Homey Crème Fraîche Baked Chicken

RECIPE: Homey Crème Fraîche Baked Chicken

Creme Fraiche Baked Chicken

Poor Mr. English.  He always asks me, what’s the point of marrying a girl that you can take-out-of-New-York-but-you-can’t-take-New-York-out-of-the-girl if she won’t make you chicken soup?

I’m chicken intolerant.  It’s not something I often confess in foodie circles, but it’s true.  To me, fried chicken is like ice cream to a lactose intolerant.  So unutterably irresistible, and so not worth the agony.

So the chicken recipes on this site are anytime Valentines to my husband.  I have a bite, maybe two, to assess my work, down a glass of seltzer, and pass it over to him.  Usually, I stare at him while he eats it.  Ask him over and over again what he thinks.  I eat vicariously, and he, bless him, is as tolerant of me as I am intolerant of the chicken.

I am particularly pleased with this Valentine: bone-in chicken marinated overnight in crème fraîche, woodsy herbs, shallots, and garlic.  The rosemary, thyme, shallot, and garlic permeate the crème fraîche and eventually the chicken.  And the crème fraîche, like buttermilk, tenderizes the chicken so it is soft, juicy beyond belief.  The crème fraîche on the skin causes it to bubble up, char, and blister.  But the inside remains pale, perfumed, and perfect.  I serve it with green salad, baguette.  It’s homey.

Because if you’re married to a food blogger, you eat your Valentine’s dinner at 11 AM the weekend before (perfect lighting, perfect timing), I already stared at him, asked him what he thought, and ate vicariously through him.  I have to say, I never feel more like a wife than when I am roasting chicken for my husband.  Maybe it’s because of the level of sacrifice in it for me.  After all, at least half the joy of cooking is the payoff of eating.  Maybe it’s because it’s my own extreme version of Engagement Chicken.  Maybe there’s just something primal-ly, traditionally devoted about roasting one’s man a chicken.  I don’t know.  But he smiled, and I smiled, and I thought, I am lucky to have someone to love so much that I would make him this homey chicken.

Maybe next year I’ll cave and make him chicken soup.

Bon app!

Creme Fraiche Chicken Legs - Marinade

Homey Crème Fraîche Baked Chicken
serves 4

Creme Fraiche Baked ChickenINGREDIENTS

  • 4 whole chicken legs or chicken breasts, skin-on and bone-in
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup of crème fraîche
  • 1 large shallot, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, barely chopped
  • The leaves from 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

METHOD

Salt and pepper all sides of the chicken.  In a baking dish that will hold the chicken in a single layer, toss together the crème fraîche, shallot, garlic, rosemary, and thyme, and season the marinade with salt and pepper.  Add the chicken and toss, making sure the crème fraîche gets all over every bit of the chicken.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 375 F.  Lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet.  Turn the chicken over in the marinade once last time to coat thoroughly, and place in a single layer on the baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Bake 30 minutes (a little longer if using chicken breasts) until the internal temperature is 150 F.  Then crank up the oven to 500 F and bake until the skin puffs up and turns golden brown, about 5 more minutes.  Serve with a light green salad and baguette.

print this recipe
print this post Posted by Kerry | Leave a comment
Share

Categories: Cheap, Easy, Eat, Main Courses, Poultry, Recipes
 

Bonafide Heirloom Carrot, Carrot, and Chive Slaw

RECIPE: Bonafide Heirloom Carrot, Carrot, and Chive Slaw

Carrot Fennel Chive SlawI am devoted to slaw.  If it’s on a menu, I order it.  And I make it constantly, in huge batches, and use it to stuff tacos, to top burgers, as a salad bed under steak or pork or grilled fish.  It’s so lively.  The crunch.  The mixture of all those different things, getting along, being better than the sum of their parts.  And while I adore cabbage (I mean, I really ADORE it), slaw isn’t just for cabbage anymore.

I was at the supermarket Monday night, thinking to take something healthy with me to the office for lunch, when I saw a bag of pre-shredded rainbow heirloom carrots.  It felt very Brooklyn meets the Upper East Side, so I snapped it up.  It was destined for a slaw.  So I bought a giant fennel and some chives that I would cut in long spears to round out the vegetables.  Then I tossed it with my simple slaw dressing that I always use: lemon juice and zest tossed with olive oil and mayo.  And because I like doing things a bit vegan now and again, I went for Vegenaise to be extra virtuous.

It’s such a becoming slaw, with all its paleness punctuated by the bright shards of carrots.  It’s the perfect match of crunchiness and that slight wilt that lemon juice gives.  It’s just terrific.  I hope you try it!

Carrot Fennel Chive Slaw CollageBon app!

