|Yes, it's a big orange and red mess, but trust me, it was delicious - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
I'm notorious for going off-recipe, making substitutions every which willy-nilly way. Out of respect for Thomas Keller, I followed his chicken, peppers and sausage recipe, even though it took a couple of days of preparation. Not to say this took a solid 48 hours of fussing over ingredients, but I did spend one afternoon slowly simmering his recipe for sofrito, a low-and-slow cooking of onions and tomato in olive oil, with a finish of garlic, which then was used in the flavoring for the roasted bell peppers, which took another afternoon to complete. The chicken was soaked in his chicken brine -- a recipe I quite like, as it perfumes the meat with the lovely fragrance of parsley and lemon. Used this same brine for the chicken and pork tenderloins served on our Christmas dinner, to much flavorful success.
|The flavorful joy of sofrito, whose om-nom-nom-ness is worth the effort - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
Once the preparation for the sofrito roasted peppers was completed, along with the brined chicken parts, plus making stock from the chicken's carcass, the final dish didn't take much preparation beyond basic construction. The chicken and sausage were seared in a Dutch oven, adding the peppers and extra broth, and then letting it slow cook in the oven for a bit. It sounds so easy, doesn't it? Yeah, not so much. Thank the heavens for being a Lady of Leisure at the moment.
Granted, I'll admit it wasn't the most beautiful of things to be placed on a large serving platter (oh, the magic of parsley), but the layering of flavors and the different methods of cooking yielded a delicious chicken that fell off the bone, mixed with savory peppers and spicy sausage. I realize this is an OMG a Recipe post, because I truly followed a recipe, but again, out of respect for Chef Keller, instead of listing his recipes, I'd recommend buying or borrowing the book to truly absorb his wisdom.
|Nerd Alert! The secret life of Wasabi Prime and Friends - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
It's fitting that such a meal with a lengthy preparation time be served at our game night, as it was an evening that stretched into the morning hours, spent at our table, working out Machiavellian plots of world domination and plundering of treasuries. Good friends Mr. G and Mr. R joined us for a few quick rounds of Rio Grande Games' Dominion a feudally fun card game that lets you made decisions and purchase your own kingdom. I was recently introduced to this game by other board game friends -- lots of fun, never the same game, and requires a bit of strategy. Tis true, we look like a bunch of Magic the Gathering nerds, but considering we usually get together to play old-school Dungeons and Dragons , this was a step up on the geek scale. Don't think badly upon the Prime for being such a total oily nerd; sometimes you just have to let your Freak Flag Fly, and this superfreak waves her banner high, baby.
The night turned dark and sinister when Mr. R brought his copy of Illuminati. Similar to Dominion, it relies primarily on cards and the achieving of certain monetary goals. But with players being given the distinct monikers of Servants of Cthulu or the Gnomes of Zurich, it's a bit like a demonic Monopoly. It also encourages cheating, if you can believe it -- or "creative rule bending," if you like. It also probably didn't help that we were drinking wine and cocktails to fuel our rowdy spirits and trash-talking. Mr. Wasabi made up a powerfully strong batch of Tom and Jerry cocktails -- click here for a recipe from Epicurious. A bit like eggnog, this frothy and powerful drink set our trio into motion for an eight-plus hour marathon session of a single game of Illuminati.
|Wine and cocktails... you're getting very sleepy... sleeeeeeeepyyyy.... zzzzz - Photos by Mr/Ms Wasabi|
The round of Illuminati finally concluded after two in the morning, after much conspiratorial backstabbing and threats that Mr. Wasabi would surely be sleeping on the couch that night if he snuck a peek at my cards or attempted another overthrowing of my network. I can credit a collective amount of pig-headedness on all players' parts (myself included) as the culprit behind why this game lasted so long. But really, after you've spent so long building up your evil empire, you don't want to just roll over and let someone win for something as silly as sleep.... right? Stubborn heads prevailed until Mr. Wasabi finally won the lofty privilege of saying, "Thank God, this game is OVER."
With enough rest, I feel like I will be ready for the next game night, as well as tackling another recipe from Thomas Keller's recipe books. Onwards and upwards for 2010!