Tag Archives: chicken

Coq au Vin

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Do you ever sit down to write a blog post and you just can’t think of anything interesting to say? I’m having one of those days today…the ideas just aren’t flowing. So please forgive me if my post is a little boring.

My lack of anything interesting to say is no reflection on the Cook the Book Fridays recipe of the week, Coq au Vin (or, Chicken in Red Wine Sauce). In fact, it was quite delicious and I enjoyed it very much.

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My daughter seems to have a love-hate relationship with chicken. Sometimes she eats it right up, and other times she hardly touches it. This one she didn’t seem to care for much. Maybe the wine added a flavor that was too exotic?

This recipe hits all the right notes for me: braised chicken, bacon, mushrooms, and a flavorful sauce. All in all, it was a cozy dish to tuck myself into on a chilly night.

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Chicken Lady Chicken

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Happy Friday! The first week of summer break has officially come and gone. Around here things are much improved from the beginning of the week. My daughter is feeling MUCH better, and we are looking forward to celebrating Father’s Day on Sunday and going for a swim this weekend.

I love the name of this week’s Cook the Book Fridays recipe: Chicken Lady Chicken. The recipe is inspired by the rotisserie chicken David Lebovitz would buy from the “chicken lady” at a Paris farmer’s market.

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There are several important elements to this recipe.  Butterflying (or spatchcocking) the chicken is important because it allows more of the skin to get nice and crispy, and it also helps the chicken cook faster.

Another important element is weighing down the chicken as it cooks. This also helps ensure crispy skin. I grilled my chicken and weighed it down with my cast iron pan. Unfortunately, those flames you see in the photo below caused my chicken’s skin to get charred a bit. I pulled it off the flame before the skin became inedible, but it would have been better less charred.

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The final important (maybe the most important?) element to this recipe is the marinade. It combines garlic, salt, olive oil, lemon juice, white wine, soy sauce, Sriracha, Dijon mustard, and honey. The chicken is best when it rests in the marinade for at least 24 hours, so plan ahead!

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This chicken was good! It was very moist and flavorful. The marinade was truly delicious and I will use it again for sure. This recipe really was reminiscent of a store-bought rotisserie chicken, but way better!

If you would like to try Chicken Lady Chicken, I found the recipe on Serious Eats. Or you could purchase a copy of David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen.

I hope you all have a great weekend, and Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there!

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FFWD: Chicken in a Pot – The Final Recipe!

Chicken in a Pot

Here we are! The final recipe from Around My French Table! It’s hard to believe I have been doing this for four and a half years (the project began in October 2010; I joined in January 2011). When I started, I thought it would just be a fun thing to do for my new blog. Back then I had no idea that I would actually complete every recipe and what a tight knit group us Doristas would become. It’s been a fun adventure!

Chicken in a Pot

Now, about the recipe, Chicken in a Pot: the Garlic and Lemon Version. We saved the cover recipe for last. This recipe represents classic French home cooking at it’s finest. Dorie’s version has us toss preserved lemon peel, sweet potatoes, pearl onions, carrots, celery, a whole lot of garlic, and various herbs into a big pot (after sauteing them for a bit). Next we add browned chicken pieces and a bit of wine and broth. I used a combination of thighs and breasts. The pot is sealed with a simple dough made from flour and water. This locks in the flavors and infuses the chicken and vegetables with wonderful herbiness.

Sealed Pot

My parents had great timing. They drove down from Seattle this week to babysit so my husband and I could enjoy a few days to ourselves. The day they arrived I made them this. It was a huge hit!

There are many reasons why this recipe was the perfect choice for our last recipe. Not the least of which is it contained some of my husband’s (and the rest of the family’s) favorite foods (chicken, sweet potatoes, and garlic), so it was sure to be a crowd-pleaser. The chicken was so flavorful and juicy. The vegetables were delicious, though a few of them could have cooked a bit longer. We all loved spreading the garlic on the crusty bread. Nice to end on a high note!

Chicken and Veggies

Even though this is the final French Fridays with Dorie recipe, this won’t be my last French Fridays post. We will be doing a series of retrospective posts to look back on our favorite recipes. It will certainly be bittersweet.

Have a great weekend!

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FFWD: Vanilla-Butter-Braised Lobster + Couscous Chicken

Happy French Friday!

It has come to my attention that perhaps I was a little too harsh on Valentine’s Day in my last post.  It can be a fun holiday, we just don’t make a big deal about it.  I was trying to explain why we don’t make a big deal, and I guess my point didn’t come across quite like I wanted it too. I don’t hate Valentine’s Day!  All that said, we had a lovely Valentine’s Day dinner this year, inspired in part by this week’s delicious French Fridays with Dorie recipe, Vanilla-Butter-Braised Lobster.

