Bringing the Basque Festival home
September 15, 2006
This time of year, Karen and I participate in one of Carson City’s great events, the St. Teresa’s Basque Festival. This event honors the great traditions inherent of the Basque people and their contributions to the history of Nevada.
The main dish is served family-style with platters placed in the middle of the table. This style of dining encourages family conversation and exchanges of thoughts, laughs and maybe an argument or two. But the message is that they all gather at the table to exchange these emotions.
It’s this kind of interaction that develops strong family ties and long-lasting relationships with friends.
This dish is wonderful accompanied by a nice green salad with a simple vinaigrette dressing, sliced tomatoes (heirloom) cucumber and shaved carrots.
The farmers market is a good place to shop for the entrée and salad ingredients. Basque salads tend to be rather simple and straight forward. Add to the dressing a touch of garlic, salt and pepper. Just these additions are sufficient.
With this dish, I recommend Spanish red and/or white wine. I won’t make a specific selection due to the limited availability in this area, but Aloha Wine and Spirits and Ben’s Liquor have wines at their disposal. They will be more than happy to help you make a selection.
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As always enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!
Roasted Chicken Thighs and Legs San Sebastian- Style
4 each organic chicken thighs and legs (total 8 pieces)
• 1Ú4 cup organic flour (seasoned with salt and pepper)
• 3 T. extra-virgin olive oil
• 4 slices thick bacon, cut in three quarter inch slices
• 10 cloves garlic, sliced in half
• 1Ú2 cup yellow (sweet) onions, chopped
• 4 carrots, half-moon slices, half-inch thick (about 1 cup)
• 2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 11Ú2-inch cubes (check the farmers market)
• 1Ú2 cup Spanish green olives, pitted and cut in half
• 1 cup dry sherry
• 1 cup chicken stock
• 3 bay leaves
• Kosher salt and pepper to taste
• 1Ú2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
• 1 T. flat-leaf parsley, chopped (Italian)
In a large cast-iron skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil to medium-high. While heating the oil pat the chicken dry and roll it in the seasoned flour. When the oil is hot, place the chicken in the skillet and lightly brown; do not cook completely. Drain and set aside.
In a casserole dish large enough to accommodate the chicken and other ingredients, use the remaining tablespoon of oil. Heat to medium-high and add the bacon. Cook about 4 minutes until it is slightly crisped. Add the garlic, onion and carrots; sauté approximately 4 minutes more.
At this time, add the chicken, potatoes, olives and sherry. Turn up the heat and cook about 8 minutes. Let it come to a boil. You will be cooking off the alcohol so be careful of the flame.
Now add the stock, bay leaves and a little salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Place the casserole, covered, in a pre-heated 350-degree oven and bake for about 45 minutes.
When finished cooking, place on a deep platter. You don’t need to use all of the cooking juice, just a little to cover nicely. Sprinkle the top with parsley and thyme. It is ready to serve.
• Charlie Abowd is the owner and chef at Adele’s. He and his wife, Karen, have lived in Carson City since 1980. Charlie is a fourth-generation restaurateur.