Photos and recipe (c) and courtesy of Chef Amy Chamberlain of The Perfect Wife.
Thank you to Chef Amy Chamberlain of Manchester, Vermont’s famed Perfect Wife Restaurant & Tavern, a favorite among locals and visitors for exceptional locally-sourced, seasonal specialties just minutes from the slopes of Stratton and Bromley and then picturesque village of Manchester! The Perfect Wife, one of my inaugural Platinum Palate establishments in the entire US has been delighting loyal and new fans for over 20 years! Chef Amy prepared her Vermont Maple Chicken on the Food Network about 18 years ago. It’s a great VT recipe and seeing that sugaring season is right around the corner, it might be a good one for the season.
Chef Amy has also shared her recipe for Ali’s Quinoa Meat(less) Balls. “Ali is my vegetarian cousin who made them for me once and I created my own recipe for them. I love to serve them over sauteed kale with a little goat cheese and marinara.” I enjoyed these on a visit to The Perfect Wife, and now you can too!
Vermont Maple-glazed Free Range Chicken with Roasted Vegetables, Potato Pancakes and Applesauce
1 whole roasting chicken, free-range birds are always tastier
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 ribs of celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large onion, or 2 small ones, peeled and cut into eighths
1 14 oz. can of chicken broth
½ cup of real VT maple syrup
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 325.
Once you’ve prepared all of your vegetables, toss them together with the thyme and some s&p. Put the cut up veggies into a 2-inch deep roasting pan that is large enough to hold your chicken comfortably, a 9X13 pyrex pan should work quite well.
Wash the bird inside and out and dry with a towel. Sprinkle it all over with salt and pepper. Rub a couple of teaspoons of olive oil all over the skin. Place it on top of the vegetables. Put it into the oven.
Pour the stock and syrup into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce it by half. Use this mixture to baste the chicken generously and frequently.
While the chicken is cooking, make the pancakes and the applesauce.
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and held in salted water
1 small red onion, fine dice
¾ cup flour
1 t. baking powder, mixed with the flour
salt and white pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
Canola oil for sautéing
Grate the potatoes in the cuisinart. Put them in a bowl and add the egg and onion. Mix slightly. Add the flour mixture and mix some more, but not too much. Add the s&p and oil. Mix a little more.
Heat the canola oil in a 7” non-stick pan. When it starts to smoke a little, add one sixth of the mixture and lightly spread it so that the cake is even thickness all around. Turn down the heat to medium. When the pancake starts to brown around the edges, flip it over and cook for about 3-4 minutes more. Repeat until you are out of batter. Hold these warm on a platter and reheat them in the oven just before you sit down for dinner.
6 tart apples, peeled, cored and diced
3 Tablespoons of granulated sugar
¼ cup water
Cook the apples on the stovetop with the water and the sugar. When soft, mash with a fork or puree the applesauce in the Cuisinart for a smoother sauce.
Finishing up and serving:
You will know that the chicken is done when the leg moves somewhat freely and the juices are running clear between the breast and the thigh. IF you have a meat thermometer, insert it into the thickest part of the thigh where it should read 160°. I would give a four pound bird about 45 minutes. Take the chicken out of the oven, move it to a cutting board and allow it to rest, covered with foil, for 15 minutes.
While the bird is resting, with a slotted spoon, scoop the veggies into a serving dish and keep warm. Put the roasting pan with the cooking juices on the stove and add ½ cup of white wine. Reduce all of this together just a little and pass in a pitcher with the chicken. Carve the chicken into large pieces, trying to keep the yummy glazed skin intact with each piece. Cut the pancakes into 4 wedges each Serve family style with the applesauce and veggies.
For a quicker dinner you may roast a cut up chicken, basting all pieces in the same manner. You should roast the chicken on the veggies, but you will have to cut the vegetables into smaller pieces so that they are done when the chicken is ready.
Ali’s Quinoa Meatballs
4 c. quinoa
Cook in 7 cups of water with salt and pepper. Cool.
Mince and saute: 2 carrots, 4 ribs celery, 1 red onion
Add 1 T. oregano. Stir. Cool.
Combine cooked quinoa, cooked veggies in a large bowl.
2 c. panko breadcrumbs
1 1/2 c. asiago cheese
1/2 c. chopped parsley
salt and pepper
Spread a bit of olive oil on a sheet pan. Form the quinoa into balls and put onto sheetpan. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of the balls. You want them to be slightly golden on the outside and hot on the inside.
These can be baked and frozen for later use. Remember that they are a little fragile so use care when reheating.
When in Vermont, be sure to visit the Perfect Wife and please tell Chef Amy that Fred Bollaci sent you! Buon’ Appetito!