Vanilla-Butter-Braised Lobster

Vanilla-Butter-Braised Lobster

As the Dorista’s nominated recipes for the February line-up, it was decided that Vanilla-Butter-Braised Lobster would make the perfect dinner for Valentine’s Day. Great idea, and great excuse for a special dinner!

The recipe calls for live lobsters, but Dorie helpfully suggests that previously frozen lobster tails would work as well.  I opted for the lobster tails. It was interesting to me to see the varying amounts people had to spend to purchase their lobster. I was lucky to run across a “one-day sale” at Whole Foods, and picked up 4 small lobster tails for only $20.

Butter Braised Lobster

I have never cooked lobster before.  Heck, I have only eaten it a handful of times.  One thing I would love to experience some time is super-fresh East Coast lobster cooked at the source. Some day!

Anyway, I was surprised how quick and easy lobster tails are to cook, when they are braised in clarified butter.  Dorie’s twist is to add a vanilla bean.  I found the vanilla flavor to be very subtle, but delicious.

I rounded out our special meal with Lemon-Steamed Spinach and potatoes roasted in duck fat.  Decadent and delicious!

Couscous Chicken

Chicken Couscous

I’m a week late on another FFWD recipe: Couscous Chicken.  This one is a North-African-inspired dish that makes a very satisfying dinner.

What makes Chicken Couscous special and exotic is the spice mix: fresh ginger, cumin, turmeric, saffron, cinnamon, and garlic. The chicken and spices are stewed together with a variety of vegetables, including, leeks, carrots, celery, and zucchini. The final touch is garbanzo beans.  The whole thing is served with the traditional couscous.  Dorie has us cook the couscous with some of the stew’s broth, lending the pasta the same exotic flavors as the rest of the dish.

I loved this!  I found it so satisfying and delicious. Best of all, it made enough for two night’s worth of dinners!

This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie, an online group dedicated to cooking our way through Dorie Greenspan’s wonderful book, Around My French Table.

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FFWD: Citrus Two Ways

Happy Friday!  It has been a strange week here at the From Scratch household. Between a third week of Christmas break (yes, my daughter’s school district has a 3 week winter break…), head colds, and cable/internet/phone problems, things just didn’t feel normal around here.  This is a long way of saying I didn’t make this week’s (dreaded) French Fridays with Dorie recipe.  I will make it next week when things are hopefully back to normal.  Instead, I will catch you up on a couple of recipes that I made in December but haven’t had a chance to write about.  Let’s get started!

Orange and Olive Salad

Orange and Olive Salad

Orange and Olive Salad. This is one of those recipes from Around My French Table that I was dreading the most.  It just didn’t sound good to me. But, since I’m committed to trying every recipe, I carried on.

Much to my surprise, I liked it!  I especially liked how refreshing the orange seemed with it’s drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. I also liked the onion with the orange.  But I found my mild Niçoise olives did nothing to add to the flavor of the salad.  Perhaps a saltier kalamata would have been better?  Regardless, I was pleasantly surprised!

Pan-Seared Duck Chicken Breasts with Kumquats

Pan-Seared Chicken with Kumquats

Next up is Pan-Seared Duck Breasts with Kumquats.  Except I used boneless chicken breasts. This recipe is all about the kumquat sauce and I knew my family would prefer chicken over duck.

Despite my change to chicken, I followed the recipe pretty closely. I made the sauce and candied kumquats as written.  The chicken was pan-seared skin-side down just like the duck would have been, but then I kept it in the pan and roasted it in the oven until cooked through.

This was good!  I had never cooked with kumquats before and it was fun trying something new.  The sauce was good with the chicken and my husband loved the candied kumquats.  I would make this again.

If you are interested in what the dreaded recipe for this week was (and don’t want to wait until I write about it next week), you can find out here.  Here’s to a good weekend and a more normal week ahead!

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Curried Chicken, Peppers, and Peas en Papillote

Curried Chicken en Papillote

It may be Saturday, but today we’re talking about French Fridays with Dorie! I have several recipes to catch you up on, but right now I am going to focus on the recipe the group made this week: Curried Chicken, Peppers, and Peas en Papillote.

There are several “en papillote” recipes in Around My French Table.  This one is a main dish with chicken, red onion, bell peppers, and peas, seasoned with curry powder.

Chicken en Papillote

I had made this dish a few years ago, and remember liking it, but wished it had a creamier sauce.  I felt it was a little dry.  So I made a change this time around:  in place of the olive oil, I used 3/4 cup coconut milk.  Strangely, the creaminess of the coconut milk disappeared in the cooking process, but the flavor remained.  And the resulting chicken was very moist.

