Tag Archives: French

Chicken Marengo (the slower but more authentic way)

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Chicken Marengo

Chicken Marengo Recipe #2—A More Authentic Version?

Serves 4

Once again, I am telling the historical tale of this dish because I think it’s so cute and the outcome is so delicious. Napoleon and his traveling chef, Dunand, were the men who made this dish famous. After the battle at Marengo (Piedmont, Italy), Napoleon demanded from his chef a quick meal—imagine this after a treacherous journey over the Alps in mid-May. Cooking legend has it that even in these hinterlands, Napoleon’s forever challenged chef found a chicken, tomatoes, onions, garlic, herbs, olive oil and crayfish.  He cut the chicken up with his “saber” and made a dish very much like this recipe. Reportedly being thoroughly French, Dunand also added a dash of cognac from Napoleon’s flask.  Napoleon liked the dish immensely and since he won the battle, considered Chicken Marengo lucky.  So he asked for it often just as Dunand had originally made it.  My other recipe is a bit less time consuming to make, however, this one is really excellent and worth the time spent.  This dish will be cooking for a total of 1 hour—stove top.

Ingredients:    

  1. 1- 2 ½ lb. chicken cut up
  2. 1/3 to 1/2 C. flour laced with pepper, salt and a splash of cayenne (to dredge the chicken pieces)
  3. 2 Tblsp. olive oil (if you need more, go for it and same for the butter)
  4. 2 Tblsp. butter
  5. 2 or 4 Tblsp. chopped/minced bacon
  6. 1 peeled carrot-chopped fine
  7. 1 stalk of celery-chopped fine
  8. 1 garlic clove-chopped fine
  9. 1 small shallot-chopped fine
  10. 2 or 3 LARGE tasty fresh tomatoes, cut into CHUNKY pieces or 4 plum tomatoes cute into Chunky pieces (you can use canned if you drain the whole tomatoes and cut them in Chunky pieces)
  11. 1/2- 3/4 C. dry white wine in which 1 ½ -2 Tblsp brandy has been put. (Once again if you think you need more wine, go for it.)
  12. 1 Bouquet Garni (I made mine from fresh parsley, some fresh rosemary and fresh French tarragon and a bit of crushed bay leaves. Place these in a good sized piece of cheese cloth which you can form into a small bag; tie the bag with kitchen string or non-flavored dental floss so that your herbs stay enclosed.  Place the bag into the stew and discard it before serving.)
  13. 8 or so poached shrimp and 8 or so whole button mushrooms also poached. (These should be poached in a chicken stock/white wine, stove top, at simmer, for 3-5 minutes or till shrimp are pink and mushrooms are somewhat tender. You don’t have to use both ingredients—it can be one or the other. And if you wish, you can poach them together. Furthermore, if you have access to crayfish, all the better.)
  14. Black olives— combo of whole and rough chopped
  15. 1/2 Lemon to squeeze at the very last
  16.  Croutons (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a paper or plastic bag, shake the flour with the S&P and paprika; when well mixed, introduce your chicken pieces into the floured bag.  Shake vigorously so that the pieces are floured evenly however not heavily—they need to be “lightly” doused.
  2. In a large heavy pot that has a good lid and on an oven top burner (medium-high heat) bring the oil and butter and some of your minced bacon up to a nice light sizzle (remove the bacon with a slotted spoon); introduce your chicken pieces into the oil/butter and turn the heat down to the point where your pieces are browning evenly, turning frequently, and are not burning. Golden colored is what you wish.  Don’t crowd them so it may take several sessions to do this. As well, I would say it might take 2-3 minutes per chicken side to get them brown just right.  Set them aside on a platter.
  3. Now, introduce the remainder of your bacon plus the set aside bunch and in the remaining oil, etc. in your pot, brown the veggies mentioned in ingredients 6-9.  When they have softened somewhat (3 minutes or so) introduce the major portion of the tomatoes, however save about 1/2 C. for later); let the mixture simmer for another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Reintroduce your perfectly browned and golden chicken pieces along with your Bouquet Garni.;over all, pour your brandy/wine combo and let simmer very gently on stove top for 30 minutes— tightly covered.
  5. After 30 minutes, place the additional tomatoes on top (don’t stir but make sure that you have enough liquid collected and taste to see what you think); simmer gently, tightly covered, for another 25 minutes.
  6. For the last 5 minutes, top the dish with the poached shrimp and mushrooms and add the chopped and whole olives. Simmer well covered once more.  Make sure the chicken is done (I’m sure it will be and FINIS—Napoleon would be delighted).
  7. Before serving (don’t forget to remove your Bouquet Garni), top everything with freshly chopped parsley, give a hearty squeeze of fresh lemon and there you are.
  8. Additionally, if you wish, you can place toasted croutons on top. Sometimes it’s fun to make your own shaped croutons (1-inch diameter) for a dish as this.
  9. This goes very well with rice and a light salad.
  10. Sounds like a simple peasant dish doesn’t it?  Well, after you’ve made and served this, you’ll say: “I don’t think so” or maybe you’ll say “Peasant dishes are the best!!”.
  11. As always, from Margot, Bon Appétit.
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Blanquette de Poulet

