Recipe Blogroll Review: Braised Chicken with Grapes; + yum wine, till morning...

Friday, January 22

Currently listening to "Pink Moon," Nick Drake

Yesterday seemed like the perfect day for some delicious cooking, for a couple reasons: 1 Matt had friends in town (and I wanted to impress them with my cookin skilllllz); 2. I actually remembered to take the chicken out of the freezer to thaw; 3. It's been a long week since I completed some intense internship applications, finished my first full week of school (my classes are done on Thursdays! woohoo!), and finished two conference proposals... 

So it was a good night to relax in the kitchen.

The recipe was good! It really was! Thank you, Healthy Delicious!

I'm just such a bad cook.

Ughhhhhh... just suffered a flashback of what happened last night.

Okay, I'll explain... but let's break this down first:

Recipe Blogroll graphic

Braised Chicken with Grapes:
Posted by Healthy Delicious
Healthy Delicious Chicken with Grapes
(Pic by Healthy Delicious)

Dinner: (what did I serve this with?)

Braised Chicken was served with risotto, green beans, and a loaf of french bread

Recipe Difficulty: (how hard was this to cook?)
2.5 / 5
*Most difficult part was finding arrowroot spice in my grocery store!

Recipe Quality: (how well was the recipe written?)
5 / 5

Dish Deliciousness: (did it taste great?)
4 / 5 

Number of cooking mistakes: (how many times did I mess up??) 
3 mistakes total:
  1. Cooking time of chicken quarters depends upon size
  2. Don't accidentally buy red grapes because you didn't read the recipe and then go back for green ones because you're not sure if it matters but forget to bring your wallet inside the store and have to hold everyone in the line up to go get it so you can pay for $1.37 of grapes...
  3. The microwave timer is there to be used so stop trying to remember then time, just to forget it later and wonder if things have been in for long enough

Repeat Likelihood (will I try to make it again?)
5 / 5


The Story:
Matt's work friend "Watkins" (his name is Matt too, but luckily he commonly goes by his last name Watkins as a nickname. Matt and I have such unoriginal names...) was over for a while, and Matt's fraternity brother from undergrad, Josh, was in town from Virginia.

I got home from class and immediately got started.  The cooking experience was enjoyable... everything was fairly easy, and the risotto was a good pairing since it's not particularly difficult to cook, and the smells from the kitchen were making the boys holler from the living room about how they couldn't wait to eat!

It took longer than I thought, but when I was done I was nervous.  I hadn't really thought about it... but the chicken quarters I bought were huge. I put them on a serving plate and was impressed with their size... they were definitely bigger than the ones in HD's picture. But hey, I figured, I'm feeding a bunch of guys so it should be fine... but I cut into the chicken to make sure it was done.

We all loaded our plates, the guys were talking about how great it smelled, and I'm wondering how I can sneak my camera and get a picture of my plate when....

...Watkins cuts into his chicken.

And it looks good. At first.

Until closer to the bone, his knife hits some kind of vein or something, and the chicken starts bleeding on his plate.

...really? yes.

It was disgusting.  Everyone else's was fine, but just in case I quickly swiped up everyone's chicken, tossed them back into the pan *luckily I hadn't cleaned it yet* with some chicken stock to cook longer.

I swear, they all looked done!! Does that just happen sometimes?? All his meet looked totally cooked I swear, but there was just this random vein I guess... ugh it was so gross.  I cut everyone's chicken a little in the pan before I served it again about 10 minutes later...


But you know... I'm lucky, because if it was going to happen to someone, I'm glad it happened with Watkins. He's a great guy, and a true southern gentleman.  He's from a smalllllllll town in NC, and was raised not to curse around women, to say "yes, Ma'am," the whole nine yards.  He's very polite and kind-- plus, he's a huge hunter.  So a little bit of blood didn't bother him at all, lol. He thought it was kind of funny.

I didn't, though. I was so excited about serving a good dinner! It all ended up tasting great-- I loved the sauce, just like HD said we would, and grapes really are a great pairing with chicken!

This was my first time cooking with chicken quarters, and I had no idea what I was looking for when I went to the store. Now I know not to get the huge ones...

I'm gonna try this one again, HD. 
And you guys-- I definitely recommend it :)

I'd like to try this recipe again with skinless chicken breasts, but then again I don't want to be scared off chicken quarters. I mean, the chicken was really good!

It was just... ughh. Embarrassing. Learning to be a good cook can be embarrassing....


The recipe calls for using a semi-sweet wine... HD used guwurztraminer, which I couldn't find in the store, but I found a great looking riesling.

I think it made a great sauce, and it was fun to drink during and after dinner...

