He presses a button on the side of the table. The top splits and from below rises a second tabletop that holds our lunch. Chicken and chunks of oranges cooked in a creamy sauce laid on a bed of pearly white grain, tiny green peas and onions, rolls shaped like flowers, and for dessert, a pudding the color of honey.
-From the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I really love this scene in the hunger games. Katniss sees the lunch described above, and than goes on for a paragraph, describing what she would have to do back in her poverty-stricken district to assemble the meal, and how even after the several days it would take her to scrounge up the shit she would need, it would still be way sucky compared to the Capitols version of the meal. Kind of makes you feel like a dick for being able to get shit from a grocery store.
Also I didn’t make honey coloured pudding, because I didn’t want to. I think just a butterscotch pudding would do nicely, if you feel like you want to prepare the meal exactly cannon.
Also I roasted a whole chicken, but I think if I made this meal again I would just do baked chicken breasts… possibly baked in the creamy orangey marmaladey sauce.
The chicken is an adaptation of the following recipe: http://www.yummly.com/recipe/external/Cornish-Game-Hens-With-Creamy-Orange-Sauce-Food_com-66813
The differences are more ginger because obviously, chunks of orange in the sauce, and not using Cornish game hens because I am not that fancy and my nearest grocery store is of the discount-seeking-poor-people variety (which is convenient, largely because I happen to be a discount seeking poor person). It could be worse though… at least I don’t have to hunt my dinner in the off limits forest surrounding my district.
What You Need!
Rolls: sketchy tube-croissant dough that you buy to make you feel like you are baking when you are really just rolling dough up and putting it in your oven.
Three cups frozen peas
2 tablespoons butter
Tiny pickled onions (five or six)
Bed of Pearly Grains:
4 cups water
2 cups orange juice
2 cups pearl barly
One whole chicken for roasting (or chicken breasts)
About a cup of grated ginger
¾ cup orange marmalade
2 cups milk
4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
One peeled orange, cut into chunks
What to Do!
Lets start with Rolls Shaped like Flowers, because they are easy as fuck. Basically, you take the croissant dough, and roll it up into the (big reveal) SHAPE OF A FLOWER. Put the flower shaped croissants into a muffin tray. Try and flatten the bottom as best you can, because they are prone to rolling over. Also make a ton because at least half of them will come out looking stupid, unless you have much fancier flower-shape-making skills than I have. Follow the baking instructions on the tube, which is usually bake at 375 for 10 to 15 minutes, until they are golden brown.
For the side peas, melt the butter in a small saucepan and add fresh rosemary. When the butter is hot, add the frozen peas and pickled onions, with just a touch of the sweet brine. Sautee until the peas are cooked, which takes 15 to 20 minutes.
For the chicken, stab the lemon and stuff it in the cavity. Melt 2 tbsp butter and massage the chicken with melted butter and salt. Pop it in the oven at 375 for an hour, than take the chicken out, glaze it with ¼ cup of the marmalade, and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes.
While the chicken is roasting, make the creamy sauce by melting the other two tbsp of butter and adding the grated ginger, the juice of the other lemon, and flour. Slowly add the milk and bring to a simmer. Add the remaining marmalade, and simmer some more, until the sauce becomes creamy. Add salt to taste (depending on how sweet you want the sauce to be… marmalade is pretty freakin sweet). When the sauce is pretty much done, add the chunks of orange and remove from heat. I also added some of the drippings from the roasted chicken, to savoury-up the sauce a wee bit.
And lastly, the Pearly White Grain bed:
Bring the water and orange juice to a boil, add the barly, and simmer for like an hour. You can add more water or orange juice as it is cooking if the liquid reduces too much. Add salt to taste AFTER you have finished cooking the barly (the salt will adversely affect the liquid absorption of the grain if you add it while its cooking).
This meal yields enough to comfortably feed 2 or 3 people. Even WITHOUT honey coloured pudding for dessert! Enjoy