New Year's Eve, Zuni Café style

It's never too late to cross items off your culinary to do list. Case in point: the famous, much blogged about Zuni Café Roasted Chicken with Bread Salad. Having once lived in a sweet little studio apartment above the restaurant, I've been wanting to make this recipe for years. Rather than fight any crowds or the chilly 14 degree weather, we opted to stay in, roast a chicken, and finally drink Evan's $75 bottle of wine. (Yes, old age is getting to me, and yes, I haven't shaken my San Francisco sensibilities yet. Clearly.)

With a Hendrick's gin and tonic to start,Some addictive warm rosemary spiced pecans to nibble on,A bottle of Clos Mimi 2000 Bunny Slope Vineyard Paso Robles Syrah,Said roasted chicken with salad,
And a side of sautéed kale,We bid a quiet farewell to 2008. I don't know what 2009 will bring, but I know for sure I'll be making this dinner and those pecans again soon.

Spiced Pecans

Adapted from Frank Stitt's Southern Table

4 cups pecan halves
1 1/2 t salt
Pinch black pepper
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1 heaping t dark brown sugar
1 heaping T freshly chopped rosemary
Couple of shakes of Tabasco sauce
1 T melted butter
2 T olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place pecans on baking sheet and bake 10-15 minutes (watch closely as they burn very easily). Combine the lightly toasted pecans with salt, pepper, cayenne, sugar, rosemary, Tabasco sauce, butter, and oil. Toss until nuts are thoroughly coated, then return to the oven for 2-3 minutes until toasted and fragrant. Enjoy warm and try not to eat them all.

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