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I’m Andrea. I like to cook and bake and take photographs and write about life. Welcome to Bella Eats, where I share these passions of mine with you. I’m glad you’re here.

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Monday
Sep192011

a meal for summer's end

The final days of summer are upon us.  Already I've worn a scarf, contemplated tights, and polished my boots. The weather this Sunday past was Perfect (yes, with a capital 'P')...temperature in the upper sixties, sunny skies, a crisp breeze. Our windows have been flung wide open, the air conditioner *hopefully* retired until next June.  Brian happily gave our lawn what he wishes to be its last cut, and I've planted the garden beds full with beets, carrots, collards, and lettuce.  We're ready...for Fall festivals, warm jackets, rosy cheeks, mulled cider, creamy soups, firey leaves, golden light, and crisp air.

As a send-off to Summer we're embracing her end-of-season bounty.  There are still local peppers and corn to be had and I, ever the fan of fresh, local corn, am consuming as much as I possibly can until it is gone.  We've had corn chowder, corn pancakes, cornmeal cake.  And now, perhaps my favorite thus far, corn bread stuffing laced with green chilies. And alongside that, a roast chicken stuffed with local plums and nectarines.  The perfect meal for these last Summer days, when cooler temperatures have us craving warm and comforting fare at their end.

I expected the stuffing to be very, very spicy, but was pleasantly surprised by the mild heat the chilies provide. Still, if you have an aversion to spice, consider substituting anaheim peppers for the jalapenos.

Roast Chicken with Summer or Fall Fruit

serves 2-4, depending on the size of the bird

Ingredients

  • one fresh, organic, whole chicken (this bird was about 2.5 lbs)
  • a few tablespoons of canola oil
  • salt + pepper
  • 12 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2-4 nectarines, peachs, or plums (or a mix of all three) cut into wedges (and, when Fall hits full-force, this would be delicious with apples, too)

Method

  1. The morning you are planning to cook the bird for dinner, rub him down with oil. Work your fingers between the skin and meat of the bird's thighs and breast, separating the two to form pockets for the herbs. Stuff the thyme underneath the skin in as many places as you can, reserving a few sprigs. Finally, rub the bird thoroughly with salt and pepper, over top and underneath the skin. Refrigerate the bird until you're ready to cook him.
  2. Preheat your oven to 325° and place a rack in the middle. Lay the remaining thyme sprigs in the center of a medium cast iron pan. Place the bird, breast-side up, on top of the thyme. Stuff as many fruit wedges as you can inside of the cavity, and lay the rest in the pan around the bird.
  3. Cook the chicken for 45 minutes, then remove from oven and turn him over. Cook for another 45 minutes, remove from oven, and turn him again. Make a small incision in the breast to see if the meat is cooked through, white and not pink. For a small bird, 90 minutes is about all you need. If you're cooking a larger bird, he will take longer. Just keep turning him every 45 minutes until the meat is white and the interior juices run clear.
  4. When the chicken is done, turn the oven to broil. Place the chicken, breast side up, back in the oven on the middle rack.  Broil until the skin browns and crisps, about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the chicken from the pan, retaining the juices and fruit in the pan. Let the chicken rest for about 15 minutes before carving him.
  6. Bring the juices and fruit to a boil on the stovetop. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, until the juice is reduced to a thicker glaze. Spoon the glaze and fruit over top of the carved chicken, on individual plates.

Corn Bread Stuffing with Green Chilies

adapted from bon appétit

serves 10

Ingredients

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh poblano chilies, seeded, chopped
  • 6 small jalapeño chilies, seeded, chopped
  • 6 ears corn, kernels removed from cobs
  • 1-1/4 cups chopped green onions
  • Buttermilk Corn Bread, 1 day old (recipe below)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Method

  1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add all of the chilies and saute until they begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Stir in half of the corn and all of the green onions. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Coarsely crumble the day-old cornbread into the bowl and mix together.
  2. Blend the rest of the corn, the eggs, sugar, salt, and pepper in a food processor until you have a course puree. Stir the puree into the stuffing mixture.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°. Generously butter a 13x9x2 or a 10x10x2 baking dish. Transfer the stuffing mixture to the baking dish and pat down into dish. Butter a piece of aluminum foil and place the foil, butter side down, over the stuffing. Bake until heated through, about 40 minutes.  Uncover the dish and bake until the stuffing is slightly crisp and golden, about 15 minutes.

Buttermilk Corn Bread

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Butter a 13x9x2 inch baking pan. 
  2. Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Remove from the heat and whisk in the buttermilk, and then whisk in the eggs.
  3. Mix all of the remaining ingredients together in a large bowl. Stir in the buttermilk mixture.  Transfer batter to the buttered baking pan.
  4. Bake corn bread until edges are lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Cool completely in pan. Cover the pan tightly and store at room temperature for at least one day, and up to two days.

Those of you local to Charlottesville or Richmond: I've been providing Relay Foods with recipes and photography for some time now.  I typically try to post recipes here, on Bella Eats, prior to their appearance on Relay, but have been a little swamped lately.  So, this means that if you're interested in adding the ingredients for the Corn Bread Stuffing with Green Chilies to your Relay order with just one click, you can do so here.

« apple dapple cake, and some food photography tips | Main | food photography workshop at the heritage harvest festival [tomorrow!] »

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Reader Comments (5)

That buttermilk corn bread looks to die for! Thanks for sharing. Will definitely be a part of my fall recipes.

I am definitely starring this one for Thanksgiving!

09.20.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

I love the roast chicken recipe. I enjoy having fun with the different stuffings, and I will definitely give this one a try! Love your photography by the way....I just recently bought a Nikon, and have been trying to remember everything I learned in college sitting in my photography class :) Have any food styling tips?

09.20.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatherine

@Katherine : Thank you! Check out today's post for some food styling tips. :)

09.22.2011 | Registered CommenterAndrea

Just found your website via Facebook. I am an instant fan. I can't wait to try this recipe... I love anything cornbread!

: )
Jen

10.18.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

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