Bonafide Heirloom Carrot, Carrot, and Chive Slaw
serves 4 to 8, depending on how you use it

Carrot Fennel Chive SlawINGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise or Vegenaise for a vegan version
  • The juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 10-ounce bag shredded carrots, preferably rainbow heirloom carrots
  • 1 large fennel, shaved on a mandoline, fronds chopped and reserved
  • ½ bunch chives, cut into 1 ½ – inch pieces

PROCEDURE

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, mayonnaise or Vegenaise, lemon juice and zest, and salt and pepper until smooth.  Then toss in the carrots, fennel and fronds, and chives.  Toss thoroughly to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour, and up to overnight, before serving.  You could serve right away, but letting the fennel and carrots sit in the lemon juice and salt helps to extract some of the vegetables’ juices and wilt just enough of the crunch out to make it the perfect slaw texture.

print this recipe
print this post Posted by Kerry | Leave a comment
Share

Categories: 15 Minutes, Cheap, Easy, Eat, Recipes, Salad, Sides, Soup & Salad, Vegetables, Vegetarian
 

Greek Turkey Meatballs with Chobani Jalapeño and Mint Tzatziki

RECIPE: Greek Turkey Meatballs with Chobani Jalapeño and Mint Tzatziki

Chobani Turkey Meatballs and TzatzikiI am a really bad eater of breakfast.  I just don’t really like breakfast food.  So when I say that I eat anything with consistency before noon, it’s a big statement.  I have been a devotee of Chobani for about a year and a half.  It started when I had a bug and couldn’t eat anything.  The doctor recommended yogurt and the blended Chobani flavors appealed enough to give me a bit of appetite.  Later and back in London, I would stop in the little Tesco’s on my way to work in Hammersmith and pick up a blood orange Chobani.  I liked its consistency with my life back in New York, and I also loved the pulpy blood orange tang.  And now that I’m back stateside, I raid Fairway’s shelves for limited batch pumpkin spice Chobani.  I stir in my salty Early Bird granola and it’s a breakfast I actually eat.  In fact, I had it this morning!

So when Chobani told me about their #MadeWithChobani project, I figured I owed them for being one of my few suppliers for the most important meal of the day.

The truth is, in addition to little flavored pots for breakfast, I love using Greek yogurt in savory recipes.  I use it as a substitute for sour cream, crème fraiche, and mayonnaise in so many dishes.  You get the benefit of less fat and less cholesterol, plus healthy bacteria for your digestive system.  I mix in mashed avocado and lime juice and dollop on tacos.  I stir in horseradish or herbs and smear on sandwiches.  I use it to finish soups.  It’s a really basic ingredient that I always have on hand.

Chobani CollageHere I use it to make a twist on a classic tzatziki, a Greek sauce my cousin in Montreal made for me when I was sixteen, and I have been hooked ever since.  Traditionally, tzatziki is made from yogurt, cucumber, and garlic, and it’s the perfect dip for stacks of warm grilled pitas.  But Chobani did as for unique and healthy, so here’s my spin.  I make a cool – hot version by adding jalapenos, fresh mint, and Meyer lemon to the traditional tzatziki.  I spoon it onto a bed of lemon-marinated baby kale, and top it with my Greak turkey mini meat balls, stuffed with oregano, mint, dill, parsley, and garlic, and made tender with whole wheat couscous.  It’s a great light dinner, but today, I ate it for lunch al desko.

So that’s my #MadeWithChobani recipe.  Savory, light, hopefully a little different—and really, really easy and good.

Chobani Pumpkin

Greek Turkey Meatballs with Chobani Jalapeño and Mint Tzatziki
serves 4

Chobani Turkey Meatballs and TzatzikiMeatballs

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup cooked whole wheat couscous
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped of each: oregano, dill, parsley, mint
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano (optional)
  • 1-2 gloves garlic, grated
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  In a large bowl, mix all ingredients until just combined.  Use a small ice cream scoop to place uniform meatballs onto a baking sheet.  Bake until golden and cooked through, 25 – 30 minutes.

Tzatziki

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup Chobani Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 chopped chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and roughly chopped
  • Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt
  • 1 Persian cucumber

METHOD

Place all the ingredients except the cucumber in a small cucumber and whiz until completely blended.  Finely grate the cucumber onto a few layers of paper towel.  Wring out all the moisture and stir into the tzatziki.