Curried Chicken and Rice

This was a delicious dinner the whole family enjoyed.  The packets of chicken and vegetables are the perfect portion.  I was happy with my addition of coconut milk. The flavors blended very nicely with the Balinese Turmeric Coconut Rice I made.

I have a couple more French Fridays recipes to catch you up on…hopefully you will be seeing those in the next few days.

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Cheesy Crème Brûlée + Chicken Breasts Diable

Cheesy Creme Brulee

Cheesy Crème Brûlée

This week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe was a tasty appetizer called Cheesy Crème Brûlée.  It really is just like the dessert Crème Brûlée, except instead of being flavored with sugar and vanilla, it is flavored with cheese!

These are very simple to make.  First, grated cheddar cheese is placed in the bottom of buttered ramekins.  Then a simple custard made from cream, whole milk, and egg yolks is poured over the top.  A slow bake makes them nice and custardy.  When ready to eat, I sprinkled finely grated Parmesan cheese over the top of each custard and ran them under the broiler.

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I really liked these!  They kind of tasted like home made macaroni and cheese without the noodles.  Rich and creamy, it went well with a salad.  I’m sure it would be good with crusty bread, too.

Chicken Breasts Diable

Chicken Breasts Diable

Last’s week’s FFWD recipe was an elegant weeknight dish called Chicken Breasts Diable.  “Diable” is French for “devil”, and most dishes containing mustard are given this title.

This dish is essentially a sauteed chicken breast enhanced with a lovely pan sauce made from shallots, Dijon mustard, a bit of white wine, and cream.

Chicken Diable

This one was a big hit with us!  I loved the flavor of the sauce with the chicken, and it went very well with the broccoli I served as a side dish.

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Chicken Tagine with Sweet Potatoes and Prunes

Is it really Friday again already?  Actually, today felt more like a Saturday because it is Nevada Day, a state holiday, and my daughter and husband had the day off.  Yay, three day weekend!

This week’s French Friday’s with Dorie recipe was a delicious, comforting one called Chicken Tagine with Sweet Potatoes and Prunes.  Since chicken and sweet potatoes are two of my husband’s favorite foods, I knew this one would be a winner.

The chicken and sweet potatoes are joined by a generous amount of onions that are sauteed gently until very soft.  They are seasoned with saffron, cinnamon, star anise, a bay leaf, and honey.  The whole thing is braised until tender.  The scents coming from the stove were heavenly!

We all really enjoyed the Moroccan-inspired flavors of this dish.  As expected, the chicken and sweet potatoes were a hit (I cooked extra potatoes because I knew we’d want them).  Both my husband and I felt the prunes added a special something to the dish.  They were not only delicious to eat, but they imparted a wonderful flavor throughout the whole dish.

This was a very satisfying dish to make and eat.  I highly recommend it!  You can find the recipe in Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table.

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Chicken Basquaise

Making this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, Chicken Basquaise, felt like a gateway to fall and winter cooking.  In the summer I cook differently.  A little lighter.  Meats are grilled.  Veggies are quickly sauteed or served raw.  No stews simmering on the stove and no long braises.

But cooking Chicken Basquaise changed the game.  The vegetables were cooked slowly until meltingly tender, and the chicken stewed gently on the stove.  Summer wasn’t abandoned completely: the stars of the show were gorgeous bell peppers, rounded out by tomatoes from the garden.

I have to admit, I love the comfort of fall and winter cooking.  Knowing I have something nourishing simmering on the stove, with the smell wafting through the house.  I look forward to fall when I can begin cooking more slowly.

Making the pipérade:

I used the leftovers to make a Basque classic, pipérade and eggs:

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Armagnac Chicken

This week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe is called M. Jacques’ Armagnac Chicken.

This recipe is a simple down-home recipe perfect for a lazy Sunday dinner.  A whole chicken and vegetables (potatoes, onion, and carrots) are placed in a large covered pot.  Pour some Armagnac around the chicken and roast in the oven for an hour or so.  The chicken creates a tasty sauce while it cooks.  The end result is a simple, but delicious, one-pot meal.

Armagnac is a distilled spirit made in the Southwest region of France.  Dorie suggests Cognac or other brandy as a substitute.  I used a brandy I already had on hand rather than try to find the Armagnac.

The only issue I had with this recipe is that my chicken did not come out “beautifully browned” as Dorie said it would.  Perhaps it was because I did not use a cast iron dutch oven?  Even though it wasn’t browned, it was still juicy and delicious.

Not browned, but still yummy.

We loved this dinner!  This is my husband’s favorite type of meal as he particularly loves chicken.  I can see making this often in the cooler months.

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