FFwD: Roast Chicken and Pumpkin Gorgonzola Flans~

13 11 2010

I went with two recipes at virtually the same time this week…Pumpkin-Gorgonzola Flans were first up as they could stand the setting time far better than the roast chicken.  The Roast Chicken is for “lazy people” but I didn’t want it to set up to 45 minutes while the flans cooked.  I had a feeling that the flans would be more easily eaten if they cooled quite a bit first.

The flans go together with precious little fuss and could actually be whisked together without messing up the blender.  You just want to mix the egg in really well, like any custard.  Take care not to fill the ramekins too full…as they get done they will puff a bit.  That’s a sight cue that they’re just about done…they puff up like pumpkin pie does.

Tasting Notes on the flan~
This looks so good, and the pumpkin mixture was really yummy…but neither of us particularly cared for it once it was put together.  I served it warm, along with the roasted chicken, which it paired nicely with…but that still didn’t carry it far enough for us.  I actually liked it better cold the following day.  Oh well…you win some, you lose some.  While not a stellar winner, it was certainly different and could easily suit someone else nicely, as it was quite unique.   Now…on to the roasted chicken…

There’s been much discussion about the incredible bread from the bottom of the Dutch oven…well…here’s a picture of what we’re all drooling over.  I know it doesn’t look like much, but oh my goodness!  The flavor that lies within that crusty morsel!!  Most of the roasting liquid, as well as the wine, has been soaked up by a halved baguette laid on the bottom of the Dutch oven, the chicken placed on top of that, and roasted for 90 minutes.  The bread is crisp and crusty on what was its cut face, and where the crust had been, is soft and almost pudding-like.  Dorie recommends taking the liver which you’ve cooked inside the chicken and spreading it onto the bread…and she recommends saving that for yourself!  Not being terribly fond of liver, I presented that tasty tidbit to my beloved, and he was overjoyed.  He wouldn’t mind having THAT experience again!

I roasted my veggies separately…there simply wasn’t room in my Dutch oven for anything more.  I need a size in between the two I have.  Dear Santa…  Anyway… In order to achieve a similar flavor, I tossed the veggies with oil (rice bran rather than olive) and fresh herbs to match what we put in with the chicken.  I wish now that I’d sprinkled on a bit of white wine as well.  No big deal…it would just have been another layer of flavor.  Then I added a sprinkle of kosher salt and a twist of black pepper, and off to the oven with them.

Here’s our chicken…I needed to wrap the wing tips in foil the last 45 minutes to keep them from burning, but that was no problem.  I pulled the chicken from the oven to set before carving and left the veggies in a few minutes longer.  By the time I was ready to plate, the veggies were nicely roasted and ready.

Tasting Notes for the Roasted Chicken~
I’ve roasted a LOT of chickens in the past couple years, French, Italian, Food Network Chefs…  So far, I’m happiest with this one.  I do have to confess that I did brine it…  I mixed 3 Tbsp. kosher salt with 1 Tbsp. sugar in enough water to dissolve the sugar and salt, and poured that into a zippered gallon bag (in a bowl, always use a bowl), and added as much thyme, rosemary and oregano to the brine as I was going to use in the roasting process, along with a couple large cloves of garlic, smashed.  I left the chicken to brine for a few hour, then rinsed it before roasting the chicken, seasoning it just as the recipe required.  I could be happy making this chicken again without concern.  It was moist and flavorful, had that wonderful added bonus of the flavorful bread raft…  Seriously good stuff!  We were both thoroughly content with this meal, regardless of how we felt about the flans!   As there are only the two of us, we did have meat left over, that was easily converted to tasty Quesadillas the following day!  This, is a keeper!




5 responses

14 11 2010

I love your tip about brining the chicken. I really loved the recipe as written, but now want to try your method.

So many mixed reviews on the flans! I’m making these next week and am really curious about what everyone will think. Pretty sure my partner won’t like them, though, as he hates everything squash-related.

14 11 2010

What a great idea to brine! Everything looks great! Love the picture of the bread. 🙂

14 11 2010

Well at least you liked the chicken. It looks so good and the PG looks good too. I am looking fwd to making it and can’t wait to see if I like it or hate it! I made the PG and it’s a winner…so cheesy!!

13 11 2010
steph - stephsbitebybite

I completely agree with you about the DELISH chicken bread!! Everything looks great! I’m trying the flans this week, and am a little nervous about the flavor profile.

13 11 2010

No fair…you brined!!! LOL. Your chicken is really pretty, love the color you got on it. We loved ours, it was so moist and nice. I will do this one again. That whole pumpkin gorgonzola thing has me shaking…I will make a reduced recipe as I am not sure those two flavors together are going to work around here. I have a lot of other things I would love to do with that gorgonzola. Your entire meal looks delicious! Even the ramekins of that pumpkin stuff looks pretty!

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