Tonight I made a chicken dish from Martha Stewart's newish little mag, Everyday Food. It consisted of chicken roasted on top of slices of acorn squash, red onion, and cremini mushrooms. It was OK but nothing special. We were fighting over the mushrooms, though—they turned out yummy. It was not as good as Tyler Florence's Pan-Roasted Chicken with Mushrooms and Rosemary,* which always turns out great. And I do like me some Tyler Florence! He's just about the only one on the Food Network who seems like a good chef and a nice person. Oh, I like Ming Tsai too. Some of the others seem to be good chefs but also jerks, like Mario Batali. And then there's Emeril. What an idiot! He's so clearly not a good chef and seems to be a total pea-brain to boot. He's always mispronouncing everything, like "a-say-gee-oh" (hard "g" sound) for Asiago cheese, or cannellini for cannelloni (last time I checked, white beans and pasta shells were not interchangeable ingredients). But worst of all is his shtick, with the "Bam!" and the "Kick it up a notch!" and all that crap. I don't know where they find these audience members, but they all act like they've been living in a hole for 10 years. All he has to do is mention alcohol or garlic and they go out of their little minds, applauding and whooping. Those rare occasions when I get a chance to flip on the TV, it seems he's always on, and I just can't watch him anymore.
*His recipe serves just one person; I can't recall exactly what proportions I used to serve both me and Andy, but it's something like this:
3 lbs. chicken pieces
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. fresh white mushrooms, halved
6 shallots, halved
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/2 cup water
1 lemon, juiced
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Season chicken on both sides with a generous amount of kosher salt and pepper. Place a cast-iron or regular ovenproof skillet on the stove over medium heat. Drizzle the pan with the oil and lay the chicken in the hot fat, skin-side down. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the skin begins to set and crisp. Throw in the mushrooms, shallots, and rosemary. Stick the whole thing in the hot oven and roast for 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked, and the mushrooms and shallots are soft and roasted.
Use a slotted spoon to remove everything from the pan, and arrange on a dinner plate to keep warm while preparing the pan sauce. Pour out all but 2 tablespoons of the rendered chicken fat and return the skillet to the stovetop. Stir in the water and lemon juice and cook over medium heat, scraping up the flavors with a wooden spoon. Cook the liquid down to a syrup, about 5 minutes. Drizzle the pan sauce over the dish, season with salt and pepper.