This is a perfect post-Thanksgiving dish when you have left over turkey and ham.
There’s a 30-minute or so grace period while the turkey takes its necessary rest after coming out of the oven (this is what makes for juicy eating, believe it or not). Use this grace period to heat up the sides and to simmer the gravy.
At the risk of committing heresy, we present this quick and easy update to the venerable Burgundian (and very umami) classic that traditionally calls for bacon, red wine, and a tough old rooster. We have lightened it up with lean smoked ham and your choice of white wine; good matches, we think, for the lighter flavor of thighs from a younger chicken. Make it a day ahead and gently reheat it for even more umami and better-developed flavor. Keep a loaf of good French bread nearby, as the gravy is irresistible to sop up.
Darra Goldstein, in her book The Georgian Feast: The Vibrant Culture and Savory Food of the Republic of Georgia, tells how suckling pig is rubbed with a blend of soaked black and red pepper pounded with garlic, coriander and summer savory. When she mentioned it was also excellent on roast chicken, we gave it a try.
For Vietnamese living abroad, a trip to Saigon would be incomplete without a visit to Ben Thanh Market, a huge maze of fresh food and sundries. Near the center is a food court where vendors hawk popular Viet treats. As you sample their wares, you are apt to strike up conversations with other gluttonous Viet kieu (Vietnamese expats). On one occasion, a man from Texas visiting his family for Tet told me part of his daily routine while in Vietnam included eating mien gá, which was so deliciously light that it allowed him to order more dishes from other vendors.
Excellent hot, at room temperature, or cold, these will keep 5 days in the refrigerator and reheat nicely.
Chef Michel Trama runs one of the French Southwest's culinary treasures, Les Loges de l'Aubergade, a stylish three-star restaurant in the region of the Agen. There he produces ethereal, flawlessly balanced dishes using local products. This deceptively simple recipe includes chicken breasts coated in a sweet nutty flavored sauce made with garlic-infused white wine.
This sauce is a sharper version of pevra, a peppery bread sauce that is one of the four traditional condiments that accompany bollito misto, the grand array of boiled meats served throughout Italy's northern regions. Spiked with young balsamico, it is a perfect match to boiled chicken, my comfort dish for a cold evening. In order to avoid overcooking the breast before the legs are done, water is added to the level of the top of the thigh joint, leaving the breast exposed. When the legs are tender the chicken is inverted to finish the cooking of the breast. The flavorful broth that results is used to moisten the sauce.