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Overlooking Carthage
Photo by Julie Bredy

We are back from our travels, settling back into life: laundry, orthodontist appointments, grocery shopping. There needs to be a better re-entry than yesterday I was strolling through quaint Alsatian cobblestone streets to today I'm driving the kids to the orthodontist and pre-treating laundry.

In Singapore we had a lovely woman who lived with us, Miss Gay. She ran the house and took very good care of us. I knew that our first night home from anywhere we would have the most tender, well flavored chicken adobo. The meat would be falling off the bones, the sauce was perfect for spooning over rice. Heck it was perfect for drinking with a straw. She also made green beans that were out of this world, I don't know what she did to them but there were never enough.

I sat in the kitchen on Tuesday and was abruptly reminded that there would be no chicken adobo, no green beans tonight. We were on our own. That meal was our coming home meal in Asia. What would be our coming home meal now? I ransacked the pantry and freezer, hmmm, there was a butternut squash the size of a 3 month old baby (I really am not exaggerating, it weighed 12 pounds), and there were chicken thighs in the freezer. I set about breaking down the squash and roasting it but I wasn't sure what to do with the chicken. Gay used to also make a great roast chicken (always the moistest chicken on the planet. Who consistently makes moist roast chicken?), and she used a mix of ginger, paprika and lemon peel. Voila! We are in business. While I'm still not sold that this will be our comfort, coming home meal, it hit the spot.

Lemon-Ginger Roast Chicken Thighs  
Adapted from Epicurious
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 large chicken thighs.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a small bowl stir together the olive oil, ginger, lemon peel, paprika, salt and black pepper. Rub this mixture over the chicken thighs and place the chicken in a 9X13 inch baking dish. Roast until the juices run clear when pierced or until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 180°F, about 35-40 minutes.
Transfer chicken to serving platter. Pour pan juices into medium bowl, spoon off fat and discard. Drizzle juices over chicken and serve.

Caramelized Butternut Squash
1999, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, All Rights Reserved

2 medium butternut squash (4 to 5 pounds total)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut off and discard the ends of each butternut squash. Peel the squash, cut them in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds. Cut the squash into 1 1/4 to 1 1/2-inch cubes and place them on a baking sheet. Add the melted butter, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. With clean hands, toss all the ingredients together and spread in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast for 45 to 55 minutes, until the squash is tender and the glaze begins to caramelize. While roasting, turn the squash a few times with a spatula, to be sure it browns evenly. Taste for seasonings and serve hot.

1 comment:

  1. We've had those coming home meals at both houses where we had cooks and it was roast chicken, too. Comfort food.