I am bad about blogging with any sort of regularity. The problem, me thinks, is that I feel I have to write lengthy and edited things, and instead of doing such a thing I suffer from performance anxiety and decide just to check my facebook account instead. So I’ve decided to keep tonight’s bloggity blog short and simple in the hopes that writing short will encourage me to write more frequently.
So. Lots has been going on. A couple of weeks ago I took part in the Decatur Book Festival, which is the world’s best book festival, or so thinks this Georgia girl who has actually only attended 4 other festivals, but I’m telling ya, Decatur’s is THE BEST. At the festival I picked up the following bumper sticker, which I then put on my husband’s car (I have a new VW that I am obsessed with and have to hold myself back from cleaning all of the time and no bumper sticker is going on it, ever, not even during an election year, and you know we Yellow Dogs are big on bumper stickers…)
Anyhoo, here’s the new sticker that is on our Honda. Clearly I have reached a new level of dorkiness:
Okay, next up: I am the inaugural author for Resturant Eugene‘s author dinner series! So, so, cool. Chef Linton Hopkins and I will be talking about growing up in Atlanta, and our food memories around that, and then Chef will serve a four course wine-paired dinner that is in part inspired by the foods in Soft Place to Land. I am so freaking excited. There are a few tix left–but not many! They’ve already sold 60 seats! Contact Restaurant Eugene if interested. And here’s a little thing that Intown Atlanta wrote about it.
Speaking of food, I’ve been cooking as if it’s fall, even though it’s still super hot in Atlanta. To hell with Indian summer, me says. I’m braising chicken legs with apples in a mustard cider sauce, and finishing it with cream. And I’m serving it with sauted brussels sprouts and apples, plus mashed potatoes loaded with butter. Here’s some pics of the braise as it came together:
You start by browning the chicken legs. You want a deep, caramel-y brown. Preferably you don’t burn your hand when a bit of hot oil splashes you as you turn the chicken…but, you know, shhh-it happens.
After the chicken is browned and you are burned (or, hopefully, not) you take the chicken pieces out of the pan and cook some apple slices in the rendered schmaltz. Then you take out the apple pieces and deglaze the pan with some hard (i.e. alcoholic cider). Then add 1/4 cup of dijon mustard and some sage leaves. Then add the chicken back to the pot, cover the thing, and cook for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven, at which point you take it out and add the apples. Then you put the pot back in the oven for another 40 minutes or so until the chicken meat is fork tender. You finish by taking the chicken and apples out of the pot once again, and cooking the sauce down a bit before whisking in some heavy whipping cream. Serve it all over mashed potatoes, with a side of brussels sprouts.
(These sprouts are actually not done cooking. I started by browning them in olive oil, then sort of poached them in hard cider and chicken stock to soften them up. As a certain perky TV cook might say: Yummo.)
And it all started with these ingredients: