4.21.12: El Clásico, feast-day chicken and a crazy coca.

Xavi demonstrates my mood during much of the match.

It’s been a tough week for FC Barcelona and its cules: an unexpected loss earlier in the week to Chelsea in the Champion’s League finals was bad enough, and then on Saturday we had to suffer the indignity of Real Madrid coming to Camp Nou and do the unthinkable–win. While RM has likely taken La Liga this season, it’s not over yet for my Catalans as there’s the second leg of Champion’s League yet to play this week, and in a month they’ll be fighting for the Copa del Rey and won’t have to beat Real Madrid to do so.

In other words: I have plenty of opportunities to whip up more Catalan food in support of the blaugranas.

Coca of sweet potatoes, figs, caramelized onions, and drunken goat cheese.

We revisited a favorite from last year for Saturday’s game, but then went a little crazy in making a coca that featured fried sweet potatoes, caramelized onions, figs, and drunken goat cheese. Yes, it resembled the pizza we made a few weeks ago to celebrate the return of Mad Men, but a few key tweaks gave it a unique flavor all of its own.

Coca of sweet potatoes, figs, caramelized onions, and drunken goat cheese.

I wasn’t really sure about the sweet potatoes at first–I still give the mashed potato pizza at Bar in New Haven the side-eye–but Michael talked me off the proverbial ledge by using the vegetable peeler to create thin slices and then frying them to a crisp in some grapeseed oil and lard. The goat cheese cut through all of the sweetness from the figs, the onions and the potatoes, and blanketed over the vegetables instead of underneath worked well to “glue” everything together.

Feast-Day Roast Chicken

It was a vegetable-laden prelude to the main event: rostit de festa mayor. We enjoy making chicken a multitude of ways here, but this may have edged its way to being the favorite method. (Why it took us a solid year to make this again is beyond me.) Michael declared it even better than his roasted chicken, an admission that I’m still not completely buying because he’s very fond of his roasted chicken. I’m going to attribute this to the usage of lard and cognac and that the chicken is essentially braised rather than roasted to this oddity in behavior.

You can get the recipe for the chicken here. The coca needs a little work before we share it, but your patience will be rewarded.


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