Saturday, December 24, 2011

Příjemné svátky! - Happy Holidays!

So this Christmas, as is tradition with my kiddos and I, we are going to do the traditional thing of having something "different" or "interesting" for our Christmas dinner yet again.

We discussed the possibilities, which, in the past have been anything from a pot roast to pancakes with chocolate chips with whipped cream, and my daughter came up with the idea of having a "Czech" Christmas.

Now, of course, this meant I had to start doing research right away, as the only Czech recipes I remember cooking or eating are kolacky and chicken paprika. I searched online for "Czech recipes", looking for what might make a nice meal, and came up with some really wonderful sounding dishes.

For our main course, we are having Roast Chicken with Mushrooms:
Czech Roast Chicken with Mushrooms

Categories : Czech - Bohemian Cuisine

1 whole chicken -- 3-1/2 to 4 lbs
3 Tbs lard or vegetable
1 medium yellow onion -- finely chopped
2 ribs celery -- diced
3/4 lb fresh mushroom -- sliced
1 tsp thyme
2 cloves garlic -- mashed
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth or water
juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbs fresh parsley -- chopped
1/2 cup sour cream (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Heat the lard or oil in a roasting pan on top of the stove on medium-high heat. Put in the bird and brown on both sides. Remove the chicken and turn the heat down to medium.

Put the chopped onion in the pan and fry, stirring occasionally, till almost golden, Add the diced celery, mushrooms and the garlic. Cook for 3 or Put the chicken back in the pan. Pour on the white wine and the lemon juice. Sprinkle on the parsley and thyme. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Put in the oven.

Baste the chicken every 15 minutes or so, adding some broth or water if the liquid dries out. The meat should be tender and the skin crisp after 1-1/2 hours or less.

Once the chicken is done, remove it to a platter and put the pan with its vegetables and liquid on top of the stove on medium heat. Add some broth or water if needed for a good quantity of sauce. Either add sour cream and heat through, or mix 2 Tbs. of flour with some water and hot liquid from the pan and then whisk this into the sauce and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

NOTES : Serve the bird surrounded with mushroom sauce. This dish is good with dumplings

And of course, there will be dumplings - potato dumplings. And there will be green beans in sour cream sauce, Czech style, as well as a poppyseed cake sweetened with honey.

This will mean starting the cooking the day before (which is tomorrow - wow, no sleeping late for me!) but I know I'll really enjoy creating such a wonderful meal.

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