To serve, arrange a bed of baby kale tossed with equal parts lemon juice and olive oil.  Top with some tzatziki and nestle the turkey meatballs on top.

print this recipe
print this post Posted by Kerry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments
Share

Categories: 30 Minutes, Appetizers & Hors D’Oeuvres, Cheap, Easy, Eat, For a Crowd, Main Courses, Poultry, Recipes
 

A Franglais Thanksgiving: Spiced Apple Cider Granita

RECIPE: Spiced Apple Cider Granita

Spiced Cider GranitaMy favorite dessert in the world is granita.  I seek it out, almost obsessively.  Gelupo, in my ex-hometown of London, makes the second greatest granita in the world in fabulous flavors.  My favorite is rose topped with vanilla whipped cream, but their mint, bergamot, and blood orange come in close behind.  The absolute best granita I’ve ever had was at Da Alfredo in Salina, just off Sicily, during my honeymoon.  We had to boat up to the tiny town to taste this famous granita, made with lemons so fresh, they don’t even bother to remove the seeds.  I was so enthusiastic that I bought my two favorite Sicilian flavors, lemon AND almond, and spooned them down, one bright and tart, one rich and toasty, on the deck of the boat rocking in the harbor.  It’s one of my favorite memories.

As I wrote earlier this week, my pumpkin pie fetish doesn’t always please all my relatives, whose palates just don’t go for pumpkin pie–even with my fresh maple whipped cream.  And that’s fine–more for my midnight snack.  But I do like to please them, and they love apples.  Plus, I think it’s a great idea to bring something light to the Thanksgiving dessert spread.  Hence, my spiced apple cider granita.  Chances are, today you have some spiced apple cider in the fridge.  I like to hurry my granita along by pouring the cider into my ice cream machine.  You don’t need to add anything else.  Get it nice and iced, and then spoon it into a glass baking dish.  Freeze for an hour, and use a fork to scrape the surface into crystals.  Freeze another hour, and repeat.  Keep frozen until your ready to serve.

Happy Thanksgiving!  I wish you all the best, and bon app!

Spiced Apple Cider Granita
serves 8

Spiced Cider GranitaINGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups cold spiced apple cider

METHOD

Pour the apple cider into an ice cream maker and run until nearly frozen.  Spoon into a glass baking dish, and freeze for 1 hour.  Use a fork to scrape the frozen cider into crystals.  Freeze another hour, and repeat.  Serve straight from the freezer!

print this recipe
print this post Posted by Kerry | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment
Share

Categories: Cheap, Desserts, Easy, Eat, Frozen, Fruit, Recipes, Vegetarian
 

A Franglais Thanksgiving: Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter, Sage, and Hazelnuts

RECIPE: Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter, Sage, and Hazelnuts

Sweet Potato GnocchiEvery year–every year as long as I can remember–we have had potatoes au gratin for Thanksgiving.  And I love them.  As a kid, they were my favorite main course, and I still think they are just about the greatest thing on a cold winter night.  But this was my first Thanksgiving in my own apartment, cooking for my family, back in New York, and a trip down the pasta aisle in Fairway made me want to try something different.  Sweet potato gnocchi–such a cool find!

My family protested.  Outcry and gasps over the phone from my mother.  Snide comments from my husband.  I think my father may even have suggested we try BOTH.  But I had stashed the little golden gnocchi in the freezer, and I was not going to be dissuaded.

We had our Thanksgiving earlier this weekend, as we won’t be with the French-American side of the family on Thursday.  It was in the face of severe skepticism that I boiled my sweet potato pillows, brown my butter, crisped my sage, and crushed my hazelnuts.  Even I wondered as I brought the dish to the table whether experimentation on Thanksgiving was really worth it.

It was.  The brown butter is nutty.  The gnocchi are sweet.  The sage is mossy and vegetal.  The hazelnuts and butter give it almost a pecan pie feel, and the texture is hearty.

On Sunday, for leftovers lunch, EVERYONE asked for the gnocchi.  So there.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter, Sage, and Hazelnuts
serves 8

Sweet Potato GnocchiINGREDIENTS

  • 3 pounds sweet potato gnocchi
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 12 whole sage leaves
  • 1/2 cup toasted chopped hazelnuts
  • Sea salt

METHOD

Cook the gnocchi in boiling salted water according to package directions.

While the gnocchi cook, melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat.  The butter will begin to foam.  While the butter foams, add the sage.  Cook until the foam subsides and the butter solids turn a nutty golden color.  Remove from the heat.  Add the drained gnocchi, the hazelnuts, and sea salt, and toss.  Serve immediately.

print this recipe
print this post Posted by Kerry | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments
Share

Categories: 15 Minutes, Cheap, Easy, Eat, Main Courses, Recipes, Sides, Starches, Vegetarian, Vegetarian
 

A Franglais Thanksgiving: Spatchcocked Turkey with Citrus and Fresh Herbes de Provence

RECIPE: Spatchcocked Turkey with Citrus and Fresh Herbes de Provence

Spatchcocked Provençal TurkeyEvery year we have our Franglais Thanksgiving–a mishmash of French and American culinary heritage at a very enthusiastic table.  It’s not easy.  The French among us think corn is for pigs and pumpkins inedible–unless the corn is very finely ground and then suddenly, bien sûr, cornbread is a must.  The same holds true if the pumpkin pie is exceptionally good.  Then, just this once, there will be an exception.  So it is a tightrope I must walk every November–to get my Thanksgiving favorites on the table without offending anyone’s sensibilities (and secretly working to convert the skeptics–ahem, les français).

