Eat Like Jackson Pollock for His Birthday at The Springs Tavern Sunday

Jackson Pollock
Jackson Pollock, Photo: Courtesy Pollock-Krasner House

The Springs Tavern is honoring Jackson Pollock‘s birthday with a special celebration and dinner on Sunday, January 28 at 5 p.m. The event—which is on the legendary Abstract Expressionist painter and Springs resident’s actual birthday—will feature art and recipes from the book Dinner with Jackson Pollock: Recipes, Art & Nature by Robyn Lea, Francesca Pollock and Helen A. Harrison.

Pollock’s former home and studio, now the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, is just down the street from the Springs Tavern and the artist spent nearly every night drinking at the bar there (when it was Jungle Pete’s) before making the wobbly bicycle ride home. One of the Dinner with Jackson Pollock authors, Harrison, is director of the Pollock-Krasner House and a renowned expert on the painter.

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Two recipes from the book will be included in Sunday’s meal—French-Style Roast Chicken with Herb Stuffing (see recipe below) and Raspberry Poached Pears with Bavarian Cream.

The Springs Tavern
The Springs Tavern, Photo: Courtesy WordHampton

The full menu is as follows:

First Course
Choice of
Creamy Onion Soup with Cross-Country Johnny Cakes
Wild Forrest Greens with Anchovy French Dressing

Second Course
Choice of
French Style Roast Chicken with Herb Stuffing, Pan Gravy, Roasted Root Vegetables, Walnut and Maple Dressing, Stella’s Potato Pancakes
Jackson’s Famous Spaghetti Sauce served with Pasta
Classic Meatloaf with Mustard Sauce served with a Green Salad

Choice of
Brandied Peaches served with Soft Custard
Raspberry Poached Pears with Bavarian Cream

Can’t get to the party? Make your own Jackson Pollock-inspired chicken with the recipe below, reproduced from Dinner with Jackson Pollock: Recipes, Art & Nature.

After World War II, many Springs locals, also known as “Bonackers” became immune to the steep price increases in chicken, so they began raising their own, including Lee and Jackson Pollock’s friends, and artists John and Josephine Little. Jackson and Lee’s friend Cile Down recalls Lee would heavily season the bird and roast it uncovered in a Le Creuset pot. This dish pairs nicely with Jackson’s sister-in-law Arloie’s stuffing recipe, which was found in Lee and Jackson’s recipe collection. If you don’t have access to a Le Creuset pot, use a large oval roasting pan and nestle the vegetables around the chicken.

For the chicken:
Ingredients (serves 4)
3 lb organic free-range chicken
½ cup of olive oil
2 ½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp of black pepper
2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
12 cloves of garlic, skins on and rinsed well
12 shallots or small onions, peeled and kept whole
1 lemon, zest and juice

For Arloie’s Stuffing:
2 Tbsp butter
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 cups rough-cut bread crumbs or crumbled dry bread
1 tbsp each fresh sage, rosemary, and thyme
Parsley, chopped
1 pinch powdered ginger
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove giblets from chicken, rinse the bird inside and out, pat dry. Rub all over with ¼ cup olive oil, sea salt, pepper and thyme leaves. Set chicken aside to come to room temperate while making stuffing.
2. To make the stuffing: In a heavy-bottom pot, melt butter, add chopped onions and celery, cook until soft. In a large bowl, combine all stuffing ingredients and moisten with a little water.
3. Fill chicken cavity loosely with stuffing and tie legs together with kitchen string.
4. In a large cast-iron casserole, Le Creuset pot, or roasting pan, on the stovetop, warm the remaining olive oil, add garlic and shallots or small onions and cook about 10 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and place in pot, breast side up. Baste chicken all over with pan juices until well covered; roast 1 hour. Baste with pan juices and lemon juice and sprinkle with lemon zest.
6. Increase oven temperature to 430 degrees Fahrenheit and roast 15 minutes more, or until skin is crisp and golden. Let chicken rest 15 minutes, then carve to serve.

The Springs Tavern is located at 15 Fort Pond Blvd in the Springs section of East Hampton. Call 631-527-7800 for reservations to join the celebration of would have been Jackson Pollock’s 106th birthday on Sunday, January 28 at 5 p.m.

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