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On The Menu: Roasted Chicken w/ Pinot Noir Sauce and Garlic-Smashed Potatoes


Roasted Chicken and Garlic-Smashed Potatoes

Whenever I have a day off, I normally feel the urge to sleep the entire day and forget the world. After thoroughly cleaning my apartment, getting my laundry together and paying bills all afternoon, I worked up a healthy appetite for a really nice dinner.

However, after exhausting all my energy on mundane activities all day, I wanted to make something simple but delicious, and a dish that I could make with all of the ingredients I had on hand: chicken, wine, garlic and potatoes. The thought of actually having to leave my apartment to go to the grocery store and expending more of my precious energy walking up four flights of stairs bewildered me.

I found this recipe for Roasted Chicken Breast with a Pinot Noir sauce and Garlic-Smashed Potatoes and decided to give it try because it sounded interesting (red wine sauce on chicken?) yet elegant. The chicken came out absolutely perfect; crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside – flavored with rosemary and thyme, and sauteed in a light, seasoned searing flour before roasting in the oven giving it a nice browned flavor. The wine sauce is the trickiest part – you want to cook down the wine in the sauce until it turns into a thick glaze and watch it so it doesn’t burn, stirring often.

The potatoes were pretty amazing – buttery, garlicky, crispy on top but creamy underneath the browned crust. The recipe suggests topping the potatoes with sour cream and chives when serving which I omitted, but instead I added a drizzle of Wegman’s basting oil, flavored with garlic, thyme and parsley on top before I put them in the broiler to give them a little extra flavor and crispier crunch.

I highly recommend a glass of red wine to accompany – and a side of crisp sauteed green beans or sugar snap peas for some extra veg. All in all, it turned out to be the perfect meal for a perfectly exhausting day off.

Roasted Breast of Chicken with Pinot Noir Sauce

Ingredients

2  teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2  teaspoon salt, divided
1/2  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/2  teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
8  (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4  cup all-purpose flour
1  tablespoon olive oil, divided
Cooking spray
3  tablespoons finely chopped shallots
2  cups pinot noir
1 1/2  cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
3/4  teaspoon sugar
3  tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 425°.

2. Sprinkle thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and rosemary evenly over chicken. Dredge chicken in flour; shake off excess flour. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 4 chicken breast halves to pan; cook 2 minutes or until browned. Turn chicken over; cook 1 minute. Remove chicken from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and remaining chicken. Arrange chicken in a single layer on the rack of a roasting pan coated with cooking spray; place rack in pan. Bake at 425° for 12 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into thickest part of chicken registers 160°. Remove from oven. Cover and let stand 10 minutes.

3. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add shallots to saucepan; sauté 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Stir in wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Increase heat to high; bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes or until wine is reduced to 1 cup. Add broth; cook 16 minutes or until broth mixture is reduced to 1/3 cup. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and sugar. Gradually add butter, stirring constantly with a whisk until smooth. Serve sauce with chicken.

Serves 8.

Source: Cooking Light, Oct 2010

Garlic-Smashed Potatoes

Ingredients

1 3/4 pounds small unpeeled Yukon Gold potatoes (about 16), scrubbed
6 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Preparation

Generously butter glass pie dish. Cook potatoes and garlic in medium pot of boiling salted water until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain; let stand 5 minutes. Discard garlic. Arrange potatoes close together in prepared dish. Using wooden spoon, smash potatoes coarsely until they split open. Drizzle with oil; dot with butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Preheat broiler. Broil potatoes until crisp and golden, watching closely to avoid burning, 8 to 10 minutes. Top with dollops of sour cream; sprinkle with chives.

Serves 6.

Source: Bon Appetit, Feb 2009

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A Taste of Rochester – Top Picks


Rochester, NY may not be the first place that comes to mind for your next culinary travel adventure. But here are several reasons why you should – growing up there has given me some fond memories of delicious, hometown food and restaurants that are worth visiting every time I pay a visit. (In fact, I refuse to visit Rochester without an Abbott’s Frozen Custard in the summertime – vanilla and chocolate swirl, with chocolate sprinkles in a waffle cone, thank you very much!)

