A few months back I was shopping at our local grocery store where I saw a familiar face in a completely unexpected place. I recognized Raj, a Nepali training staff member from my Peace Corps service in Nepal. It took me a couple minutes to process seeing a face I had only seen in Nepal, in the produce section at my local grocery store, but we chatted, I met his wife Arpana and we exchanged contact information. We’ve been meaning to meet up for a long time, but life got in the way until we ran in to each other again and I finally set a date to have them over for dinner.
Since they only eat chicken and fish, I decided on a slow cooker braised whole chicken from America’s Test Kitchen. I served it with the braising liquid and rosemary salt. Honestly, this recipe only turned out ok, so I won’t include the recipe link as I probably wouldn’t make it again and will likely go back to my old standby, Thomas Keller’s Roast Chicken. Its always a hit and the crispy, salty skin is perfection.
Menu – Braised Whole Chicken, Roasted Vegetable Ratatouille, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies
Braised Whole Chicken
I followed the recipe for Chicken in a Pot from Slow Cooker Revolution. Normally almost everything I make from that cookbook is great, but the chicken just didn’t have a lot of flavor, so I won’t post the recipe here. However, it was greatly elevated by the addition of homemade rosemary salt.
I found this recipe in the Washington Post a few years ago and I love returning to it every summer, once all the delicious summer squash and tomatoes start taking over the garden. It has bold flavors for a summer vegetable side and I love it.
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
I had picked up some sweet potatoes at the farmers market the week before and, since we were planning to leave on vacation, I wanted to use these up in a side dish. I pierced each sweet potato with a knife several times, and then roasted them in the over at 350° for about 75-80 minutes. Let them cool and the skins should pull off pretty easily. I mashed the flesh with a tablespoon butter, 1/4 cup whole milk and 2 tablespoons brown sugar and put it in an oven safe casserole dish. I made these earlier in the day so I stored them in the fridge and then heated them in a 350° oven for about 15 minutes.
These are one of my favorite cookies and remind me of childhood. I am a sucker for butterscotch desserts and these cookies hit just the right note with me. I follow the recipe linked above, also printed on the Nestle Butterscotch Chips package.