's Won Tons were fabulous. It probably would have been even better with the chili and shrimp though. I also made her sweet and sour sauce. It was really good too and packs some heat! I think next time I wouldn't put in as much ketchup because I don't want to know that it is there somehow. You need it but I don't want to taste ketchup.

Now back to the bird. It was done. With all the squeals and screams and running around, I began plating before remembering to take more photos. But let me tell you, this chicken was SO moist and with the pan juices... Each bite was just packed with flavor and succulence. I truly think it was the moistest chicken I have ever tasted.

Sadly, when I asked my husband if he liked it, he said it was "okay". I said, "But it is so moist and juicy!" He said, "But I like drier chicken." Well I guess that makes sense! He only eats his steak really well done too. He thought the won tons were so so. He didn't get the cilantro inside. Now he DOES like cilantro but on a taco. He didn't understand why I put it in a won ton. He didn't realize that a lot of Chinese food has cilantro and it is often deemed Chinese parsley. Danielle told me the chicken and rice were so so yummy and said, "thank you, mommy."

Needless to say, I felt disheartened at his lack of enthusiasm. I thought it all came out great. I guess I just need to have guests over that DO appreciate food. Maybe when I get back from NY, I will start a regular Sunday thing and invite different people over each week.

I had this sad deflated feeling last Sunday. The grand irony is that when I was single for so long, I would cook and invite people over or give it to my roommates and I always thought how nice it would be to be married and have someone to cook for! Now I need to search for new takers again. I forgot why I hadn't been cooking much in recent years. But it is because Paul just wants blackened really done chicken or tacos. All of you who have husbands that appreciate you and your cooking, count your blessings! And my kids eat like kids and not very much food at one sitting. It is sort of a waste to cook too much for them. I try to eat the left-overs so as not to waste food. I have a thing about wasting. My mother passed it on to me.

Here I must find my Zen (not our fearless chef friend) but my inner peace in the enjoyment of cooking for the sake of cooking and creating and not for pleasing anyone but myself. The process, not the end result. I thought the food was great. Thank you to Recipe Girl and Zen Chef for providing the inspiration.

If you didn't notice the links above, you can find the recipes here:
Roast Chicken with Ginger Soy-Whiskey Glaze
Chicken and Shrimp Won Tons with Chili Sweet and Sour Glaze


Emily said...

Don't worry what your husband thinks of your wonderful last supper. I think it sounded great! Besides a food compliment from a young child is WAY more important a picky adults opinion. Prehaps Danielle will become your new foodie companion as she gets older.

Peter M said...

No offense, your hubby's got it did it right.

Next time, do cornish your way and his, the dry way!

RecipeGirl said...

Oh, it looks perfectly wonderful. I would have enjoyed it very much. Those husbands!

I'm glad you liked the won ton recipe. They actually have a little bit of a special meaning to me as the first time I made them- I made them as part of a dinner for a neighbor whose husband had recently died of cancer. She and her son came over and helped me fry them up and eat them. We loved them!

Betty C. said...

"I like dryer chicken" -- no comment!

Keep in mind that the cooking for your kids may go unappreciated while they're small, but getting them used to different types of foods is very important. They may start appreciating it sooner than you think. My daughters (16 and 14) have their likes and dislikes, of course, but are generally open-minded about food and familiar with a lot of dishes and types of cooking. So carry on! And have dinner parties where people will rave about your food!

Judy Haley said...

my husband doesn't like moist chicken either. What is it with these guys?

Nicole said...

Emily- I am really hoping to groom the kids to be foodies! Keep your fingers crossed.

Peter- Hey! No offense as long as you say I AM right!!! ;-) I should try the hens sometime.

Lori- I will have to have you over next time. Thanks for sharing about the won tons. That is so sad and sweet at the same time. They really were great. And so easy.

Betty- I agree. My kids are very little but I keep trying to introduce new things. Most they don't eat but they will eat almost any pureed soup so at least they are learning to like different flavors. Even my husband now thinks I should save the big/good cooking for guests so I won't be disappointed in his picky palate.

Judy- Welcome! I know. Men! Good to know someone else is the same way though.

deLa said...

i get the same way with my husband. but bless his heart i have been putting extravagant dishes in front of him for over 2 years now and then looking at him expecting praise to come flowing forth. I guess after a while they just run out of compliments! thats why i like the blog, there is always someone who will compliment your food even if your husband didnt

Jaime said...

It looks wonderful! And I feel your pain with an unadventurous hubby. I will say that mine will try anything I cook and he usually likes it. But he would rather have a hamburger seasoned only with salt and pepper and fries from the oven any day. What is with these boys???

Nicole said...

Dela- I know what you mean. I like blogging for that reason too. It is so fun to talk food w/ other foodies!

Jaime- You are lucky yours will at least try the food. Mine won't even do that now (he did when dating).

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

That does look like a nice bird. You did a great job! I would have been nuts trying a new recipe and trying to turn that bird while looking after the kids! :)

Welcome to The Foodie Blogroll and have fun in NYC (I am sorry, I have no good recommendations...)

Nicole said...

Thanks Jenn! And welcome to my blog!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Nicole, You did a great job with the chicken, keep doing what your doing, I have confidence your Hubby will come around!

Lisa Conmara said...

I would have gone on strike for a comment like that! My family know that whatever I serve is the "best they've ever tasted EVER" - they say it in their sleep... LOL

Nicole said...

Proud Italian Cook- Thanks! I hope/wish he would. But since we got married, he's gotten worse. He tells me to cook for others since he doesn't appreciate it.

Lisa- I am grooming my kids for this since I haven't much hope anymore for Paul. Danielle can be quite complimentary! :-)