Chicken is good on any night of the week. It pretty much never lets you down. It adapts to most anything you throw at it and with a little care, it can be just as impressive as any of its more fancy counterparts.
Saffron Honey Chicken
4 Chicken breasts, with skin on and drumette attached
1 Tbsp olive oil
Zest and juice from 1 lemon
2 Tbsp honey
1/4 tsp saffron
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup chicken stock
I have never seen chicken breasts sold with the skin on and the drumette attached. You can perhaps ask your butcher for it that way, or do what I did. I purchased 2 small organic chickens and pieced them out on my own. When removing the breasts, I cut the tips of the breast off to make it into the shape of a square. I do this for presentation purposes only. I save all the other parts of the chicken for another use. With the body bone left, I made a chicken stock simply by browning the bones and adding in 3 cups of water, then simmering for about an hour and a half.
Combine the olive oil, lemon, honey, saffron, thyme and salt and marinate the chicken for several hours.
In a large frying pan, heat just a couple tsp of oil over medium heat. Sear the chicken, skin side down first, until skin is browned and crispy. Flip over and do the same with the other side. I should mention I forgot about the honey in the marinade and left the chicken on the skin side too long. The sugar from the honey burned a little. So, take that into consideration when you sear. Finish the chicken, in a 400f oven, on a baking sheet, for about 10 minutes.
While chicken is in the oven, remove any excess oil from the frying pan and deglaze with chicken stock and add in about half of the marinade from the chicken. If you happen to burn the chicken, like I did, wash out the pan and then just boil the stock, etc. Let boil and reduce to 1/2 cup. Turn heat to very low and add butter, one tablespoon at a time making sure the sauce does not boil again, or the butter will separate.
Roasted Cauliflower and Wild Mushrooms
1 slab of smoky bacon about 1/3" wide (like Nueskes), or several slices, cut into 1/3" pieces
1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into small bite sized pieces
1 cup of mixed mushrooms
Chopped roasted walnuts
Cook bacon and render fat. Toss cauliflower and mushrooms in the bacon fat. Depending on how much fat your bacon has, you may need to add a little oil if there is not enough to coat the cauliflower and mushrooms. Sprinkle with a little kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Roast cauliflower first as it will take a little longer than the mushrooms. Oven at 450f for 10 minutes, then add the mushrooms until both are tender. Toss in the bacon and walnuts.
And to cap off our Friday, a Stella favorite, bananas flambe. I had no hand in making this dessert. Stella and friend Jillian did the honors. The first time Stella saw that flame rise up and then the first bite of sweet caramel-y goodness with vanilla bean ice cream, there was no turning back. Full steam ahead to dessert bliss!