I just finished a lovely Sunday dinner at home with the brood and felt inclined to share the story of something delicious I just ate. Dinner was great; I roasted a pair of free range chickens, pan roasted some shaved brussel sprouts with double smoked bacon, blanched some haricot vert and opened a bottle of Orofino Red Bridge Red ’07. The chicken was great; cooked perfectly, plus it made me a little giddy because I hadn’t roasted and basted a whole bird in a while. Yeah I know, I sound like a food geek; you’re right and I’m proud of it. The brussel sprouts were super tasty, shaved, browned and roasted with the bacon and it’s fat, but though they were spectacular, they were not the “Yowza! Moment!” The haricot vert were surprising good too, cooked perfectly to my taste and since I have not had a baby green bean in quite some time, I found them rather delicious.
The real surprise and tasty treat were the sweet potatoes. No, I didn’t bake any, mash any or fry any. In fact, there was one lonely sweet potato in “Nuoc Mom’s” fridge and being a cook with a conscience, I decided to use it up. Normally, when I roast my chicken, I stuff the cavity with herbs, lemon, garlic and shallots, season the cavity, tie the bird and then coat the bird with Dijon mustard and freshly chopped herbs. I roast it in a hot oven and usually put the chicken on a baking sheet, on a base of sliced potato. Today, I substituted the humble sweet potato as the trivet. The whole idea is the chicken sits on the sweet potato, so it does not stick to the baking sheet, but the glorious side effect is the sweet potato gets browned on the bottom and cooks as it absorbs all the chicken drippings and butter from the bird. Kinda like a chicken-y confit of sweet potato, but all I’ve got to say is yowza! I probably haven’t eaten a sweet potato in months and the last few years only very rarely in a sushi roll or tempura-ed. This piece of sweet potato was amazing. Perfectly seasoned, chicken-y, butter-y, salt-y and just all around wicked tast-y. I’m pretty good at using stuff up in the fridge, but this was the tastiest utilization I’ve done in a while. Even “Monk” liked it and she despises sweet potatoes. Man, I might roast some more birds again soon, just so I can use regular potatoes as the trivet and feast on those amazing spuds. Don’t forget, next time you oven roast a bird or a joint of meat, stick some slices of potato or sweet potato underneath, you’ll be glad that you did.
Until my next Yowza! moment, peace be unto you.