Friday, May 7, 2010

Swiss Chicken and Orange Wine Cake: Alida's Inaugural Meal

The Menu:

Swiss Chicken (Page 84)

Orange-Wine Cake (Page 188)

We cooked up the idea for this wine-infused dinner menu while out on the water. I read the Fiddlehead introduction and perused recipes while sitting on the bow of my brother's boat, barefoot, April sun beating down. No spring king salmon even but nibbled our hooks all day long, and so it was chicken -- and not fish -- to be eaten for my inaugural Fiddlehead meal.

This is a very basic chicken casserole dish. There's no Swiss cheese involved, which my guests found disappointing, but the sauce is heavenly. I ended up not coating the chicken in flour before browning and that may have been reason for how liquidy the final sauce was. I served it over hot noodles (you can also do rice) and it should've been in bowls.

I used organic orange and butter for the cake. Moist and flavorful, the walnuts and raisins added interesting texture to the cake. It could have even used pieces of orange or pineapple in the cake batter. The frosting is rich--buttery with orange and sherry--and the outcome a winner. Even though I prepped the cake ingredients in the AM before work, a 5:30 after-work start set me -- and boyfriend (in charge of defatting and slicing chicken with my subpar knives) -- scrambling. Every dish in the apartment was dirtied.

There's wine in the chicken sauce, wine in the cake. A perk to this recipe was drinking the Pinot Grigio while some of it simmered in the cream sauce.

I know I'm going to love this project!


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