Monday, April 16, 2012
The calendar for the week is beginning to fill up. There is a CIVAC meeting tonight that features a lecture by German magician Joerg Alexander. I have two more physical therapy sessions scheduled for this week on Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday evening I have an appointment with the doctor who is the director of rehabilitation to determine if more sessions are necessary. Tuesday evening I will visit the gallery where Ofelia now works to see her exhibition and afterwards the four of us will go out to dinner at a nearby Italian restaurant called Sorsi y Morsi. I am hopeful that the veteranos will meet on Thursday and Friday I have a morning appointment with the traumatologist and in the late afternoon we will be attending a concert at the Palau de Música. It is the 25th Anniversary of the Palau and this is a family concert with nacho Diago serving as the Master of Ceremonies. It looks like life is returning back to normal.
Last night Brian and Ofelia joined us for dinner. Susan outdid herself preparing a delicious salad to start the meal and then we loaded up the sideboard so that everyone could help themselves to Ferrán Adriá’s “Supermarket Chicken” and a savory couscous. The chicken recipe is sweet and it contrasted well with the savory couscous. We opened a bottle of Mala Vida and it was the perfect accompaniment to the meal. Dessert was strawberry shortcake and we took turns beating up the whipped cream with a whisk since we do not have a mixer in the house. We finished the meal with a coffee and Brian and I had an orujo or two to help our meal digest.
Our conversation, as usual, was very lively and we talked a lot about the royal family and how they should be comporting themselves in this time of economic crisis in Spain. We agreed that this really was not the time for Juan Carlos to be off in Botswana killing elephants while his fellow countrymen are in the midst of the worst economic crisis in years. The estimated cost of his Africa trek was a little less than $58,000. There have been some calls for him to step down, but that is unlikely to happen. We also talked a bit about creating art from found objects.
I did some magic last night. I did a total of five effects and I was happy with the way they played. Two of the effects come from Woody Aragon’s latest book and one of the effects was taught to me some twenty-five years ago by my late friend, Monte Smith. Our evening came to a close at 11:00 PM and we finally got to be a little after midnight.
Here is the recipe for last night’s chicken dish. I hope you give it a try.
Ferran Adrià’s Rotisserie Chicken with Dried Fruits
(Pollo con Frutos y Frutas Secas)
From The New Spanish Table, by Anya von Bremzen
As this recipe demonstrates, Ferran Adrià, the alchemist chef of El Bulli, is as practical as he is inventive. It’s adapted from the cookbook he dedicated to quick recipes that can be made with supermarket ingredients, and it features a store-bought rotisserie chicken that’s deliciously doctored with a sauce of dried fruit, pine nuts, and port wine. Though you can whip the dish up in less than half an hour, the flavors are sophisticated enough for a fancy dinner party. If you’d like to roast your own chicken, so much the better.
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup pitted prunes
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/4 cup pitted dried sour cherries
2 Tbsp pine nuts
1 strip orange zest (4 inches), white pith removed
1 strip lemon zest (4 inches), white pith removed
1/2 cup tawny port
1 small cinnamon stick
2/3 cup chicken stock or broth
1 store-bought rotisserie chicken (about 3-1/2 pounds), cut into 8 pieces, juices reserved
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C)
2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the prunes, apricots, cherries, pine nuts, and orange and lemon zests and cook, stirring, until the pine nuts turn golden and the fruits are browned in spots, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the port and cinnamon stick and cook until syrupy, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and the chicken juices. Increase the heat to high, bring the sauce to a boil, and cook until reduced, about 5 minutes.
3. Place the chicken pieces in a baking dish that can hold them snugly. Pour the sauce over them, scraping up all the fruit and liquid from the bottom of the skillet and turning the chicken to coat it with the sauce. Bake the chicken until it is warmed through and the sauce is further reduced, about 10 minutes. Transfer to plates and serve at once.
Yield: Serves 4