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Junior League Cookbook Giveaway (and Chicken with Gnocchi recipe)

I love looking at community cookbooks. Whether it's a slim pamphlet cranked out at the local print shop or an elegantly designed hardcover volume, nearly all offer a "slice of life" perspective while contributing to a fundraising goal. Win-win!

Among the most prized are Junior League Cookbooks. So when a fellow Junior League of Chicago member asked if I'd share our urban chic cookbook, Peeling the Wild Onion, of course I said YES! Peeling features recipes from top Chicago restaurants and chefs, and is organized by season. And...

I'm giving away three copies!

What a marvelous Christmas gift this would be! Perfect for a gourmand, a cookbook collector, or someone who loves our fair foodie city. 


How to enter:
1) Visit the JLC web site and take a look at our community projects. Leave a comment on this post (include your email address) telling me which one resonates with you.
2) You can also tweet the following: Calling all cooks: @SecndCitySoiree is giving away a beautiful @JuniorLeagueChi cookbook! http://su.pr/27Z7aZ
3) Contest ends Friday, Nov 18 2011, at 10pm Central. The winners will be randomly selected and announced by the following Monday.
4) Rules: one comment and one tweet per person. Must be US citizen 18+

This contest is closed. Congratulations to readers Dante, Eulalia and Heidi, who are now owners of this lovely cookbook. A very big thanks to all who entered and took the time to look over the JLC's many wonderful projects!

And now, an elegant recipe from the book. I made this last weekend, and it was delicious...

Whole Roasted Baby Chicken with Potato Gnocchi, Honey-Glazed Parsnips and Young Beets

From the Junior League of Chicago's Peeling the Wild Onion
This recipe was provided by the Executive Chef of Naha.

1 small organic chicken
Salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Several sprigs fresh thyme

1 pound beets
2 to 4 parsnips
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ready-to-cook gnocchi
6 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin
1 1/4 cups white wine

Season the chicken with salt and pepper, Stuff the thyme into the chicken. Truss the chicken with clean cotton string or kitchen twine. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy sauté pan. Add the chicken and cook until browned all over, turning occasionally. Remove to a roasting pan. Dot with l tablespoon of the butter. Roast in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 1 hour. Remove the chicken and let stand until cool. Pour the wine into the roasting pan and reserve the juices. Cut the chicken into smaller pieces, discarding the bones.

Cook the beets in cold water to cover in a large pot over medium-high heat until tender. Cool and peel the beets under running water, gently pulling off the skins by hand. (Wear plastic gloves to avoid stains.) Trim the bottom and top of the beets and cut them into halves or Wedges, depending on the size.

Peel the parsnips and cut them into desired shapes. Saute the parsnips in 2 tablespoons of the butter in a skillet. Remove to a roasting pan and roast in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 10 minutes or until tender. Drizzle with the honey. Roast for 10 minutes or until glazed and caramelized.

Boil the gnocchi in water using the package directions. Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a large saute pan and saute the gnocchi for 15 minutes.

To assemble, place the chicken on an ovenproof serving plate. Surround the chicken with the sauteed gnocchi. Top with the glazed parsnips and beets. Reheat in the oven, Drizzle vvith the extra-virgin olive oil or with the reserved pan juices.

Yield: 4 servings

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Reader Comments (5)

I love the idea of the Homework Heros. School, and children, are so important to a community. They are the building blocks to it's future. Without a focus on their education, the community is doomed. Too many parents place the burden of education on the schools, and don't take an active role in their children's success. At some point, that needs to change if we're going to raise a generation of capable people.

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew mmWine Horbund

I think the Teen Girls Exodus Program is an excellent way to help young girls feel better about themselves. By having young professional women as role models, these girls can learn that there are more options in life than what they are exposed to in Cabrini Green. It's a gift to not only them but to the people mentoring to be able to change a young persons life!

November 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterErika

This giveaway is a great way to raise awareness of the JLC's various community projects! "Homework Heroes" strikes me as being particularly inspirational, though they're all worthy philanthropic/charitable endeavors.

November 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDante A. Bacani

I could speak on why each and everyone one of those service projects is a wonderful commitment to the community, but Journey to Independent Living and Primo Center for Women resonates the most with me because I feel like a city like Chicago has so many diverse socio-economic backgrounds that need this kind of assistence. I am also a firm believer that everyone should have an opportunity to be self-sufficient. There are so many adults that need this assistance because they have never had the opportunity.

November 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTammy

What a delicious-sounding cookbook! All the programs sound amazing, but Connecting Kids to the Arts, Homework Heroes, and Mad Hatters really appeal to me!

November 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeidi

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