Over the Christmas season and most holidays, you will see recipes for a large family gathering. I have always wondered why there aren’t more recipes and options for people that have small families or they may now be a couple. Our daughter and her family that includes our two wonderful grandchildren visited with us to celebrate Christmas the weekend before Christmas. Our friends that we celebrate holidays with sometimes were out of town visiting their family for Christmas. That left the challenge of having a good special meal for just me and my sweet husband. He will go along with just about anything so it was really up to me. I remembered earlier in the season talking to my sister and she told me that my brother-in-law prepares chicken breasts instead of a whole hen when they have a small family celebration. I thought that was a wonderful idea so my mission became a special way to prepare chicken breast for our Christmas meal.
For Christmas Eve we had some barbecued pork loin leftover from our weekend meal with our children and we ate that with slaw and baked beans. Having barbecue on Christmas Eve has been a family tradition for a long time so we stayed with that tradition. On Christmas Morning we had a hearty breakfast that included country ham and red eye gravy. That is a long standing tradition in our family too. So the only thing that was left was our Christmas Dinner.
Earlier in December when I was sick and resting on the sofa, I watched a rerun of one of Ina’s cooking shows and she made chicken with goat cheese and basil. I could not get that out of my mind so that is the main dish I prepared for our Christmas meal. Here is the recipe from her cookbook Barefoot Contessa At Home.
We enjoyed this chicken so much. It was moist and delicious and the goat cheese and basil complimented the chicken flavor so much. Ina recommends a boneless chicken breast with skin. I could not find that in my store and I was doing all of my last minute shopping on Monday. I improvised and used fresh chicken breast with bone in and skin. I did have to cook them longer but the olive oil made the skin so crisp and browned the chicken perfectly.
I made potato salad, deviled eggs, broccoli with cheese sauce, cornbread dressing and candied sweet potatoes to accompany the chicken. We had sourdough rolls that I had prepared earlier and cheesecake for dessert. I used a simple recipe for the cheesecake that would make a smaller version of cheesecake.
Here is a picture of the table and yes we do sit down at the dining room table to eat this special meal. My husband set the table correctly for us and we used our good china.
It was an easy meal to prepare as I made the potato salad and deviled eggs on Christmas eve. I also made the cheesecake on Christmas Eve. We enjoyed our meal and it was special. I will incorporate the leftovers into our meals in the next few days and the leftovers will be consumed quickly. Here is a closer view of the table and the chicken.
I will always believe that every holiday should be celebrated with those special people that mean so much to us and I would never want to slight my husband of a great Christmas meal just because there is only two of us. I think he enjoys being included in the preparations as it was his mission to polish the silver and set the table correctly. If you are planning a special celebration for any upcoming holiday including New Year’s Eve, Ina’s chicken would be a great choice to prepare. Here is one last picture of the table that shows from left to right the potato salad, yams, chicken, broccoli, deviled eggs and gravy in the front of the picture..
Happy weekend everyone and thanks for stopping by!!