Rochester is a melting pot of cultures due to the extensive number of Italian, Polish, Ukrainian, German and European immigrants that settled there in the mid-1800s. For the food lovers out there, you can definitely find some of the best pizza, heroes and wing joints to old-world specialty foods to funky diners and cafes in the trendy parts of the city such as Park Avenue and Monroe Avenue. Here are some of the places you don’t want to miss to get a true taste of the unique array of food in this in All-American town.

Burgers, Hots and Wings

Nick Tahou’s Hots: This is a place you don’t want to miss! Home of the famous “garbage” plate, Nick Tahou’s is a Rochester legend founded in 1918 located near the University of Rochester packed with starving college students gobbling up their legendary mile-high greasy plates after a few too many drinks. The garbage plate consists of either two cheeseburgers or hot dogs smothered in onions and their famous Rochester-style meaty hot-sauce, with a side of macaroni salad and home fries, topped with more hot sauce and the works. Word of warning: you may need some Pepcid the next morning, but it sure hits the spot after a night out at 3 am. www.garbageplate.com

Located at: 3070 West Henrietta Rd., Rochester, NY 14623
~ 585-272-1182.


Anchor Bar
: This is the home of the original Buffalo Wing recipe, founded in Buffalo, New York in 1964 by Teressa Bellissimo. Their wings are big and meaty, crispy on the outside and drenched in the most delicious, buttery hot sauce you’ll ever taste. Make sure to get the generous side of celery and carrots with blue cheese dressing for dipping to cool your flaming lips along with a nice draft lager from the bar to wash it all down for a true experience. Plenty of beer and wing specials daily (.50 cent wings on Tuesdays), and it’s a fun atmosphere in the trendy theatre district area on East Ave. www.anchorbarrochesternewyork.com

Located at: 355 East Ave. Rochester, NY 14604 ~ 585-861-6475


Country Sweet Chicken and Ribs
: Country Sweet is a Rochester-based BBQ joint best known for their special sweet and spicy sauce and succulent barbeque chicken and ribs. The best item on their menu is their colossal-sized crispy battered chicken wings, drenched in their signature sweet and addictive wing sauce so good you’ll want to lick the plate. These are not Buffalo wings and the sauce is an exclusive “Rochester thing”- they are more of a cross between Southern Fried Chicken drenched in a sweet and spicy sauce you’ve never tasted anywhere else. The chicken and ribs are phenomenal too (try the Country Sweet Sampler Dinner with Chicken, Ribs, Wings, Fries, Macaroni Salad and Coleslaw), and you can even purchase a jar of their special sauce to take home with you if you can’t get enough of it on your visit. Located on Mount Hope Avenue, this is one finger lickin’ spot you don’t want to miss when you’re in town.  http://rocwiki.org/Country_Sweet

Located at: 1691 Mount Hope Ave, Rochester, NY 14620 ~ 585.244.3200

Italian and Pizza

Mario’s Via Abruzzi: Mario’s serves classic Italian fare and steaks, in an upscale neighborhood establishment on Monroe Avenue. Owners Mario and Flora Daniele originated in the Abruzzi region of Italy, and opened several restaurants in Detroit, MI and Rochester, NY for 16 years before the grand opening of their Monroe avenue location, that is now the most popular Italian restaurant in town. They use the freshest ingredients and make their own pasta and sauces, and their wine list is extensive and impressive. They are most well known for their family style dinners that include 5 courses: Antipasto, pasta, salad, a main entrée such as Chicken Saltimbocca or Roast Strip Loin served with Garlicky Greens and Beans and Mashed Potatoes and topped off with homemade rum-soaked Tiramisu for dessert. The impressive space is great for special occasions; they are open 7 days a week, accept large parties and reserve the dining room for private events and weddings. They also offer lunch specials and take out and delivery service. http://www.mariosviaabruzzi.com

