Posts Tagged ‘chicken’

Rosé Fricassée

2rosé fricasséeBoy, it sure is cold out there! The kind of chill that cuts right through even the thickest of coats and leaves you wishing you could hibernate until spring, in front of the fire and with endless mugs of hot chocolate.
I am always in awe of people who start diets during the month of January. How can you live on cold salads and grilled chicken when the only thing your body screams is “FEED ME COMFORT FOOD!!” Not for me. Well, I’ve never believed in making new year’s resolutions to begin with. I think it’s only setting yourself up for failure.
Much more sensible to eat according to the seasons, if you ask me — and the winter season demands hearty food! Those who want the best of both worlds can make the following recipe. My rosé fricassée is warming enough to satisfy any winter craving, yet light enough if served with mashed cauliflower instead of the recommended mashed potatoes or buttered noodles. I’d stick with the last two though, if I were you.
Enjoy!

Rosé Fricassée
Serves 4

  • knob of butter
  • 1 tbsp mild olive oil
  • 4 chicken quarters
  • fleur de sel
  • freshly grated pepper
  • 6 shallots, quartered
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 300ml rosé wine
  • 325ml strong chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 250g white mushrooms, quartered

Melt the butter with the olive oil in a wide, heavy-bottomed casserole and brown the chicken on both sides, seasoning it well. This should take about 8 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan, place on a dish and cover with foil. Carefully drain most of the fat. Lower the heat, add the shallots and flour and stir while cooking for about 2 minutes. Turn up the heat and add the wine, leaving it to bubble for a few minutes. Now also add in the stock. Stir in the mustard and drop in the bouquet garni. Return the chicken to the pan, adding any juices left on the plate. Lower the heat, place the lid on the pan, and cook the chicken for 30-35 minutes. Add the mushrooms, and cook with the lid slightly ajar for an additional ten minutes. Serve with mashed potatoes, thick egg noodles or garlicky cauliflower purée.

 

Chicken & Chanterelles

chickenAs I write, I am sweltering away, trying to keep cool by drinking copious amounts of iced water and making sure little sun and heat gets into the house (proving to be a futile attempt). The first days of September have been everything but autumnal here in the Netherlands, though it’s not all that unusual. Summer always seems to arrive late here for some reason.
Despite the heat, I decided to make a chicken stew yesterday after being helplessly wooed by the most beautiful, fragrant chanterelles ever. For me, there’s no better pairing for chanterelles than chicken; eggs come in at a close second.
This recipe is reminiscent of a coq au vin, though less time consuming. The chicken is cooked in a rich wine sauce with shallots, aromatic herbs and a little stock. At the end you add in the chanterelles and some garlic, let the sauce thicken, and serve. It’s a match made in heaven with a celeriac and potato mash, but you can also serve it like they serve coq au vin at some restaurants in Bourgogne — with plenty of fresh baguette and a jar of Dijon mustard. It is hard to describe the joy of spreading some mustard on a piece of bread, dipping it into that thick gravy and popping it into your mouth. You’ll just have to try it yourself.

Here’s the recipe:

Chicken & Chanterelles
Serves 4

  • knob of butter
  • 1 tbsp mild olive oil
  • 4 chicken quarters
  • fleur de sel
  • freshly grated pepper
  • 8 small, round shallots, quartered
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 120ml smooth, round red wine (I used a Merlot from the South West)
  • 400ml strong chicken stock
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 200g chanterelles (brushed clean & ends trimmed), roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced

Melt the butter with the olive oil in a wide, heavy-bottomed casserole and brown the chicken on both sides, seasoning it well. This should take about 8 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan, place on a dish and cover with foil. Carefully drain most of the fat. Lower the heat, add the shallots and flour and stir while cooking for about 2 minutes. Turn up the heat and stir in the wine. Keep stirring until the wine is almost fully absorbed and coats the shallots. Now also stir in the stock. Return the chicken to the pan, adding any juices left on the plate. Drop in the bouquet garni. Lower the heat, place the lid on the pan, and cook the chicken for 25-30 minutes. Add the chanterelles and garlic, increase the heat and cook with the lid slightly ajar for an additional ten minutes. Serve with celeriac and potato mash or simply with bread and mustard.

