Saturday, February 27, 2010

Pan Roasted Chicken with Olives & Lemon~Sat. Blog Showcase

Today I’m participating
in the 8th Saturday Blog Showcase

co-hosted by Lori at

All that Splatters

and Ann at

Thibeault's Table

It is Lori's turn to host the Blog Showcase this week.

We try a new recipe each week that another blogger has shared.
Prepare the recipe during the week then link your post

about it to the Saturday Blog Showcase.

Include the recipe in the body of your post
(if it is not a copyright violation to do so)
and a link back to the recipe on the originating blog.

Since I had chicken left over after making

my curry chicken (for a book review),

my recipe choice for this week was

Pan Roasted Chicken with Olives and Lemon



It came from Kate’s beautiful blog,

A Spoonful of Thyme

Please be sure to visit her site, since her photos

of this DELICIOUS dish are soooo much

prettier than mine.

We haven't seen the sun in OH for months

and by dinner time, Hubby is so hungry

he doesn't want to wait

for me set up a light for photos.

I can't imagine why. :/

The ingredients are simple……

Just chicken, lemon sections & their juice,

shallots, olives, thyme, sage & bay leaves.

(Ooops, I forgot to put the bay leaves on the plate)

1 chicken, cut into eight pieces or, a mixture of chicken breasts and thighs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium lemon
1 Tbs. unsalted butter; more as needed
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
5 medium shallots, peeled and quartered lengthwise
3/4 cup jarred olives, rinsed, pitted and halved
8 fresh sage leaves
6 small fresh or 3 dried bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme, plus 1 tsp. chopped

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F.

Season the chicken generously on all sides with salt and pepper.

Cut the ends off the lemon, stand it on one end, and slice off the peel and the bitter white pith to expose the flesh. Cut the lemon segments from the membranes, letting them drop into a small bowl. Cut each segment crosswise into 4 pieces.

Heat the butter and the oil in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary, cook the chicken skin side down until golden-brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

Pour off all but 2 Tbs. of the fat. Add the shallots, olives, sage, bay leaves, thyme sprigs, and lemon segments, and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

Return the chicken to the pan skin side up and transfer to the oven. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh registers 165°F, 18 to 20 minutes. Serve sprinkled with the chopped thyme.

I foolishly cut the amounts in her recipe

in half, since there were

only two of us for dinner.

Next time, I'll make the entire recipe!

The 2 extra pieces of chicken were

wonderful leftovers for lunch the next day.

We would have gladly eaten it several more times that week.

Thanks for sharing this wonderfully flavorful &

EASY recipe, Kate!

Now I have to go find a recipe to use up all the fresh

sage & thyme that I bought.

Any suggestions?

Friday, February 26, 2010

The White Tiger - book review - Food For Thought
photo courtesy of

I just finished listening to the novel, The White Tiger but before I get into my review of this book, I want to tell you about an incident that happened before my husband retired from practicing medicine.

He was on call for the weekend & was awakened around 3 am by the Medical-Dental Bureau that handled after hours emergency calls. They told him there was a man calling long distance & insisting on speaking to him, despite the time.

When my husband took the call, the guy blurts out, excitedly


"What did you say?" my husband replies, as he sits up & rubs sleep out of his eyes.

"Doc, I said I got TWO WHITE BENGAL TIGERS!" he shouts, even louder.

"Yeah, well what do you want ME to do about it? " says DH, a family practice physician.

There is this short, silent pause on the phone...

"Is this Dr. ______________?"

"Yes, it is."

"Dr. ______________, of the Ohio Zoo?"

LOL!! We then discovered that he wanted to speak with the veterinarian at the zoo, who just happens to have the same last name. The bureau got the phone numbers mixed up.

We never did hear how or where he had acquired the tigers, but we still laugh about it.

This is the fourth Food for Thought bi-monthly meme I'm joining today,
the brainchild of the very talented Jain from

Once in Blue Moon and of Food With Style.

If you're interested in seeing what others are reading & cooking

just follow this link:

Food for Thought

My book choice is the last in a trilogy of "help" books

being read by my book club.

The White Tiger

by Aravind Adiga

Rating: *

I found this book to be a coarse, intense, unsettling novel about prey & predators, a story of an Indian man trying to break free of societal chains & expectations that accompany the terrible caste system of India. The India that we see in The White Tiger is a brutal, totally corrupt world, where people behave like animals & everything can be bought for a price.

The story is of Balram Halwai’s journey from a village where he spent his days working at a tea stall to the city of Bangalore, the murdering of his master & his transformation into an entrepreneur who currently owns a successful transportation agency.

Balram is intelligent & resourceful & stands out in his school which gains him the nickname “White Tiger” because a white tiger is the rarest creature in the jungle, only coming along once a generation. Balram eventually finds out that white tigers have their cages, too. It is told in the form of letters that Balram writes over the course of seven nights to a Chinese Premier who is about to visit India.

Balram wants to describe the stark contrast between the real India and the India that will be presented to the Premier during his visit. The blurb on the book jacket calls it "amoral, irreverent" which is certainly was, but I wouldn't call it "deeply endearing". Since my library only had the book on tape version available, I found that LISTENING to it frequently shocked my sensibilities with its crude language and offensive descriptions. Just because an author is able to describe something that is dead & rotten with eloquent prose, doesn't change it from still being smelly, dead & rotten..."deeply endearing" this book was NOT!

While the language & accent in the book on tape was beautiful to listen to

(very rhythmic & sing-song with succinct pronunciations)

Balram himself spoke with a sarcastic, cynical & crude voice. The story is laced with a dark sardonic wit & provocative confessions. I found him unlikable & unable to feel any sort of regret or remorse for the terrible things that he did. He justifies the premeditated murder of his employer as an act of class warfare.

I only gave it one *.

Silk brocade, woven tapestries, Budda, spices & incense...all these represent pieces of India's culture. In researching the foods of India, I learned that an Indian meal should consist of the entire food spectrum; spicy, creamy, hot, salty, sweet. Over fifty different spices are grown in India among them pepper, ginger, turmeric, chili, cardamom, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cassia, clove, nutmeg & mace.

Pickles were the first food mentioned in the book, as part of Balram's lunch at school, so I started with those, serving them in an American Brilliant cut glass pickle dish from the Depression era in the United States.

Many of their dishes are baked in a special tandorri or clay oven,

which I don't own, so I made curry chicken instead & served it with their traditional Basmati rice & naan, a type of Indian flatbread.

Chai masala tea is a favorite drink & is usually served in clay cups without handles.

They are used only once then broken & thrown away.

I had to improvise by making this:

It was warm & spicy with hints of ginger & cinnamon.
Perfect for a cold, winter day and sugar free, too!

Even though I didn't like the book, I'm glad that I read it
because it helped me to learn about
different foods & culture & that
is always "a good thing!"

*said in my best Martha voice*

Thanks for visiting & have a nice weekend.