Saturday Night – 04-23-2011

Thirteen friends in all joined us for dinner. Definitely a full house with one occasional guest subbing in for one of the regulars.

Beer-Braised Chicken Stew
Classic Mac & Cheese (see note)
Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Hot Cross buns

This week I wanted a main dish that I could make ahead of time and clean up from before everyone arrived. We also hosted Easter Sunday dinner for my family this year so being able to clean up before the end of the night helped ensure that I was able to get a full night of sleep. While there were a couple of pots to wash this morning it was because I left them to soak overnight.

I made a double batch of the stew and it was almost completely consumed. I used 6 pounds of skinless, bone-in drumsticks for the stew rather than boneless thighs. I forgot what a pain it is to remove the skin from drumsticks. Next time I’ll do skinless, bone-in thighs. I also added a heaping tablespoon of tomato paste to each batch after the jalapeno & garlic to deepen the sauce and maybe a tablespoon of red wine vinegar just before serving to brighten it a bit.

Ted made the mac & cheese from a recipe in the Best New Recipes cookbook from America’s Test Kitchen. He made 1.5x the recipe per my request and we had more than enough for everyone. There will be mac & cheese for lunch this week.

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