Make a meal to celebrate International Women's Day



The first International Women’s Day was celebrated in 1911, nine years before women in America gained the right to vote. It was part of a push for women’s unity and suffrage, as well as an effort to improve workplace conditions. 

International Women's Day is March 8. Mark the occasion by planning a special evening with your family or host a mom and daughter potluck.  If you want to make the evening educational, ask dinner guests to talk about the life and accomplishments of a woman they admire.

Speaking of, Julia Child — an American who fell in love with French food and culinary techniques — revolutionized cooking at home in the 1960s. This International Women’s Day, let the legend of Julia inspire you. She believed “cooking is not a chore it is a joy. Dining is not a fuel stop, it is recreation.”  

Oven Braised Hunter’s Chicken     

Diana was goddess of the hunt in Roman mythology. Celebrate Diana and all strong women at your dinner.

Serves 8

8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
About 2 tsp. dried Italian herbs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 c. or more chicken broth
2 c. crushed tomatoes
1/2 c. or more dry white wine
8 oz. fresh (peeled and trimmed) or frozen pearl onions
4-6 carrots, peeled and chopped
8 cloves garlic, trimmed, peeled and left whole
12 oz. whole mushrooms, trimmed and halved or quartered

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Sprinkle chicken with half of the herbs; season with salt and pepper.

Heat a little olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary, cook chicken until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes per side.

While chicken browns, put broth, tomatoes and wine in a saucepan, add remaining herbs, season with salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Bring sauce to a simmer over medium-high heat.

Arrange chicken in a single layer in a large baking dish; scatter onions, carrots and garlic around the chicken and carefully add the hot liquid ingredients.

Place baking dish in oven and cook at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

While chicken and vegetables bubble, add a little olive oil to the skillet and heat on medium-high. Add mushrooms and sauté for about 5 minutes.

Scatter mushrooms over the top of the chicken and veggies. Adding more broth and/or wine if necessary, cook for an additional 20-30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and browned and the vegetables are tender and caramelized.

Serve the chicken thighs with a spoonful of mushrooms and onions and a garlic clove.

TIP – This dish can be made ahead and reheated.


Lemon-Lime Squares

My mother loved lemons and limes and these tart squares were among her favorites. That’s a good enough reason for me to add them to a dinner celebrating women.

Makes 24 squares

Shortbread base

2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. light brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
12 T. (1 1/2 sticks) butter, cut in small pieces

Lemon-lime topping

4 large eggs
3/4 c. 50/50 mix of fresh lemon and lime juices
1 1/2 c. sugar
Pinch of salt
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Grated zest of 1-2 limes
1/3 c. all-purpose flour

Garnish

Confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9x13-inch baking pan.

Make the shortbread base: Put flour, brown sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add butter and continue to pulse until dough begins to come together in small lumps. Put shortbread dough in the prepared baking pan and press evenly into the pan.

Bake shortbread at 350 degrees in the middle of the oven until golden, about 20 minutes.

Prepare topping while the shortbread is baking: Put eggs, citrus juices, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process until well combined. Add zest and flour and process again until well combined.

Remove shortbread from the oven and pour liquid ingredients over the hot shortbread. Reduce temperature to 300 degrees and return pan to the oven. Bake for about 20 minutes or until topping has set.

Cool completely in the pan and cut into squares. Sift confectioners’ sugar over the squares before serving.

Susan Nye writes for magazines throughout New England. She shares many of her favorite recipes and stories about food, family and friendship on her award-winning blog, Around the Table, at www.susannye.wordpress.com.  

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