Fragrant Chicken Pilaf

pilaf3A while ago I worked on a culinary feature for Dutch women’s weekly Vriendin. The subject was cooking with different types of rice, and I also had to develop six international rice recipes. Though I grew up with Colombian parents who served rice at every meal, I hardly eat rice anymore. It just doesn’t appeal to me. I find it a rather uninspiring food. Perhaps I had too much of it in my youth. Anyhow, it was an interesting production to work on, despite the fact that by the end of the week, I never wanted to see another grain of rice again!
That must have been two years ago.
The record was broken yesterday when I was suddenly in the mood to make a pilaf. Just out of the blue, which is pretty much the way culinary inspiration hits me. Randomly. (Side note: A few nights ago I had a dream I was eating lobster at a very fancy restaurant. Wonder what will come of that.)
I scribbled the following recipe, and hoped for the best. Well, it was delicious. Though next time I think I’ll serve it with a spicy relish — like the one the paella lady serves in Duras. More on that later.
Here’s the recipe:

Fragrant Chicken Pilaf
Serves 4

  • 1 tbsp Harissa sauce
  • 1 tbsp full-fat yogurt
  • 350g chicken thigh fillets, cut into small pieces
  • 300 g basmati rice
  • knob of butter
  • 1 tbsp mild olive oil
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 cardamom pods, bruised
  • 1 1/2 tsp curry masala powder
  • 50g dried cranberries
  • 560ml hot chicken stock
  • 50g pistachios
  • chopped flat leaf parsley or coriander, to serve

Mix the Harissa with the yogurt and stir in the chicken pieces. Put the rice in a fine mesh sieve and wash it under the tap until the water runs clear. Heat the oil and butter in a shallow, heavy-bottomed pan and gently sauté the shallots, garlic, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods and curry masala powder for approximately 8 minutes. The spices will release their aroma and give the dish a lot of flavor. Remove the cardamom pods (this will be a bit of a search!), increase the heat and add the chicken. Cook the chicken, while stirring, for 10 minutes. Stir in the rice and cranberries. Add the stock, stir everything well and bring to a boil. Lower the heat immediately, place a lid on the pan, and allow the dish to simmer for 20 minutes. In the meantime, toast your pistachios in an ungreased frying pan, leave them to cool and chop them up. Remove the pan of pilaf from the heat, and let it stand (do not stir!) for 5 minutes. Add in the pistachios and mix through the pilaf with a fork. Using any other implement will make the rice stick. Sprinkle with the chopped herbs and serve. Note: when serving the dish, however, you will want to scrape up all the bits at the bottom!

Summer Dining: Spicy Lemon Chicken & Grilled Vegetables

Though the first magazines with pumpkins on the cover have hit the shelves, I am not quite ready to let go of summer just yet. I want to enjoy my favorite season until the very end, and I especially want to get the most out of the flavors this time of year has to offer. Summer cooking is as easy and carefree as the season itself. No-cook meals such as salads, beef or fish tartares and cold soups are quick and often very healthy, but sometimes, even on hot days, I will suddenly get the urge to roast a chicken — which happens to be my husband’s favorite food. He still recalls going out for dinner with his parents on their anniversary and always ordering the same thing — roast chicken with fries and mayonnaise. You can imagine his delight when he sees a meal like this on the table!
summermealAnd our delight, too, because last night’s dinner was perfect in every way. From the lemony, crispy-skinned chicken to the conversation and love shared around that table. Because food and eating together as a family, you see, is and should be an immense source of pleasure.
When Hans texted me on his way home from work to ask if I needed anything, I had a chicken marinating in the fridge, and on one of my vintage French plates, a pile of freshly-washed summer vegetables was waiting to be sliced and grilled. The wine, a rosé purchased in Spain just a few weeks ago, was chilling in the freezer. The only thing missing was something for our apéro, so I asked for some olives.
After a day of work and the hurried pace of everyday life, the three of us sat down to our well-deserved drinks and nibbles, while the chicken roasted and French music played softly in the background.
Today I am sharing these two recipes with you. Serve them on pretty plates, savor the moment and enjoy.

Spicy Lemon Chicken
The key to a quick cooking time is to spatchcock your chicken. This simply means removing the backbone and flattening the chicken. You can ask your butcher to do this for you, but with a pair of heavy-duty kitchen shears or a sharp knife, it’s really not that difficult. I always save the backbone for stock, so nothing goes to waste.
Serves 4

  • 1 chicken (of about 1 kilo), spatchcocked
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes, or more, to taste
  • 1 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
  • fleur de sel
  • freshy-cracked pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 small bulb of garlic, sliced in half and torn apart
  • fragrant olive oil

Season the chicken on both sides with the chili flakes, oregano, salt and pepper. Put it in a large Ziploc bag, cut the lemon in half, squeeze in the juice and add the garlic cloves and olive oil. Marinate in the fridge for at least two hours. Take the chicken out of the fridge about half an hour before cooking. Preheat the oven to 200C, place the chicken breast side up on a baking tray and pour the marinade over the chicken. Bake for 20 minutes and then flip over to bake for another 20 minutes. Flip the chicken again and give it a final 20 minutes. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before carving.

Grilled Summer Vegetables
This is such an easy way to bring out the flavor of perfect summer vegetables. I don’t think it’s really necessary to write out a full recipe. Just heat up a grill pan and griddle your vegetables, placing them on a serving plate as you go. Once done, sprinkle with roasted pine nuts and fresh herbs, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with good olive oil. For the three of us, I used one large aubergine, one courgette and two red bell peppers.

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