Location: 2740 Monroe Avenue, Rochester, NY 14618 ~ 585.271.1111


Bay Goodman Pizza
: Established in 1955, Bay Goodman Pizza is a legend in Rochester, known for the best brick oven pizza in town. The establishment is modest, in a small shack-like building with booths and carpeting that looks like it hasn’t been updated since the 50’s. But one bite of their crunchy crust and tangy tomato sauce oozing with gooey cheese and loaded with crispy pepperoni in every bite, and you’ll be hooked for life. Some even say Bay Goodman gives NYC pizza a run for its money – don’t miss this one!  http://www.baygoodman.com

Location: 620 North Winton Road, Rochester, NY 14609 ~ 585.288.0730

Cafes/Diners

Jine’s Diner – Park Ave: Located in the cultural and historic area of Park Avenue, Jine’s is a charming cafe and long time favorite of Rochesterians. Their breakfast menu features 24 types of omelettes, including the Wild Mushroom and Crumbled Bleu omelette and an amazing Mediterranean omelette filled with a blend of spinach, feta and tomato and fresh herbs. Belgian waffles, pancakes and Banana bread French toast are also local favorites for Brunch. Their lunch menu features homemade soups and specialty salads as well as a variety of cold and hot sandwiches that are out of this world. Their dinner menu boasts American favorites such as Pork Chops and Meatloaf and they even offer a Greek menu with savory items like Spanikopita and Souvlaki. Open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  http://www.jinesrestaurant.com

Location: 658 Park Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607 ~ 585.461.1280


Highland Park Diner
: This 1940s gem is an art-deco-styled diner near Highland Park that is actually an old train cabin, finished in stainless steel and original Art Deco style furnishings. Nestled between Highland Park and Cobbs Hill Park on Clinton Avenue South, this is a landmark eating establishment with great diner food to boot. They are famous for their homemade corned beef hash served with eggs, hash browns and toast and serve freshly squeezed orange juice and coarse ground corn grits as a special treat for the Yankee folks Upstate. Their prices are reasonable and the food is delicious, and it’s worth going just for the atmosphere and history behind it. http://www.wherethelocalseat.com/Rochester-Restaurants/Highland-Park-Diner-Rochester-NY-WebID-17562.aspx

Location: 960 Clinton Ave South, Rochester, NY 14620 ~ 585.461.5040


Daisy Flour Mill
: This fine dining establishment is an authentic historic landmark and a special treat for any visit to Rochester. Located on the Irondequoit Creek in scenic Ellison Park, the restaurant originated from an 1848 Grist Mill, now restored with all of the original equipment still in place. They offer classic American Cuisine such as Prime Rib, Norwegian Salmon, Lobster and Shrimp Scampi and a Mixed Grill of Smoked Ostrich sausage, Venison filet and Sirloin Steak smothered in a special cream sauce they call “Robert Sauce”. Their entrees run from $13-26 and include fresh baked rolls, choice of baked, Vermont cheddar au gratin or cracked peppercorn-horseradish whipped red bliss potatoes. A beautiful atmosphere and unique dining experience for intimate dinners to special private events. http://www.gofattie.com

Location: 1880 Blossom Road, Rochester, NY 14625 ~ 585.381.0180

Ethnic Specialty Shops

The Pierogie Guy: Founded by “The Pierogie Guy” Matt Lewis and his wife, Kelly started their business “Melting Pot Foods” with secret family recipes, crafting their own version of this handmade specialty. Every pierogie (Polish stuffed dumpling, steamed or fried) is made by hand, and stuffed with unique flavorful fillings such as Buffalo Chicken, Sauerkraut and Mushroom, Garlic Smashed Potatoes and Pulled Pork. They make their famous dough dumplings swimming in butter in the “Pierogie Dungeon”, in their basement kitchen in East Rochester. All of their ingredients are all natural and sourced from local produce farms in Upstate NY and they put a lot of labor and love into each one. You can find them at Rohrbach’s Brewing Company and Flour City Diner and they are also available at a dozen local area stores such as Mise En Place and Casa Italiana.  http://www.thepierogieguy.com


