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