I Feel Like Chicken Tonight

Early last week an intriguing email found its way to my inbox, inviting me to a Vancouver Food Blogger Meet Up. The host was the Chicken Farmers of Canada and the location Quince, a boutique food shop/cooking studio specializing in artisanal and local food. The premise – an evening of hors d’oeuvres, mingling, and dinner, all cooked by us bloggers! I made sure to RSVP right away because spaces were limited and it sounded like a fun night.

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Tonight was the night, so following a refreshing afternoon nap, I bundled myself up, and headed back on into Vancouver. I was lucky enough to even score some rockstar parking right out front!

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I was pleased to a) not be late, and b) see that the crowd of food bloggers was starting to chat it up and mingle. I picked up one of the programs for the evening, which included the menu we would soon be cooking.

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Free range chicken breast, mushroom risotto, pomegranate sauce. Sounds good to me! And all the recipes were included for us to take home.

Wine and San Pellegrino was being served up, so I had myself a glass of the bubbly water (it was a school night after all). While I sipped I took in the surroundings.

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While us bloggers got to mingling, they passed around a few appies for us to nibble on.

Crostini with goat cheese, pesto, and tapenade. The goat cheese was awesome, the pesto fresh, but I don’t like tapenade, so that kinda brought it down on a notch on the delicious scale.

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Sesame-crusted seared tuna crostini with…ginger and chilies, and an aioli? I honestly don’t remember.

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I do know it was rather excellent – light and fresh tasting. It was my favourite, which might be why I had two.

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Chicken satay with a coconut sauce. Loved the sauce, found the chicken a touch salty.

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There were also some tandoori chicken drumettes that went around, but my photos didn’t turn out. Again, drumettes aren’t really my thing, so they were just okay in my books.

We nibbled and chatted about our blogs and food for awhile, as the kitchen got prepped.

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Although I didn’t get to talk to everyone there, I did have the chance to talk to our hosts, and meet a few bloggers in attendance:

Finally we were all summoned to make our way into the kitchen for our cooking lesson with Andrea Jefferson, the Chef, Sommelier and Owner of Qunice.

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Although the menu was relatively straight forward, it was still great to watch Andrea in action, and learn little tips and techniques as she went along.

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She showed us how to go about searing our chicken properly, how to finish it in the oven, and how to make the mushroom risotto. She explained the process of making the pomegranate sauce, which included a rich, dark reduced duck stock (we weren’t making the sauce). Then we were divided up into groups, and it was time to get our hands washed and start cooking!

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Mise en place ready and waiting for us.

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My group included Dawna, Kevin, and Tana. I think we worked pretty well together to get our dinner on the table.

Mushrooms were chopped and then sauteed in a generous amount of butter.

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Chicken was seared and baked to perfection.

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Risotto was stirred…and stirred…and stirred. We took turns.

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Then it was time to plate.

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This was our demo plate to follow, done up by Andrea.

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We did out best to emulate it.

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Then it was time to feast on our creations!

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“Look what I made!”

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Even though it was a school night, I thought it only appropriate to enjoy a little wine with my meal. This was an Australian Chardonnay. It was tasty. I’m not a wine aficionado, so that’s all I can say about it.

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But what I can comment on is the meal.

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The chicken was moist and flavourful. I loved the technique of searing it skin side down until crispy, flipping it momentarily, then finishing it in the oven. I think it made for a superior product over doing all the cooking in the oven. Although I will admit – I still removed the skin before eating. I just don’t like chicken skin.

The risotto was excellent, although I would have liked probably double the amount of mushrooms in it, and could have used more veggies on the plate in general (hello, future RD talking). But the sauce was amazing, especially in combination with the chicken and risotto. So rich and complex, with little to no real pomegranate flavour that I could tell. Very good. Simple too if you already have the reduced duck stock (and it just so happens Quince sells it – I might have to get some).

Full of delicious food, the evening came to an end, but not before receiving a little gift from the rep from the BC Chicken Farmers.

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That would be a chicken topped pen. How hilarious is that? I’m totally taking it to class tomorrow to jot notes. Too fun!

All in all, it was a great evening of food and fun. Thanks to the Chicken Farmers of Canada for organizing the event and for the invite, and to Andrea and the staff at Quince for providing such a great space for it. I’m happy I was able to attend and meet some new bloggers from the Vancouver area, and hope to see some of you around again, perhaps at a future foodie event.  

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Categories: Blogger Meet Up, Demo, Dinner

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7 Comments on “I Feel Like Chicken Tonight”

  1. November 24, 2010 at 2:18 am #

    Wow, girl, you are QUICK at getting this post up 🙂
    It was great meeting you. I think you summarized the evening really well and you have great pictures too. They make me wish I took more photos.
    Keep in touch.

  2. November 24, 2010 at 9:00 pm #

    Wow, indeed! Great comprehensive write-up. I think our plat looks pretty fab – props to Kevin for artistically wedging the veggies underneath the chicken when I got carried away with the plating!

    I agree with your assessment of the dishes overall – more mushrooms (maybe two kinds) would definitely be the way to go in my kitchen, and I would also argue in favour of much smaller dice for the onions – I thought they were about the size of my thumbnail, which is too big for a non-feature ingredient in a risotto, according to me.

    We had a good team, I think.

    Lovely to meet you – and thanks for sharing all of your photos. I still feel like a chump for forgetting to bring a camera…

  3. November 25, 2010 at 2:20 am #

    I was wondering what this incoming link was for! You’re super quick! Great summary.

    Nice to meet you and to more future events!

  4. November 25, 2010 at 5:22 am #

    What a fun sounding night! And now I have some new blogs to check out….thanks! 🙂

  5. November 25, 2010 at 10:14 am #

    wow, you’re fast, marianne. The photos look great too. I really enjoy meeting you and other food bloggers there. And the chicken was yummy. Eat more Chicken!

  6. November 25, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

    You girl chicken girl. You go. Schmappy thanksgiving!! ox.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. This Week In Food « french fries to flax seeds - November 28, 2010

    […] Cooking up something good at Quince! (read all about it here) […]

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