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chickens

Blanquette de Poulet

Serves 4-6

My mother was not that crazy about cooking however, every Sunday, this is what she made.  So, of course, I grew very fond of it and now have to make it so as to remind myself about the good and sociable Sundays that she created around this dish.  She teamed this up with fresh veggies or sometimes, I hate to say, canned, a nice salad and her really splendid rice, a sort of risotto. To top off our mid-Sunday repast, she served her excellent open faced apple tart or a zabaglione or some home made meringues with ice cream.  To start off the whole affair, it was either a slice of cantaloupe or canned fruit cocktail. The cantaloupe would be doused by our European friends with sugar.  So, now when I mention the canned stuff, you’ll know that the era was the 40’s and 50’s.  This is not a complicated dish and it’s the sauce that makes it—or at least that’s what I think. Blanquette equates to a totally white sauce in French culinary terms. There is also a more famous version of the blanquette—Veal en Blanquette. The recipe for that is a bit different.  Anyway, here’s to memories and I hope that you’ll enjoy this dish.

 

Ingredients:

  1. 1 nice sized whole chicken, rinsed
  2. Water–enough to cover the whole affair
  3. 2 or 3 carrots, peeled and cut into large pieces
  4. 2-3 celery stalks, washed and cut in half or thirds
  5. 1 onion-peeled and cut into quarters
  6. Several cloves of garlic-peeled and chopped
  7. 3-4 sprigs of garlic
  8. Some peppercorns
  9. A couple sprigs of fresh thyme or tarragon or rosemary—your choice of one
  10. S&P to taste
  11. 2 Tblsp. flour
  12. 2 Tblsp. butter
  13. 1 C. heavy cream (but ½ and ½ will do it except it won’t taste as wonderful)
  14. 2 egg yolks put in a small bowl that will also hold the heavy cream
  15. 1/2 Lb. small mushrooms, sautéed in a bit of butter (optional)

 

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, place the chicken, water to cover and the ingredients mentioned from item #3 through item #10.  Bring to a boil and simmer, covered for at least one hour or till chicken is done. (You can also put all of these ingredients except the carrots in a large cheesecloth bag and place that in the stock).
  2. Set aside the chicken and carrots. Strain the stock, discard the strained ingredients (or the cheesecloth bag) and put the stock back in the pot.
  3. Bring stock to a boil and reduce to a slower boil until broth is reduced about 2/3rds.
  4. In a small bowl, cream the butter and flour (I do this with a fork) and add a bit of the hot broth and mix well till smooth and no lumps remain.
  5. Add the flour/butter mixture to the broth in the pot and boil 1-2 minutes.
  6. In the meantime, mix the cream with the yolks with a whip. If you wish, you can add some lemon juice to this mixture.  As I remember, mother didn’t.
  7. Reduce heat of broth till barely simmering and add the cream/yolk mixture. DO NOT LET BOIL or it will curdle (YUK!)
  8. Whip the broth until it’s nice a smooth.
  9. Place the chicken on a platter with the mushrooms and carrots around and pour the sauce over all.  Or if you would rather, serve the chicken, carrots and mushrooms plain and put the sauce in a gravy boat and let your guests pour the sauce themselves on their individually plated dishes.

 

P.S.  There are many other excellent and a bit more complicated recipes for Blanquette de Poulet however the one I gave you is the one my mother made and frankly, I enjoyed the simplicity of it because it made the sauce really stand out.    

