You’ve heard of the “Sex on the Beach” cocktail? Well, I’m calling last night’s dinner, “Sex on the Kitchen Table.”
It was basic, impulsive, and glorious. And not because of the greatness of any one dish. It was the combination of kitchen maneuvers all working together in perfect harmony that led to a culinary ecstasy resulting in complete satisfaction.
Although it was healthy, it left us feeling a bit guilty too.
I think that’s because of the buttery richness of the barbecued shrimp, combined with the succulent flavors of roast chicken and roast potatoes. The salad keeps it all real, cleansing the palate between bites with the fresh, clean flavors of greens, kissed by the spring sun.
You can make the four dishes for this meal — roast chicken, barbecued shrimp, roast potatoes and salad — according to your favorite recipes for each. As Sly Stone said, “It’s different strokes for different folks.” But here’s how I did it to wonderful results.
Roast Chicken with Roast Potatoes
I bought one of those free-range, non-hormonal chickens from Whole Foods. You know, one of those birds that is given a massage, warm bath and is french kissed before they chop its head off. The lemon and rosemary roaster was on sale for just $1.99 a pound and it was a great piece of meat.
I peeled the potatoes and then cut them into small chunks, about 1- to 1 1/2-inches round. To do this, simply trim off all the hard edges of each chunk with a paring knife. The result will be round potatoes. Their shape is important as it affects they way they brown and cook. Then make holes in each of the round potato chunks, either with the sharp point of the paring knife or with a fork.
Drizzle a bit of olive oil in the bottom of a large roasting pan. Add the chicken (breast up). And then surround the chicken with the potatoes. Drizzle some more olive oil over the bird and potatoes. Sprinkle some kosher salt and dried rosemary over everything and cook in a 350-degree oven for about 20 minutes per pound of chicken.
Be sure to turn the potatoes over about every 15-20 minutes.
I made this dish on the fly, using frozen, uncooked (but peeled and deveined), colossal-sized shrimp. And I cooked them in a grilling basket over hot charcoals until pink. I added nothing to them before doing this.
In a small saucepan on top of the stove I melted about a 1/2 stick of butter and then stirred in a half-teaspoon of horseradish, a few drops of lemon juice and some chopped parsley.
When the shrimp was done cooking, I put them in a bowl and drizzled the butter mixture over them. I then sprinkled them with a pinch of salt.
For the salad I used a mixture of greens, including arugula and my new favorite: pea tendrils. I got the pea tendrils from Silverbrook Farm, which was selling them at the SoWa Open Market in Boston’s South End on Sunday. I never had them before but after trying them, I was hooked: they have a subtle pea flavor and a juicy crunch.
To the greens, you can add croutons, cran-raisins, walnuts, whatever. All I had on hand were the croutons, so I added those. And I used a roasted garlic and peppercorn salad dressing.
When everything was ready, I made up plates with all four dishes. I served mine to my honey, who came home from work with a bad cold, in bed.
Yeah, I know, I think we have things backwards.
Find more recipes in the Food section.
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