How To Entertain This Month With Alexandra Dudley
The best dinner party dishes are those that don’t need too much attention, so the host can enjoy cocktails and the chatter as much as everyone else. I often make a variation of this menu when entertaining – starring a one-tray chicken dish paired with nutty sweet squash and a lazy parsley oil. I’ve also shared my recipe for a browned butter bourbon pecan pie, which you could make even simpler if you use ready-rolled pastry. I tend to make my tart the night before so that I have little more to do on the night than slap on some lipstick and find my best shoes. Serve it with a good fruity red wine. I love this one from Drink Amie.
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Baked Chicken & Leeks With White Wine & Sage
This is a simple one-tray dish that can be thrown together at a moment’s notice and requires zero marinating. Everything is tossed together, with the chicken cooked on top of the leeks. The beauty of cooking the chicken and vegetables this way is that, as the chicken cooks, its wonderful juices sink down into the vegetables (I love leeks, but fennel works well too). The result is golden crispy skin, tender meat and buttery soft leeks.
Roasted Squash With Parsley Oil
This simple side is always a crowd pleaser. Use any squash you like. My favourites are acorn squash, onion squash and crown prince squash but a butternut squash will do just fine. Use any excess parsley oil to spoon over the chicken or keep it to drizzle over salads, pasta or eggs.
Brown Butter Pecan Tart
A buttery rich nutty tart with a subtle kick of bourbon, this tart is wonderful for a winter dinner party. I tend to make my tart the evening before so it has ample time to settle. For an added touch, stir an additional tablespoon of bourbon through your double cream before serving.
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