Cassoulet with Lamb and White Beans

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Cassoulet With Lamb and White Beans

Serves 4

 

I love a good cassoulet and it can be varied using different kinds of meats, poultry, and beans.  Originally this dish originated in the South of France and was named after the traditional earthenware pot, a cassole that was used specifically for it.  It’s a slow cooking dish that traditionally contained pork, sausages, goose, duck, mutton, pork skin, and white haricot beans.  But it has transformed itself by cooks worldwide to now even containing fish.  I love the traditional version, but I also like this newer one.

 

Ingredients:

2 Tblsp. olive oil

2 lbs. lamb stew meat or pieces (I bought some Cedar Springs Lamb Arm Chops and cut them into pieces and included the bone in the cooking)

2 yellow onions, chopped

8 cloves garlic, minced

2 C. vegetable broth (or you can use water if you prefer)

2/3 C. white wine or vermouth

4 C. small white cooked beans (I made mine earlier with a bay leaf and chopped bacon)

2 carrots cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 Tsp. fresh rosemary

Several pepper corns

2 whole cloves

1 bay leaf

S&P

 

Directions:

Heat oil in a heavy large pot over medium-high heat.  Add lamb and brown well on all sides (about 5 minutes).  Transfer to a dish and set aside.  Add onions, garlic, and carrots to the pot and sauté until slightly browned (about 4 minutes).  Add stock or water and wine and bring to a simmer.  Add reserved lamb, beans, rosemary, bay leaf, cloves, and pepper corns.  Cover and simmer gently about an hour until the meat is tender when pierced with a fork. Discard the bay leaf, cloves, and pepper corns. Season to taste with S&P.  Spoon into 4 large bowls and serve with crusted bread.  If you wish you can put some fresh bread crumbs on top of each oven proof bowl and bake in oven for 5 to 10 minutes.

 

 For easy access and printing of this and past recipes, visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com  Call Margot for personal cooking help @ 721-3551.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

 

 

Granny Smith Green Apple Clafouti

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Granny Apple Clafouti 001Granny Smith Green Apple Clafouti

8 servings

It was a leisurely gorgeous Sun Valley Sunday with two dog walks with Hugo, my toy poodle,  and a glorious bike ride North on Hwy.75, so I had planned a really nice dinner for myself—shrimp and linguine with an olive oil/butter/garlic/fresh parsley sauce; however, my tooth, yes that one, the sweet one, was craving a desert.  I had just bought some nice green Granny Smith apples and so had that in mind.  Actually, what I had in mind was a memory of my mother’s every Sunday fabulous apple pie that she made.  So, I thought something less complicated like a clafouti would be very good.  And it was!!! Well, I didn’t eat the whole thing————but I could have.

Ingredients:

3 to 4 Granny Smith or Pippin apples

1 lemon- rind finely grated

¼ C. Marsala Wine (or Madeira)

3 eggs

2/3 C. half & half

1/3 C water

1/2 C. granulated sugar

1/2 C. all-purpose flour

5 Tblsp. melted sweet butter

1/2 Tblsp. vanilla

1/2 Tblsp. almond extract—(if you don’t want the almond flavor, just use 1 Tblsp. vanilla)

1/8 Tsp. salt

1/4 C. currants or raisins (optional)

1/4 C. slivered blanched almonds (optional)

Powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Pam-spray a shallow 2-quart baking dish.
  3. Pare and slice apples in thin slices. I leave the skin out—but that’s up to you.
  4. Drop the apples in a medium sized bowl and pour over them the Marsala and the  grated lemon rind. Mix and let stand 10 to 15 minutes or longer if you wish.
  5. In a blender, combine eggs, milk, sugar, flouw, melted butter, vanilla, almond extract, and salt; whirl until smooth.  With a slotted spoon, transfer the apples to the baking dish. Pour remaining wine into egg mixture and whirl again to blend.
  6. Lightly mix into the fruit the almonds and currants/raisins.
  7. Pour egg mixture over fruit.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven on the middle or top third rack until puffed and set to the touch in the center—55 to 65 minutes.  It’ll settle slightly as it is cooling.
  9. Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top before serving.
  10. I also serve European Style yogurt (Straus) with it.  But ice cream or crème fraiche will do as well.

Pear Clafouti or Pear Cobler—for a friend in need

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pears in a bowlJust what I love—getting an emergency email from a friend who needs a recipe-quick- please!!!

