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On Saturday in Tahoe, the plan was barbecue chicken, smashed roasted potatoes and a big veg salad. Then the power went out on our block and so we switched the potatoes to the grill and same with the summer squash – nixing the salad that would be easiest made in the kitchen. But then, the propane ran out while the chicken was only not close to done. Half-cooked chicken is not exactly salvageable, so we scratched it all and walked down the street to dinner.
But the barbecue chicken hankerin’ has remained.
So last night I quickly grilled chicken thighs, painting on a bit of BBQ sauce at the end, just to caramelize. It was fast, easy and just what we were looking for in the weeknight version.
As for the salad, while the chicken was grilling, I added radicchio quarters to the heat, removing once they were nicely grilled on all sides. A quick blanch for the green beans, plus a basic shallot-red wine vinaigrette, made a little richer with the slightest splash of cream, toasted pinenuts, and we were just about there. Once those elements were tossed together, I finished it with basil and goat cheese. It was one of those things that came together on the fly, but will most definitely be added to the regular rotation.
Not quite as fun as the outdoor grilled version while sitting lakeside, but was a pretty close second.
Let’s be honest – the Thanksgiving table can often use a bit of color. Some of the main components of the plate are a bit bland, in color, not taste! But between the turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes, that is more than a bit of brown and beige.
So bright colors are a fun and welcome addition, like the blue table here, or how great is this purple version? But knowing that the food is the main event, there might not be much room for flowers this round. Why not spruce it up with more food?
These candles with green beans are a snap – literally! Just fit any candle you want with a rubber band and then insert the green beans. Once you have enough to cover the circumference of the candle, trim the ends so it stands evenly. Lastly, tie it up and remove the rubber band. I think a twine would look a bit better, but my trusty kitchen string filled in quite nicely.
In the spring, this also works great with asparagus!
Another way to bring color and light is with artichoke votives.