Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Happily ever after with Chicken al Mattone

Once upon a time there was a middle-aged woman who made New Year's resolutions. She resolved to lose weight. Sometimes it happened and sometimes it didn't. She resolved to eat one piece of fruit a day. Often times it happened but sometimes it didn't. She then resolved to cook Bon Appetit's cover recipe each month. So far - it's happened! She had grand family dinners. Dinners with friends. Her table held guests. And then - she realized it was September 29th and she hadn't figured on a date for the meal. Oh sure, she had the ingredients. Oh! Yes, she had the ingredients - so she made the meal, mid-week for just her and her husband. It came out a wee bit darker than September Bon Appetit's cover, but it was delectable.

It was Chicken al Mattone from Sfoglia Restaurant in New York. Translated as "chicken under a brick," the cooking of it preserved flavor, moistness and the marinade survived the cooking process. It's a simple chicken recipe: you shmear the chicken with lemon, garlic, olive oil and rosemary and marinate it for a day. Find the recipe here.

I paired it with some brown rice to soak up juices and some string beans and red peppers which are still to be found locally at our Farmer's Markets. I sauteed them in a little olive oil and that was that.

It was simple fare - as a midweek dinner should be. But there was enough elegance to the meal to elevate a Wednesday night into a sweet celebration.

Dessert was an olive oil cake - also from Bon Appetit. The recipe is here. This reminded me of my youth - where you would have a moist cake occasionally - nothing gooey - and nothing overly sweet. A complement to coffee or tea. A biscotti - but in dense, cake-like form. Touched with citrus. Sweet enough for a sweet tooth but not one iota more. There's a crisp outside daring you to bite. And when you do, it reveals that it is a softie at heart. A sunny softie.

It didn't make it till the next morning. And so far, this middle-aged woman is living happily ever after.


Velva said...

I am so impressed! I think cooking the cover of the Bon Appetit magazine is such a cool idea.

Your dish this month looks wonderful. I am sure hubby was quite happy! Lov

Katy ~ said...

I've been wanting to make an olive oil cake (trying to reduce butter and shortening in my diet, grins), so cake is a timely reminder and inspiration. Looks good!