The Americans are gas. They have the biggest democracy on the planet and they end up with the Donald as one of the two contenders for the most powerful position known to man (or to woman, if Hillary gets the gig). ‘The Donald’ has tried to attract specific groups by playing to their fears. This will prove to be a mistake. If I were to take a similar approach, we would build a wall in the Irish sea and I would call out some lovely Irish blogs (like Donna Hennessy’s A Cookbook Collection or Katia Valadeau’s Proper Food and say that you shouldn’t vote for them because they are run by women. Worse than that, Hennessy is the name of a drink and that Valadeau one is not even Irish. How can we let these people into an awards competition, let alone into the country? But, I’m not ‘The Donald’. Have a look at their blogs (if you must) and then vote for whoever you think is worthy.
You could also vote for Rory Kelly, The Bicycle Thief. But, would you want a crim in a position of influence? I’m only asking questions, ultimately you have to decide. There are a few other very questionable entries (or so the Big D might say) but, let’s not focus on them.
If I were you, I would think about voting for a sophisticated, mature, handsome and modest blogger. Somebody who can show you a recipe for Sous Vide Chicken with Herbed Polenta. You are well-educated (and pretty good-looking yourself) and I know you won’t fall for flattery. So for a bit of tasty dining, here’s how you should go.
- 4 high quality, free range, organic, corn-fed, etc, etc chicken breasts.
- A big handful or three of parsley
- A big handful or four of dill
- A sprig or two of rosemary
- A lime to slice
- Zest of another lime
- 3 hot chilis (The Donald might say NOT Mexican)
- Polenta for four people (read the pack as the instructions vary)
- Salt and pepper to season stuff.
- A few knobs of butter for the chicken
- A glass of white wine for the gravy
- 1/2 pint of chicken stock or concentrated stock for the gravy
The great thing about sous vide is once you stick the food in a bag, you can pretty well forget about it until near eating time.
In so many ways this is like attracting a voting public. The chicken, like the candidate, needs to be seasoned, then, like the public, it needs to be buttered up (add a knob), and then lime is added for harmony of flavour. Unlike in an election, at this stage, you can seal all that in and keep it.
Pop the bags of chicken into a water bath and cook at 65ºC for an hour. During that time, chop the herbs and chilli. Zest the lime.
Make the polenta according to the instructions, adding seasoning and the zest, the chilli and herbs when the polenta is just about cooked. We don’t want to cook the herbs, just warm them enough to get their flavours into the polenta.
Turn the polenta out into a baking dish lined with cling film. Smooth it out as much a you can. Like in politics, some things can’t be smoothed over.
Take the chicken out of the bath and brown the skin side on a cast iron skillet or frying pan. Remove it and keep it warm. Add the chicken stock or concentrated stock cubes and a glass of white wine to the skillet and reduce to a nice, flavoursome gravy.
Side note on glasses of white wine: If you are running in an election, stay away from the wine. If you are cooking in the kitchen, sneak a glass or two while you are cooking. Nobody will notice and you won’t be called out as a dipso by the Donald.
If you are going for president, don’t partner up with somebody with a name like Gewürztraminer. Nobody will be able to pronounce it (particularly if you are chasing an unsophisticated voter). If you are doing that, an ideal candidate would be somebody with a memorable name, like Palin perhaps? However, if you are matching this meal, the Gewürztraminer is an ideal partner for this lovely chicken dish.
The Voting Bit – August 23rd Deadline – Voting Now Closed
Thank you to everybody who voted for me in this bit of fun. I really appreciate your support.
Thanks for voting. We need a worthy winner. Imagine the mess this would be in if The Donald ran my food blog!
Footnote on the food blogging scene in Ireland. There are some fantastic blogs out there where the passion and enthusiasm of the bloggers comes straight through and really engages. The three mentioned above, Rory, Katia and Donna are all very different in approach and are amongst my favourites. They are nice people too and that helps.