Thursday, 06 October 2011 08:52

Roast Chicken and DIY Extravaganza

Written by Stephania
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Happy Thursday! I have been out of town for the last few NYC Thursday Night Dinners, so I am especially looking forward to tonight. Since my return to NYC, I have been getting settled in my house and am so excited (and slightly overwhelmed) by the giant list of DIY projects that I've made for the house.

I am going to be tackling my room first since right now it looks somewhere between a flea market and the Anthroplogie sale section during Christmas time.  

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See what I mean? I have my framed 30"x40" thesis prints, about six different lamps, giant baskets full of crafting supplies, camera equipment, and much, much more. Simplicity and organization are now key skills that I have to remind myself of each day. I have a little habit of buying little things here and there just because they are on sale so now that I have about three different color schemes going on and enough hooks to probably individually hang each necklace that I own.  The first necessity was my closet. As crafty as I would like to give myself credit for, I am by no means a skilled carpenter. I think that the extent of my knowledge is what I learned in 3D class back at IU.  I chose my own custom made closet to be my non-DIY gift to myself. With the help of the lovely Sara Lowman and the skillful contractors from Kimco, I now have a beautifully designed closet.  We chose to make it floor to ceiling and to paint it white so that it feels as if it always belonged there.

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Now that it's completely built, it's time to pick out the hardware! At Sara's suggestion, I ventured into the city and visited Anthropologie and Restoration Hardware. I have never actually picked out hardware before and had no idea how many options with only subtle differences there were out there! It was very easy to get distracted with hardware like this....

Anthropologie Knobs
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However, I reminded myself that simplicity was key here.  I knew that I'll be painting my room blue with white trim, so I gathered a few options for knobs that have little specks of blue in them. With sheer determination to turn my room into something more contemporary and chic, (rather than just shabby) I pulled different options of long, simple handles. After a few days of sitting on it and Sara's fantastic input I've decided on these options.

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The next two items on the list are painting and curtains.  I know that I want something light and sheer for the curtains and the truth is that I can probably make them myself.  Any ideas?! 

Getting back to Thursday Night Dinner, I am going to try this recipe from the one and only, Smitten Kitchen.  I have been itching to try this for months now and finally remembered to order all of the ingredients in my Fresh Direct order this week! 

 Roast Chicken with Dijon Sauce
by Smitten Kitchen

What you need: 

  • 3 pounds chicken parts (thighs, drumsticks, and/or breasts), with skin and bones
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 small shallots, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup reduced-sodium or sodium-free chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons smooth Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives or the green parts of scallions

What to do:

Preheat oven to 450°F with a rack in middle. Pat chicken dry and season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat oil in an ovenproof 12-inch heavy skillet (if you’ve got a cast iron skillet, it is great here) over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Working in 2 batches, brown chicken, skin side down first and turning once, about 5 minutes per batch. I like to take a lot of care in this step, not moving the chicken until the skin releases itself and has a nice bronze on it, which will provide the best flavor and seal in the most juices.

Return all chicken, skin side up, to skillet and roast in oven until just cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer chicken to a platter, then add shallots, wine, and broth to pan juices in skillet and boil, scraping up any brown bits, until reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Add cream and boil until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. To thicken the sauce further, turn the heat to high and boil it until it reduces to a consistency you prefer.

Strain sauce through a sieve into a bowl, if you’re feeling fancy (I never am, but if you don’t, you might find some chicken bits scraped up from the pan in your sauce. We don’t mind.) Whisk in mustard, chives, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve chicken with sauce.

Last modified on Thursday, 06 October 2011 10:13
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