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08.21.2006

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copyright ©1999-2006
DigsMagazine.com.

old thyme delights culinary classics for all
by Kiera Tara O'Brien 
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continued from page 2

the official and elegant dinner party
This is it. You are all grown-up and throwing your first big dinner party. Whether trying to impress would-be in-laws or your new boss or just entertaining on a special occasion, show off your skills with a savory and straightforward pork roast or a bold plate of crispy chicken breasts.

pork roast with thyme

5 lbs pork roast, trimmed (ask your butcher to make it easy)
3 cloves sliced garlic
1 tsp dried or fresh thyme
1 tsp salt
½ Tbsp black pepper
3 bay leaves
½ cup cider vinegar

serves 10

1 Preheat your oven to 325 F or 165 C.
2 Use a small knife to pierce the top of your pork roast. Push your garlic slices into the holes.
3 Sprinkle the salt and pepper all over the top of the pork and place the bay leaves in the bottom of a large roasting pan. Set the roast directly on top of the bay leaves with the fatty side facing upward.
4 Mix the vinegar and thyme in a small bowl, then pour over the top of your pork.
5 Bake in the oven for 3 hours, or until an internal meat thermometer gives a temperature of 160 F or 70 C. While the roast is in the oven, you should periodically use a spoon or a basting brush to spread the drippings on the bottom of the pan onto the roast. After roughly 3 hours, your juicy roast will need to sit for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Suggested side dishes: sliced red apples and sweet potatoes.


mustard and thyme chicken breasts

4 boneless chicken breasts or thighs
1 tsp fresh thyme or ½ tsp dried thyme
3 Tbsp coarse mustard
1 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp cider or herb vinegar
½ cup plain bread crumbs
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp vegetable oil

serves 4

chickening out
Breaded chicken cutlets can seem tricky … unless you keep a few tips in mind. First, make sure your chicken’s not too thick – between a ¼” and ½” is perfect. You can either halve a particularly chunky cut with a knife to yield two thinner cutlets, or flatten the chicken by placing it between two sheets of wax paper, then pounding it with a meat mallet, rolling pin, or the flat side of a chef’s knife. (No need to go nuts on the pounding; you don’t want to pulverize the meat.) Second, keep the heat at medium … no getting impatient and cranking it up, as you’ll end up charring your coating well before the interior gets cooked. Last, refrain from flipping the chicken more than once, as the more you fuss with the chicken, the more of the tasty browned crust you’ll lose to the pan.

1 Combine the mustard, flour, honey and vinegar in a bowl. Use a brush to cover the chicken pieces with this mixture.
2 Combine the bread crumbs, thyme and pepper on a large plate. Roll the chicken pieces over this mixture to coat them.
3 Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet on the stove.
4 Cook the chicken pieces for about 5 to 6 minutes on each side, turning once. The chicken should be browned and cooked through.

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