Recipes inspired by They Died With Their Boots On (1941)

Raquel StecherAbout Me
Blogger at Thoughtful Eating and Vintage Brand New. Please add my to your circles.

Roast Chicken, Scallions, Potatoes Au Gratin, Roasted Asparagus, Creamed Pearl Onions and Spiced Pears in a Red Wine Sauce.

This meal is inspired by the film They Died With Their Boots On (1941). Please check out my post on my movie blog, Out of the Past ~ A Classic Film Blog, for more information on how I came to create this meal.

Roast Chicken

Whole Chicken, rinsed and patted dry
1/2 a lemon cut into 4 wedges,
1 small onion peeled and cut into wedges
a few tabs of butter
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Salt and pepper the cavity of the chicken as well as the outside (don't forget to remove that bag of extra bits from the cavity). Add the onion and lemon wedges to the cavity and slide tabs of butter underneath the skin where you can, namely on the breast and drum sticks. Tuck under the wings and transfer your chicken to a roasting pan. Cover with aluminum foil and cook for 2 hours then remove foil and cook for 30 more minutes or until the skin is nice and golden. Let rest for 15-20 minutes and serve. You can cook the bird without the foil but you'll need to baste, baste, baste a lot!

Potatoes Au Gratin

3 or 4 large potatoes, peeled, halved and sliced into thin half moons
Shredded Gruyere cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees or add this for less time in the oven with the roast chicken.

Butter the bottom of a casserole dish and add a layer of sliced potatoes. Salt and pepper the potatoes and top with some shredded Gruyere (based on taste, I went very light). Create another layer of potatoes, salt and pepper and Gruyere. Keep doing this until you get to the top of the casserole dish. Then top it off with a few knobs of butter and drizzle some half-and-half. I'm not giving exact measurements because it'll be based on taste. I used about 1/4 cup but you can use more or less. Just make sure it's even distributed.

Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes at 375 or 30 minutes at 400. Remove the aluminum foil then broil the top at the low setting until the top gets nice and golden and the edges are a little crispy. Let cool for a few minutes then serve.

Roasted Asparagus

One bunch of asparagus
2 tablespoons of very light olive oil
lemon zest

Snap off the tougher ends of the asparagus stalks and add them to a baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over the asparagus and move them around so they are thoroughly coated in the oil. Spread them evenly on the sheet and salt them. Add them to your 400 degree oven, you can even put them on a lower rack beneath your roasting chicken. Cook for 10 minutes. A little more if you like the tops to be crispy. Remove from the oven, add a little finely grated lemon zest on top and let cool.

Creamed Onions

1 bag of frozen pearl onions
1 cup of half-and-half
1 tablespoon of butter plus a bit more
1 tablespoon of flour
salt, pepper and nutmeg
2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees or 400 degrees to cook with the chicken.

Add the bag of frozen pearl onions to a pot of water (make sure water covers the onions by at least one inch) and bring to a boil. Cook for 20 minutes, drain and set aside. In the same pot, add butter and melt then sprinkle in flour. Mix thorough then slowly add the half-and-half little by little, incorporating the roux into the cream making sure there are no lumps. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cook at medium-low until the sauce thickens. Add the cooked pearl onions and coat with sauce. Butter a small baking dish then add the onions with sauce. Top with breadcrumbs. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes in a 375 degree oven or 20-25 minutes in a 400 degree oven until it's bubbly.

This is a recipe created by Ellie Krieger of Food Network fame. You can find the original recipe here. I've modified it slightly

Spiced Pears Poached in Red Wine

4 Pears peeled and with bottoms cut off
2 cups of red wine
1/4 cup of sugar
2 inch strip of orange peel
the juice of one orange (I used a Cara-Cara orange)
2 cinammon sticks
3 cloves

Add wine, orange peel, orange juice, cinammon sticks and cloves to a pot and bring to a simmer. Add the pears and cook for 15 minutes, turning them every five minutes. Remove the pears carefully and stand them up on a plate. Transfer plate to the fridge. Remove peel, cinammon sticks and cloves from the pot. Bring the liquid to a boil and simmer down to a syrup for 10-15 minutes stirring occassionally. Then let the syrup cool and set aside. When you serve, drizzle some of the syrup on top of the poached pears. Enjoy!


Jonas Nordin said...

That is what I call a delicious meal! Looks like something i could serve as a Saturday special.

I have heard of a very interesting way of cooking a whole chicken in the oven I haven't tried yet. Apparently a chicken is best grilled when standing up. OK this makes sense since normally about a half of the chicken rests in contact with the pan you use in the oven. A way of getting an even surface the best way is to place the bird upright on a can of beer (which also needs to be half full). and then cook it. Do you have any experience of this?

John Hayes said...

I agree with Jonas--this looks really good! Now I'm hungry!

Raquelle said...

Jonas - I hear that standing up the bird, putting a beer can in it (full of beer) and cooking it Rotisserie style are all better than plonking it on a roasting pan. But with those three methods, you can't stuff the lovely bird with lemon wedges and chunks of onion. So I guess those methods are not for me.

John - I like that you like things in cream sauce!

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