The Ravioli Shop
: At this specialty Italian shop, all of their fine fresh Pastries, fresh Ravioli and Pasta, homemade sauce and Italian bread are made daily. They also sell gourmet items such as imported olive oil, sea salts, herbs and spices. They have 14 varieties of handmade ravioli including Artichoke, 5-cheese, Broccoli Feta, Lobster, Pumpkin and Asparagus and Goat Cheese. Their sauce contains only tomatoes and salt and their cream sauces use cream sourced from local dairies: Marinara, Tomato with Roasted Red Peppers, Vodka Cream, Alfredo and Mushroom Cream. A true Italian gem to discover. http://www.theraviolishop.com

Location: 260 Winton Road (near Blossom), Rochester, NY 14610 ~ 585.288.6420

Desserts

Abbott’s Frozen Custard: Established in 1902, Abbott’s Custard serves up the richest, creamiest frozen dessert in town. Their custard is slow churned in barrels with a custard base, and they use a special vanilla extract, real fruit purees and endless toppings such as fudge, cookies, candies and sprinkles to top off their delicious sweet treats. Abbott’s has over 40 locations in the nation, grown from a single location on Lake and Beach Avenues across from Ontario State Park. They also offer sundaes, cakes, pies, shakes, floats and flurrys to cool you off in the summer heat.  http://www.abbottscustard.com

Location: 2195 Empire Blvd., Webster, NY 14580 ~ 585.671.6365


Leo’s Elite Bakery & Deli
: A 60 year old family business owned by Pat and Kathy Bemunzio, Originally known as The Balta Pie Company before the family sold their business to General Mills, Leo’s creates special order cakes such as Chocolate Raspberry Rum and German Chocolate, Cannolis, Biscotti, Cookies, Danishes, fresh baked Italian bread, deli sandwiches, subs and wraps. They also create party trays, specialty gourmet salads and heat and serve dinners including homemade meatballs and sauce, pot roast and pulled pork and baked beans. http://www.leoselite.com

Location: 101 Despatch Drive, E. Rochester, NY 14445 ~ 585.249.1000

Fresh Food Markets

Wegman’s: Rochester’s family-owned mega store supermarket chain is a definite must-see on any trip to Rochester. Founded by John Wegman in 1916 as Rochester Fruit & Vegetable Company, he and his brother opened their first 20,000 sq foot store on Clinton Avenue in 1930. Expanding across Rochester and Buffalo and now across the eastern seaboard to New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia, Wegmans is now known as one of Fortune Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For”. Their stores have an amazing selection of fresh, frozen and prepared food and have now expanded into opening First Market Café at some of their store locations. The larger showcase stores have food courts inside, featuring Sushi Bar, an Asian Wokery Bar, Italian food, brick oven baked pizzas, a Cappuccino bar and more. They offer cooking classes and live demonstration events from their own Wegmans chefs in a wide location of stores and have their own magazine “Menu” and online blog featuring recipes, cooking tips and celebrity chef articles. This is definitely not your average supermarket and worth the trip.  www.wegmans.com

Location: Wegmans Pittsford – 3195 Monroe Avenue, Rochester, NY 14618 ~ 585.586.6680


Rochester Public Market
: Located in the heart of Rochester, the Public Market is open all year around on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Here you’ll find local vendors offering ethnic specialties, farm fresh fruit and vegetables, meat from local farms, and specialty items from home baked goods to flowers, plants, dry goods and jewelry. The prices are fair, due to the fact that consumers can buy directly from producers and bypass the middleman costs and support local and regional farmers.  http://www.cityofrochester.gov/publicmarket/

Location: Pennsylvania Avenue between Niagara St and 1st St, Rochester, NY 14609

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