Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Dress Up Store-Roasted Chicken

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Dress Up Store-Roasted Chicken

Article excerpt

WHEN THE PHONE rang several days ago, I was surprised to hear the voice of an Amherst College student whom I had not seen for more than a year.

The young man, the son of one of our longtime friends, had spent his sophomore year studying in France and was returning to the campus. He was calling to say hello and to ask a favor.

He needed a place to stay for several nights until his new residence was available. Naturally, we invited him to our house.

Knowing that most 20-year-old men have ravenous appetites, I stocked the refrigerator and shelves with extra food.

And when Jacques arrived, he did eat with abandon.

We had fresh pasta and a salad one night and grilled fish and slaw another, but his favorite meal was one that included comfort foods - roast chicken, sauteed cabbage and mashed potatoes, plus chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

In fact, he even helped me prepare some of the dishes for the chicken dinner.

While living in a small Parisian apartment, he had honed his culinary skills.

Together, we chopped leeks and sliced cabbage before sauteing the two vegetables in a little butter and seasoning them with hot pepper flakes and Parmesan cheese.

The mashed potatoes were quick and easy to assemble, and to save time I bought a roasted chicken at the supermarket and drizzled it with light soy sauce to add more flavor.

The cookies came from a nearby bakery.

The recipe for the roast chicken and cabbage, a hearty fall entree, is ideal for casual entertaining during this season.

The cabbage takes less than 30 minutes to complete and looks tempting served on whole cabbage leaves and topped with pieces of roasted chicken.

I asked our young house guest to come back for supper once he is settled, but because he is renting a house and will have his own kitchen, he is insisting that we come for one of his home-cooked repasts. ROAST CHICKEN WITH SPICY SAUTEED CABBAGE

2 medium cabbages (each about 2 1/2 pounds)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 cups cleaned, chopped leeks (4 to 5 medium leeks; see note)

2 cups chicken stock

1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/3 cup grated imported Parmesan cheese

1 (3- to 3 1/2-pound) roasted chicken

Light soy sauce (optional)

Remove pretty outer leaves from cabbages and reserve. …

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