Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Spring Hill Fried Chicken Dinner

Spring Hill Fried Chicken Dinner
Every Monday night Spring Hill in West Seattle puts on a special dinner of fried chicken and side dishes to knock your socks off. Figuratively speaking of course because Mythbusters proved it's not possible to have your socks knocked off. The dinner is advertised as being a 4 person meal for $80. We didn't come close to eating all the chicken we were served which comes out to two whole chickens. It's more like chicken for 6. We did however eat just about all of the side dishes. They seem to be more appropriately sized for 4 people. We talked to co-owner, Marjorie Chang Fuller, on our way out and she even said most people don't finish it all. Just meant we all got to take home leftovers. yay!

I called on April 14th to make reservations and the fried chicken dinners were sold out for several weeks and ended up with 7:15 reservations on May 10th. Mark and I invited Jackie and Rick aka Baisa Fotograferie to join us. We were able to find parking on the same block. Rick and Jackie beat us there by a few minutes and were already seated. The place was completely full and obviously sold out for the chicken dinner. Despite the restaurant being so busy, the service was great. Our orders were taken within minutes of us being seated. Jackie and I had the white wine which was the recommended pairing for the chicken and Mark and Rick both had beers.

It wasn't long before the food arrived at our table. First the huge plate of chicken and one by one before I could blink the side dishes were all on the table as well, served family style. Jackie and I quickly took photos of the food before digging in. One complaint that I have was that the dinner plates were so small. It was hard to fit everything on one plate. I suppose if they were any bigger though, there wouldn't be room for all the side dishes on the table. There were a couple of additional plates on the table we could use for the chicken bones which was helpful.

The chicken was crispy and beautifully seasoned. There was a small pool of grease in the bottom of the serving plate that made the bottom pieces of chicken a little extra greasy though. A napkin or something to soak up the excess grease might have helped with that. Now for the side dishes. The caramelized broccoli had an interesting taste and texture that I hadn't had before. It kind of had a burnt look to it but it didn't taste burnt. It was surprisingly good. The creamy buttered russet mashed potatoes were served with a light brown gravy. The cornbread was moist and the bits of jalapeno in it gave it a little extra kick. A salad of marinated cucumber and radish slices tasted crisp and fresh. It's hard to pick a favorite but I think mine was the herbed dumpling with Beecher's Flagship. It was like a mac & cheese made with Flagship, a locally made, semi-hard cow’s milk cheese. I don't think I'd had that cheese before but it went perfectly with the dumplings. You can order the cheese from Beecher's website.

Everyone enjoyed the dinner and the service. I'm glad Jackie and Rick were able to join us. I would highly recommend the dinner to anyone that loves fried chicken and if you don't, they have a menu full of other great looking dishes. I had the privilege of taking a photography workshop with Penny De Los Santos at Spring Hill last year and got to try some of their other dishes and they were all good.

spring hill restaurant Mound of Chicken
Spring Hill Full House
Monday Night Menu
Family Style
Chicken Dinner Plate
To Go Boxes

So go! What are you waiting for? Call (206) 935-1075 for reservations.
Spring Hill on Urbanspoon

Monday, May 03, 2010

Food A-Z Project Overview

My Food: A-Z project was the biggest photo project I've done since 52 Weeks Self Portrait project. It kind of started out being food ingredients of the alphabet but about half way through the project I started doing recipes that started with the letter rather than just an ingredient to make it a little more challenging.

Here's some of my accomplishments and failures from this project.
1) Cooked with a few foods that I had never cooked with before: ancho chiles, leeks, lamb, parsnips, tapioca, and almond paste
2) Made some dishes I've always wanted to make but never did until this project encouraged me to: danish pastry, lemon bars, naan, poached eggs, tamales
3) 2 of the recipes I made were failures: naan and sugar pie. The naan was edible, but didn't turn out right. Sugar pie was an inedible disaster.
4) Made my own recipes: tamales and xavier steak. Xavier Steak recipe was my first published recipe on allrecipes.com
5) 8 of my photos from the project were accepted by Getty Images: steak, risotto, rice, pizzelles, blue cheese, lemon, juniper berries, and cornish hens,

Alphabetic recap with links to those I blogged about:
A is for Ancho Chiles
B is for Banana Bread
C is for Cornish Hens
D is for Dessert
E is for Esrom Cheese
F is for Fried Egg
G is for Gingersnaps
H is for Hashbrowns
I is for Irish Stew
J is for Juniper Berries
K is for Kringle
L is for Lemon Bars
M is for Mac & Cheese
N is for Naan
O is for Oatmeal Cookies
P is for Pizzelles
Q is for Quiche
R is for Risotto
S is for Sugar Pie
T is for Tamale
U is for Udon Noodles
V is for Vichyssoise
W is for Waldorf Salad
X is for Xavier Steak
Y is for Yakitori
Z is for Zucchini Boats