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summer cooking, part two.

August 18, 2009

Here are a few more recipes I’ve tried in recent weeks:

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I’ve never made my own alfredo sauce before, thinking it too difficult for something that tastes so wonderful. Fusing to two different recipes (thanks to the Pioneer Woman and the Urban Vivant), I successfully made alfredo sauce, with sauteed brown mushrooms and fresh parmesan cheese. Two things to note: add garlic (either minced or powdered) and always use bagged egg noodles, not the kind in a box – the pasta tastes better and the sauce adheres well to it.

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This recipe is called Pesto Chicken Florentine. It was pretty good but not something I’ll make again, even though it contained a favorite element of mine, pesto. It was the first time I used farfalle, or bow-tie pasta.

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Now this . . . THIS is scrumptious. I had never made a roast chicken of sorts before, and especially never in a cast-iron pot. After reading a post in Everybody Likes Sandwiches, I decided to give this recipe a try. It’s really Jamie Oliver’s recipe, but it was good to read a non-chef’s take on this chicken.

In order to make this recipe a success, I had to go and splurge on a Lodge cast-iron dutch oven (5 quart with a cover), and also purchased a 1 1/2 lb chicken (smaller than what the recipe called for). It’s really a simple recipe but a bit tricky when it came time to brown the chicken in the pot. Can you imagine turning a whole chicken cooking in hot butter with little room to maneuver in this dutch oven? It took two tongs and some added strength and creativity to turn the thing. If you noticed, I ended up cooking the chicken wrong side up. I think it still looks lovely, browned with herbs. And the milk! What a wonderful gravy it made along with the lemon juice. I baked the chicken for about an hour and a half, whipped up some rosemary potatoes (my sweet husband helped) and fresh green bean almondine. We will definitely have this meal again.

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