 Subject: Pear Tart
>>
>>
>>> Hi,  I am at my friends house for dinner and we were remembering a pear
>>> desert we used to make like peach cobbler but healthy with pears.  Do you
>>> ever make anything like that ?? Maybe pear,almond?  Thanks, J
>>
Answer from Margot
>> This is not exactly a tart, but it’s delicious.  It’s a Clafouti—a
>> French peasant dish using the left over fruit from their orchards.
>>
>> 1 1/2 lbs pears (I leave the skin on and slice thin)
>> 1/4 C. sweet white wine such as madeira
>> 3 large eggs
>> 1 C. whole milk
>> 1/2 C. granulated sugar
>> 1/3 C. all-purpose flour
>> 3 Tblsp. unsalted butter, melted
>> 1 Tblsp. almond extract (or 1/2 vanilla and 1/2 almond)
>> 1/8 tsp. salt
>> Powdered sugar for dusting
>>
>> 1. Preheat oven to 325.  Butter or pam spray a shallow 2-quart baking
>> dish.
>> 2. Place sliced pears into a bowl.  Add wine and mix gently.  Let stand 5
>> minutes
>> 3.  In a blender, combine eggs, milk, sugar, flour, melted butter, almond,
>> and salt.  Whirl till smooth. With a slotted spoon, transfer fruit to
>> buttered baking dish.  Pour remaining wine and juices into egg mixture and
>> whirl again to blend.  Pour egg mixture over fruit.
>> 4.  Bake calfouti in upper third of the preheated oven until puffed and
>> set to the touch in the center–55 to 65 minutes.
>> 5.  Serve warm (it will settle slightly as it cools). Sprinkle powdered
>> sugar over the top before serving.
>> 6.  Ice cream or creamy yogurt or sweet creme fraiche over it makes it
>> extra yummy
>> 7.  You can also add some raisins or currants with pears when soaking in
>> the wine. And you can add some slivered almonds on top at the end.
>>
>> Bon Appetit!!!!
>>
>> Here’s a Cobbler recipe I just got on-line that you might try:
>>
>> 1/2 Cup butter
>> 1 C. flour
>> 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
>> 1 C whole milk
>> 1 C sugar
>> 1/2 to 1 tsp tsp almond (or vanila) extract
>> 2 C. sliced pears (or can be peaches)
>>
>> Preheat oven to 350
>>
>> Place butter in 13 X 9 inch baking dish.  Place dish in oven to melt
>> butter. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in large bowl.  Stir in milk,
>> almond or vanila extract and sugar to form batter.  Revmove baking dish
>> from oven and pour batter into it.  Spoon pears (peaches) and any juices
>> evenly over batter. Bake until batter rises and brown on top–about 30
>> minutes.
>>
>> YUM!!!!
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> >>

Another Bouillabaisse–the 15 minute version-And It Features Fish

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15- Minute Bouillabaisse

(Thanks to Sam Gugino in his Cooking to Beat The Clock cook book.)

Serves 4

Ingredients:

8 Tblsp. olive oil

1 medium onion—peeled and quartered

4 cloves garlic—-peeled (save one for the Rouille.)

1  15-oz. can chopped tomatoes, drained or 1  15-oz. can whole tomatoes drained and coarsely chopped

2   8- oz. bottles clam juice

2 tsp. ground fennel (or seeds is OK too)

S&P

1/2 tsp. saffron threads or ground saffron

3   4-oz. pieces monkfish or swordfish (Tillapia works OK too)—cut fish pieces in half

3   4-oz. pieces halibut, snapper, or sea bass—but fish pieces in half

8  oz. cleaned squid bodies cut into rings (since I don’t live near the ocean, I use shrimp that has been mostly defrosted if frozen.)

For the Rouille:

1 small French baguette

¼ C. roasted bell peppers from a jar

1 egg yolk

Directions:

1.Put the onion and 3 cloves of the garlic in a food processor or blender. Pulse till chopped.

2. Put 1 tblsp. oil in large deep heavy skilled over medium-high heat and when oil is hot, raise temperature to high and cook onion and garlic in it.

3. Add the tomatoes, clam juice, fennel, and S&P to taste to the skillet.

4. Over the skillet, crush ¼ tsp saffron between your fingers or use ¼ tsp ground saffron.

Stir well, cover and bring to boil.

