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$20 dinner with Gerry Klaskala

Aria's chef demonstrates the art of fine dining at home

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Pan-roasted Bell & Evans chicken with celery root and cracked black pepper jus

• 1 Bell & Evans chicken
• Vidalia green onion trimmings
• 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
• 1 celery root (celeriac), washed, peeled and largely diced. Reserve pale yellow leaves and trimmings.
• 1 russet potato, peeled and largely dice, cover with cold water
• 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
• 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black peppercorns
• 1 black radish, long matchstick cut
• 1 teaspoon olive oil
• Few drops lemon juice
• Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions: Rinse chicken with cold water and dry with paper towels. Bone out chicken breasts leaving wing joint attached, set aside. Cut off legs and thighs and cut up remainder of carcass into thigh-size pieces. In a heavy bottom stockpot, cover bones, legs, thighs, celery root and Vidalia green onion trimmings with cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook for two-and-a-half hours. Strain and reserve 2 cups for chicken jus. The rest will be used for the soup.

Place 2 cups of defatted chicken stock into a saucepan and simmer until reduced to a quarter cup, add freshly cracked black pepper and season to taste with salt. Drain potatoes and rinse them. Place celery root and potatoes in heavy-bottom pot, cover 1-inch over with cold water. Add salt and bring to a simmer. Cook until quite tender, drain well and place in a ricer, rice celery root and potatoes. Whisk in butter and season with salt to taste.

Heat a cast iron pan and add vegetable oil. Add seasoned chicken breasts, skin side down, reduce heat to medium high and cook chicken until skin is crisp and golden brown. Carefully turn chicken over and place pan into a preheated 350-degree oven, cook until juices run clear when pierced. Remove chicken to a plate, keep warm, allow to rest.

When ready to serve, spoon celery potato purée onto the center of the warmed plates or large bowls. Place chicken breast onto cutting board, carve chicken breast into three large diagonally cut pieces, arrange each carved chicken breast atop the celery purée.

In a bowl combine the celery leaves and black radish, toss with olive oil and few drops of lemon, season to taste with salt. Place salad atop chicken. Spoon cracked black pepper jus around and serve.

Sweet potato and red pepper soup with Vidalia spring onions and shrimp

• 2 teaspoon vegetable oil
• 1 cup diced sweet red pepper
• 1 cup diced Vidalia spring onions, white part only (save the green for chicken stock and garnish)
• 1 cup diced sweet potatoes
• 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
• 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
• 1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste
• 1 Thai chili, thinly sliced
• 1/4 pound wild shrimp (preferably Georgia whites) peeled and deveined
• 1 tablespoon cilantro, minced
• 1 teaspoon lime juice, freshly squeezed
• 1 tablespoon Vidalia spring onion, green part, bias cut

Directions: Heat large heavy bottom pan, add vegetable oil. Add red peppers and cook for three minutes, add white part of Vidalia spring onion and cook for an additional minute. Add sweet potatoes and cook for three more minutes, add chicken stock, coconut milk, Thai red curry paste and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until sweet potatoes are tender.

When ready to serve, bring soup back to a simmer. Add shrimp and continue to cook until shrimp are just cooked two to three minutes. Add cilantro, Thai chili and salt to taste. Finish with freshly squeezed lime juice. Ladle into warm bowls and top with thinly sliced green part of the Vidalia spring onion.

Raspberries with Crème Fraîche

• 1 pint raspberries
• 4 tablespoons Vermont Creamery crème fraîche
• 2 teaspoons powdered sugar

Directions: Arrange raspberries in a tight circle onto slightly chilled plates. In a non corrosive chilled bowl add crème fraîche and powdered sugar. With a wire whisk, whisk crème fraîche until it can hold a soft peak. Top raspberries with a spoonful of whipped crème fraîche. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.

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