Friday, December 02, 2005

Normally, I plan the week's menu on Saturday in order to do the Farmer's Market and grocery shopping on Sunday, but since we were out of town this weekend, I wound up not doing any menu planning.

So yesterday I was in the spot I most hate to be in, instant messaging my husband about what we want for dinner. I am not a spontaneous cook. I like a PLAN and a LIST. None of my husband's ideas sounded good and he hates thinking of meals at all- he likes eating them, but would prefer not to brainstorm about them. So I decided to try that week's Minimalist column.

By the time I got to the store, though, I realized the last thing I wanted was a whole chicken drowning in cream. I did want chicken, but crispy. Maybe with panko. I remembered reading about Suzanne Goin's deviled chicken thighs in a review of Sunday Suppers at Lucques*, and that sounded good. Though I remembered hers going on a bed of braised leeks, and I decided instead to make some sweet potato chips.

So I picked up some chicken thighs and panko and a couple of sweet potatoes, and then got home and decided the Julia Child recipe that Goin referenced as inspiration was more my speed anyway- you brown the thighs, then coat them with a mustard-shallot-rendered chickenfat mixture, then coat them with panko, and then broil. Goin's version seemed more of a pain, and it is not like the Julia Child way of doing things is usually slapdash. More of a pain seemed like too much of a pain for a Thursday, anyway.

As for the sweet potatoes, I figured they could just be sliced thin on a mandoline, tossed in oil and salt, and roasted on a cookie sheet. They were okay, but not as great as regular potatoes cooked that way. I think sweet potatoes do better as onion fries- in chip form, they are either too burnt or too oilymushy. We ate them all anyway, of course.

*I totally want this cookbook but suspect every recipe in it has been reprinted in a review by now. Seriously, I have never seen so many review recipes from one book in my life. Is that just me? Plus, I live in Los Angeles so I could just go have a Sunday Supper at Lucques AT Lucques.