Roast Chicken Legs with Mushroom Sauce

Roast Chicken Legs with Mushroom Sauce (c)2013 La Domestique

These photographs of Roast Chicken Legs with Mushroom Sauce were part of the series from my last post featuring Roasted Carrot Soup. I photographed this series  for a client and none of the recipes are my own. I cannot share the recipes here, but I thought you might enjoy the photos and a few tidbits I learned during the project. I don’t think I’ve ever bought chicken legs (meaning thigh and drumstick all in one piece), and I was pleasantly surprised by them. First, chicken legs are cheap – even cheaper per pound than buying a whole bird. Second, there’s a lot of meat on those bones. Third, the meat is quite tasty.

For this recipe, the chicken legs were simply roasted in a pan with onion wedges, a drizzle of oil, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.  Once cooked through and golden brown, I set the chicken and onions aside and made a quick pan sauce. Sautéed onions and mushrooms simmered in a mixture of pan juices, red wine, milk, and flour until the sauce thickened. While the sauce simmered my husband and I nibbled at the roast onion wedges, which were the best part of the dish! Following the recipe, I served the roast chicken on a platter with a generous handful of fresh parsley and mushroom sauce on the side. After cooking this recipe, I think I’ll be using chicken legs more often, especially in braised or stewed dishes that call for a whole bird broken down into 8 pieces.

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Roasted Carrot Soup

Roasted Carrot Soup (c)2013 La Domestique

A few weeks ago I photographed this Roasted Carrot Soup recipe for a client and I’ve been on a pureed vegetable soup kick ever since. Root vegetables like carrots, beets, and squash add a pop of color to the soup bowl that’s most welcome during the grey days of winter. Try potato, celery root, or cauliflower for an elegant bowl of silky cream-colored soup. For years I’ve used the base recipe for How to Make Pureed Vegetable Soups from Martha Stewart’s Cooking School cookbook. Martha’s method involves three steps: sauté the aromatics (like onion and garlic), add the base vegetable and simmer in stock, puree the soup. The technique is simple and open to endless variations. You can use homemade vegetable or chicken stock in the soup, but I find water works just fine and lets the pure vegetable flavor shine. I can’t share the Roasted Carrot Soup recipe here, but I can tell you that the technique for slicing the carrots and roasting them in the oven (along with a head of garlic wrapped in foil) really pumped up the flavor. To make the puree I placed the roasted garlic cloves in a blender with the carrot, sautéed shallots and fresh ginger, and water. You can always thin a pureed vegetable soup if it’s too thick, so be judicious with the liquids until you’ve got the right consistency. The beauty of pureed vegetable soups is their ability to be rich and velvety without any cream or added thickeners. Finish the soup with a garnish of fresh herbs, good olive oil, or a few drops of aged balsamic vinegar.  

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Wheat Berry Salad with Roasted Fennel and Red Bell Pepper

Wheat Berry Salad with Roasted Fennel and Red Bell Pepper (c)2013 La Domestique

Hello there! We’re halfway through January, can you believe it? To be honest, the past couple of weeks have been a blur for me. Has it been that way for you too? After taking a little time to relax and enjoy the holidays, I’ve been completely overwhelmed getting back in the swing of things. It’s a good overwhelmed, though. I’ve been blessed with a lot of freelance photography and writing work, but as these things go I’m sure things will slow down come February. The freelance life is feast or famine. It’s been bitterly cold here in Colorado (daytime temperatures have hit a high of 5°F!), and I’ve been working from home trying to keep from getting the flu. How are you coping with the winter blues? I’ve seen a lot of bloggers organizing their pantries and whipping up brightly colored juices to boost the immune system. This time of year I kind of enjoy the challenge of cooking from the pantry (while the garden hibernates). One can only eat so much citrus, and so I try to find creative ways to infuse my meals with healthy produce. Today I’ve got a pantry meal for you that’s based on hearty, filling grains and relies on roasted red bell peppers from the jar for color and nutrition. Bon appétit!

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Winter Salad with Grapefruit and Seared Scallops

Winter Salad with Grapefruit and Seared Scallops (c)2013 La Domestique

I love a fresh start. A clean slate. A chance to begin anew. I don’t make resolutions for the New Year, but I do become quieter and more thoughtful. After all the holiday parties and visiting, it’s nice to retreat to my nest with the husband. I’ve been thinking a lot about where I’ve been and where I’m headed in the next year (haven’t we all?). 2012 was my first year earning an income as a freelance writer and photographer, and it’s been a tough (but rewarding) learning curve. I leapt before I looked most of the time, which made for many unique experiences that helped me grow quickly, maybe even too quickly. Because of this I can see I need to go back and attend to the details. I’ve got to slow down and focus on the quality of my work, rather than the quantity. That’s ok, though. I wake up with bright eyes and an open heart, because I still have SO MUCH TO LEARN. My thirst for life cannot be quenched.

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Favorite Recipes of 2012

RoseAndMussels-long

Thank you all for following La Domestique the past year. I’m so excited about 2013 I could burst!

Before our fresh start tomorrow, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at some favorite recipes from 2012.

Spring

Rosé-Steamed Mussels

Rhubarb Clafoutis

Spring Pea and Herb Salad

Summer

Grilled Squid with Tomatoes and Basil

Lettuce Wraps with Quinoa, Avocado, Mushrooms and Tahini

Autumn

Italian Prune Plum and Cardamom Conserve

Chocolate Pear Tart

Grilled Plum Salad with Purple Basil, Blue Cheese and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Winter

Rose Water Scented Couscous with Citrus, Yogurt, and Almonds

Election Day Chicken Drumsticks

Pear, Cheddar and Caramelized Onion Tart

Chicken That Fancies Itself Spanish

I would love to hear your favorite recipe from your own repertoire that you’ve cooked this year. Please do share a link in the comments section. Click Here.

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