Fare Games

Luxury caterer Elaina Vazquez prepares a mouthwatering meal fit for fall.

Feel free to stop by the new store in Lincoln Park and pick up the cooking essentials that Elaina Vazquez (pictured here in the Williams-Sonoma show kitchen) used to make this recipe:
WS Thermo-Clad Stainless Steel 3-quart Saucepan, $230
WS Thermo-Clad Stainless Steel 4-quart Soup Pot, $180
WS Thermo-Clad Stainless Steel 10-inch Nonstick Covered Fry Pan, $130
Glass S/8 Prep Bowls, $25
10-Piece Glass Bowl Set, $40
Rosle Locking Tongs, $27-$39
All-Clad Cook Serve Slotted Spoon, $20
Ici Silicone Slotted Spatula, $13
Williams-Sonoma Silicone Spatulas, $8-$25
Proteak Rectangle Cutting Board, $150
Apilco Tuileries Salad Bowls, $43-$65
Riedel Grape Stemware, $34 each
Aaron 5-Piece Place Setting, $40
Pillivuyt Eclectique Dinnerware, $14-$28
Venezia Charger, $29
Italian Washed S/4 Linen Napkins, $50
At Williams-Sonoma, 1550 N. Fremont St., 312.255.0643, williams-sonoma.com

 

Dijon-Herb Crusted Chicken Breast

1. Mix together 1 pint buttermilk with 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning. Pour mixture over 4 large chicken breasts, skin-on, and let marinate in the fridge for 6 or more hours.

 

2. Remove breasts from buttermilk; pat dry with paper towels. Season breasts with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 350 F.

 

3. In a very hot saute pan or skillet, sear the chicken breasts skin-side down until golden brown. Turn over and cook equally on other side. Transfer to a baking sheet.

 

4. Using a spoon or pastry brush, smear 1 tsp. Dijon mustard across the skin side of each breast.

5. Pour seasoned breadcrumbs onto a separate plate and place Dijon-coated breasts skin-side down in the bread crumbs to form a crust.

 

6. Finish in a 350 F oven for 8-12 minutes or until chicken is cooked through (times may vary depending on size of breasts).

 

Sauteed Shiitake Mushrooms

1. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a medium sauté pan and add 1/4 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed.

 

2. Saute until soft. Finish with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

 

Pearl Couscous With Fresh Herbs

1. In a medium saucepan, heat 2 cups water until it comes to a boil. Add in 2 cups pearl couscous. Cover and simmer for about 6 minutes. Couscous should be soft and cooked through.

 

2. Add 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tsp. fresh chopped herbs (thyme, rosemary, tarragon). Stir together with a spoon, and season to taste with salt. Serve warm.

 

Elaina Vazquez may be known for the fanciful little appetizers she serves with her catering company, Boutique Bites. But when we asked her to whip up an entire meal, Vazquez had a perfectly seasonal spread in mind. Using the stunning show kitchen at the new Williams-Sonoma store in Lincoln Park as her workspace, Vazquez made a roasted chicken dish so delicious it made the menu at her own bridal shower—along with two hearty, healthy sides. The Culinary Institute of America graduate, who honed her skills at local fine-dining destinations such as Tru and Avenues, believes that little tweaks on classic dishes can make a huge difference. “The Dijon provides the perfect kick; the pearl couscous has an amazing texture; and the mushrooms add richness,” she swears. And by soaking the chicken in buttermilk overnight, the meat stays incredibly moist. Plus, the whole thing is neither time-consuming nor intimidating. “I want people to say, ‘I feel really good about making this at home!’”