Friday, January 11, 2008

french chicken in a pot

I'm going to see There Will Be Blood at seven tonight! So excited!

Also, another exciting (yet bittersweet) thing is happening tonight. Have you all heard that Real Pie Co. is closing basically because it was too damn successful and the piemaker is having a nervous breakdown or something? Well, smiller managed to successfully place an order for a chicken potpie for tonight! If it's the best thing ever, there will probably be tears mingling with each bite we take.

On the subject of weird closings, I drove by Shoki Ramen house on thursday at 5:30 and it was closed. That place seems to always randomly be closed. I read on yelp there are long lines now, did they throw in the towel, too?
I've made the Cook's Illustrated "French chicken in a pot" recipe twice now and this is a really good and super easy way to make the most tender, moist chicken ever. I use herbs de provence, which really puts it over the top. The onions and garlic in the pot at the end are like the best part, so put lots. Use a meat thermometer so you don't overcook. This isn't really falling-of-the-bone type chicken, because you want to get it just on the edge of pinkness.
I cooked some lentils to go along with an onion, carrot, celery mixture and a bay leaf, and then in the end, spooned some of the broth from the chicken. A pretty bomb dinner, if I say so myself.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

That chicken looks soooooo good!! It's hard to sit across from smiller here at work while containing the jealousy I feel over him getting to eat that chicken.

-H Conway esq.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry - what was that? I must've been daydreaming about that chicken again.

-miller

Alice said...

i was just thinking about small businesses that get overly successful the other day. when i was in HS, i worked for a small bakery and the owners were so happy when there was a line out the door and around the corner. but the rest of us hated it because we could never make the customers happy. they were grumpy and fed up by the time they got to the register. sometimes we'd lose their orders because the owners weren't organized enough and we didn't have enough space in the freezer for their cakes/pies/etc.

so, yeah, i would always be super annoyed at how much business they got during the holidays because i knew it would eventually turn on them. 50% of the customers would be so irate after they finally walked out the building that i was sure they'd never come back. sure enough, their retail businesses totally flopped a few years later because they weren't prepared for all the business and couldn't deliver.

anyways, i guess i just get it when a small business can't accommodate growth and get cold feet on the whole "making it big" thing.

beckler said...

I was wondering if shoki is having problems with that. I kinda stopped going after it was closed a couple of times I went there and because I read it now has a long wait. It wasn't even that conscious, it just fell off my eating radar. It could be a problem if everybody starts to stay away because they perceive it as being too busy.

An issue I've been thinking about it how every reasonably priced business that's opened downtown seems to get off the chain business (real pic, chicago fire, shoki, old soul, tuli, suzie burger). Maybe Ella, etc., are all getting business like this, too, but I bet it's not at that level. To me it indicates that entrepeneurs are missing the mark by trying to strike it rich with upscale businesses. If people would focus on more modest enterprises it seems like they will be immediately successful downtown.

Anonymous said...

Beckler,

Have you ever had the french lentils du puy? they are super small and green and they magically stay firm, in a good way, no matter what you do to them. mmm! they are the best! maybe you can get them at cortis? your lentils are making me hungry.

Ella
(not the restaurant, the person)

Anonymous said...

Beckler,

btw, did you get some all-clad?

Ella

beckler said...

yeah, actually i think that's what those lentils are. i got them at the co-op. i was sweating the timing because they take longer to cook than regular lentils, but i just decided i would serve them firm. yeah, the all-clad was a christmas present. i protested it would be too expensive but somebody's nice mom (not mine, obvs) bought it anyway.

Alice said...

it does seem like anyone who opens up a reasonably priced eatery can get a shit load of business. for instance: crepeville, even hot rods on a weekend night, etc.

i'm still hoping that will happen more downtown. i'd like a chaat house, some better mediterranean food and a vegetarian cafe a la gretta's. i guess that should be my xmas list for 2008.

Anonymous said...

I thought they looked greener than normal ones!

love,
50% lentils
50% aged pork products

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Dani said...

Ha! I bought a chicken this morning to make this recipe too. My tummy's growling thinking about it.

I made the roast in the magazine as well and it was incredible, both out of the oven and cold on sandwiches the next day.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, throw in a bunch of onions - it does something magical to them!

-miller

Anonymous said...

Shoki closes up between 4pm and 5pm - sometimes later to prepare more ramen for the dinner rush.