...I just shouldn't have drank as much of it.  I was just sipping on it... but we stayed up late since Josh was here and I ended up sipping a lot I suppose...

woke up this morning with a HUGE headache. I forget that white wine gives a headache like no other... I'm used to drinking red wine, which I swear is nicer to you in the morning...

so anyway, I'm going to drink another cup of coffee... my cut off is usually no more than two mugs before lunch, but I'm making a hangover exception.


Comments on my last post:

Thanks for the blog award, Nikolett!

My first one of 2010!

I'll pass it on in my next post... thanks a lot for thinking of me, Nikolett! Go check her out over at Better Than Coffee.

Speaking of my next post-- that's where I will also talk about those Tiramisu Cheesecake bars that I found over at My Tasty Treasures blog... some of you were drooling over the pic, as did I.

Yes, they were amazing, and yes, you should make them!

But wait till I post, cause as a new baker I've got some great tips to help you not screw it up... lol

And Kim, no worries, if I make Steph Chows' granola I'll definitely send you some. Unless I eat it all first... then I'll make a second batch and send you that :)


Thanks for the great recipe, Healthy Delicious! 

Your still-kind-of-embarrassed,
apparently white-wine-slurping,
New Girl Blogger


Ace on January 22, 2010 at 11:08 AM said...

Sounds delish! And don't worry, cooking mishaps happen to the best of us. Not that I'm one of the best, just sayin.

thegamerswife on January 22, 2010 at 11:10 AM said...

Glad you had such an enjoyable and memorable cooking experience! That recipe sounds wonderful - I might just have to try it out myself!

Kim on January 22, 2010 at 11:32 AM said...

You're too cute. Has anyone told you that lately?

Well, at least your dinner was tasty and delicious... after the initial, bloody fright. I think you can chalk that up to a story that might be told too often in the future, but it didn't effect the taste. Taste is pretty darned important.

stephchows on January 22, 2010 at 2:00 PM said...

mm sounds great! And so nice of you to be willing to share your granola LOL hope you have fun making it!

Renee on January 22, 2010 at 7:22 PM said...

Don't worry about the undercooked chicken. I actually drove my daughter (15 at the time) to vegetarianism after serving undercooked Cornish Hens for Christmas dinner one year...That's when you KNOW you screwed up!

Kym on January 22, 2010 at 7:24 PM said...

haha at least you didn't leave your wallet at home while at the grocery store! i think i've done that before! =S Good thing Watkins is a gentleman and he can stomach that. i would've totally lost my appetite. I can't even stomach a steak that is slightly pink and bloody!!!! The recipe sounds great though! Glad you had great time making it :) HAPPY FRIDAY SARAH!

Ali on January 22, 2010 at 8:14 PM said...


Tiramisu Cheesecake Bars?!!!!

I die.


Stephanie on January 23, 2010 at 12:14 AM said...

I would recommend getting a meat thermometer. It probably was just a vein that couldn't be helped, but with the thermometer you'll know exactly when the meat is done without cutting into it and loosing the juices or just guessing which always makes me feel like I'm going to die from salmonella poisoning.

Donna-FFW on January 23, 2010 at 9:19 AM said...

The chicken dish sounds wonderful, Ive never made it with grapes. I bet it was quite tasty and the fact that you would remake it again ..makes me want to try it.. :)

Jenn@slim-shoppin on January 23, 2010 at 3:45 PM said...

I just started cooking chicken with the bones in it. My sister gave me the BEST device ever. It's a remote thermometer. You stick it in the chicken, either on top of the stove, or in the oven.

You set it for the time you want it done (i.e. 160-165) and it beeps when it reaches that temperature! It's awesome. I totally would have done the same thing you did! But congrats anyway on pulling off a nice dinner!

lk (Healthy Delicious) on January 24, 2010 at 3:57 PM said...

oh no! sorry about the chicken timing - I usually buy organic chicken which does tend to be smaller since they're not jacked up on hormones. I should remember to make a note of that somewhere on my blog... also with arrowroot, you could have just used cornstarch. Again, my bad. Aside from that, I'm glad you liked it!

Iva on January 25, 2010 at 3:32 PM said...

woooohooo!! Congratulations on your award!!

knitseashore on January 25, 2010 at 6:15 PM said...

I really feel for you...that kind of cooking experience would have freaked me out too!! (Which is why I'm mostly vegetarian, and have Chris separate the meat into separate ziploc bags after I get it from the store...). I'm sure next time all will go better, and it's great that you keep experimenting!!!

Kat on January 25, 2010 at 10:37 PM said...

This recipe looks wonderful. But, I must admit, cooking chicken freaks me out a bit, too! Pink chicken...blegh!

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