5. Then reduce heat to medium, add the fish, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add the squid or shrimp for the final minute.

6. While the seafood cooks, turn the broiler on to high in preparation to toast the bread. If you wish to turn the broiler on at the beginning of cooking the bouillabaisse, do that. Cut the baguette on the diagonal into 9 half-inch slices.  Put eight of them on a baking sheet and toast both sides in the broiler, about 1 minute on each side.

To make the accompanying rouille:

1. Drop the remaining garlic clove in the chute of the food processor with the motor running.

2.Stop the motor, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatulas.

3.Add the roasted peppers, egg yolk (or ¼ C. egg substitute), reserved bread slice and the remaining ¼ tsp. saffron.

4. Puree, then, with the motor running, gradually add the remaining 7 tblsp. olive oil through the chute until the mixture has the consistency of mayonnaise.

5. Season with salt.

(I do the whole rouille in a blender and it turns out just fine.)

How To Serve:

Divide the seafood and broth among 4 pretty soup plates.  Spread the rouille on the toasted bread slices and put 2 slices on top of each soup plate.  Serve the remaining rouille in a bowl at the table.

Chicken Bouillabaisse

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Chicken Bouillabaisse

What did Venus feed to Vulcan? A bouillabaisse soup.  This kind of soup was made in mythology as well as in Marseille by the Phoceans around 600BC.  The name comes from the method of preparation because the ingredients are not added all at once.  The broth is first boiled (bolh) and then the different kinds of fish are added one by one and the heat is lowered (abaissa).  Well the fish variety is delicious, but you can also make a Chicken Bouillabaisse.  The sauce is delicious!!!!  I have my cooking idol to thank for this: The Barefoot Contessa.  But I did want to share it with you in case you haven’t discovered it for yourselves.

Ingredients:

1 (4-5 lb.) chicken, cut into 10 pieces

S&P

1 Tblsp. minced fresh rosemary leaves (I used dried)

Olive Oil

1 large head garlic, separated into cloves and peeled

1 Tsp. saffron threads (I bought the $7.00 variety that comes in little packets)

1 Tsp. whole fennel seed

1 (15 oz.) can tomato puree (I liquefied in blender a 14.5 oz can of chopped tomatoes)

1 ½ C. chicken stock

1 C. dry white wine (I used dry vermouth)

3 Tblsp. Pernod (I took 3 Tblsp. Vodka and soaked 1 broken star anise in it for several hours.)

1 lb. baby Yukon gold potatoes, halved

Rouille, for serving—recipe follows

Crusty French bread for serving

Directions:

Wash and pat dry chicken.  Season it generously with S&P and rosemary.

Heat 2 tblsp. olive oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven and brown chicken pieces until nicely browned all over (about 5-7 minutes).  Transfer chicken to a plate; set aside.

Lower the heat to medium low and add the garlic, saffron, fennel seeds, tomato puree, chicken stock, white wine, Pernod, 2 tsp. salt(I used much less) and 1 tsp. pepper to the pot.

Stir and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until the garlic is very tender, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 300 degree.

Carefully pour the sauce in a food processor or blender fitted with steel blades.  Puree until smooth.  Return the sauce to the Dutch oven; add the sliced potatoes and browned chicken pieces with their juices; stir carefully.

Cover the pot and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until potatoes are tender and the chicken is done.

Serve hot in shallow bowls with big dollops of Rouille and slices of crusty bread.

Rouille

Ingredients:

4 garlic cloves

1 ½ tsp. salt

1 egg yolk, at room temperature

1 ½ tblsp. lemon juice

½ tsp. saffron thread

¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1 C. olive oil
Directions:

Place the garlic and salt on a cutting board and mince together.  Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender fitted with steel blades.  Add the egg yolk, lemon juice, saffron, and red pepper flakes; process till smooth.

With the machine running, pour the olive oil in a thin, steady stream through the feed tube to make a thick mayonnaise emulsion. (I actually put everything in the blender and it came out fine.)

Put rouille to a serving bowl and store in the frig until ready to serve.

 

The Food Network Kitchens caution about using a raw egg yolk because of the SLIGHT risk of Salmonella, etc.  To reduce the risk, they recommend that you use fresh, properly-refrigerated, clean, grade A or AA eggs with intact shells.  (I’ve used raw egg yolks forever and have never had a problem; but I guess there could always be a first time.)