Tomorrow I will elaborate on what happened when I removed one Franco-American favorite from the menu this year, but first, the pièce de résistance.  The Turkey.  I am a huge fan of spatchcocking poultry–that is, taking the spine out, and cooking it flat, rather than in the round.  I just feel that it cooks more evenly, more quickly, and with more flavor.  So, this year, I personally spatchcocked my turkey.  The turkey is a mighty beast, so if you have the opportunity to have your butcher do it, take it!  I didn’t, and while it’s not impossible, I did have to call in a male relative.

This turkey is flavored with citrus and fresh herbes de Provence.  I use Meyer lemon, lemon, and orange, and not only does the fruit lend the turkey much needed moisture in the oven, it also helps eliminate that slight gaminess that all poultry has.  It really is so good.  I also love to mix fresh and dried herbes de Provence.  The fresh herbs almost smoke into the meat while it cooks, while the dried herbs form a crust on the skin.  I throw in some garlic for good measure–whole cloves that roast until they’re soft and sweet, and we smear them on the meat while we eat it.

Getting the Turkey ReadyIt’s so easy, so good, so foolproof.  Throw the citrus, herbs, and garlic in the roasting pan.  Lay the flattened turkey on top.  And cover with a quick rub made from more herbs–fresh and dry, the zest of the citrus, and some olive oil, and, bien sûr, butter.  Three hours later, the turkey is moist, full of that Provençal flavor, and burnished gold.  I then serve a quick Meyer lemon and thyme gravy on the side.

Every year in our house, over a bowl of sweet potato chips and glasses of Champagne, we go around the circle and announce all that we are thankful for, and we toast each and every thing.  I just want to say I am thankful for all of you who read French Revolution.  I hope you have a marvelous Thanksgiving, full of much to be thankful for.

Bon app!

Spatchcocked Turkey with Citrus and Fresh Herbes de Provence
serves 8

Spatchcocked Provençal TurkeyINGREDIENTS

  • 1 10-pound turkey, spatchcocked (have your butcher take out the spine and flatten the breastbone)

For the Raft

  • 1 Meyer lemon, cut into wedges
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • 1 orange, cut into wedges
  • 1 head garlic, cloves separated (leave them in their wrappers)
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 1/2 bunch sage
  • 3- 4 fresh bay leaves

For the Rub

  • Salt and pepper
  • Zest of 1 Meyer lemon (use the zest from the fruit from the raft)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • The leaves from 4 sprigs of rosemary, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped thyme
  • 12 sage leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried herbes de Provence
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter

Gravy

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • The zest and juice of 1 Meyer lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped thyme
  • 2 cups turkey stock
  • The drippings from the roast turkey
  • Salt and pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Allow the turkey to come to room temperature.

Zest the citrus, and set aside the zest for the rub, while cutting the fruit into wedges for the raft.  Lightly grease the bottom of the roasting pan with olive oil.  Then, in the bottom of your roasting pan, build the raft for the turkey—this will keep the turkey moist while also infusing it with flavor as it cooks.  Scatter the cut up citrus, the garlic cloves, and the fresh herbs.  Place the spatchcocked turkey breast-side-up over the raft in the pan.  Salt and pepper the turkey, top and underside, liberally.

Mix up the rub.  Combine the zests of the citrus, the fresh and dried herbs, and the olive oil in a bowl.  With your hands, rub the mixture all over the top of the turkey.  Then, place 1 tablespoon of cold butter on each of turkey breast.  Roast for a total of 3 hours, or until the internal temperature of the turkey is 160 degrees F and when the turkey is cut, the juices run clear.  Cover with foil if the skin begins to darken too quickly (you will most likely have to after about 45 minutes) and baste as often as you can remember.  Allow the turkey to sit for 20 minutes after it is cooked before you carve it.

Make the gravy while the turkey rests.  In a saucepan, melt the butter and whisk in the flour.  Allow it to bubble on the stove for about 3 minutes, until it begins to turn golden.  Stir in the lemon zest and juice and the thyme.  You can add a glug of white wine at this point too, but that’s optional.  Add the stock.  Whisk and bring to a simmer, cooking on a simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.  Pour in the juices from the roast turkey pan.  (NB: The reason I don’t make this gravy in the actual roasting pan is because the fruit causes the drippings to caramelize and burn.  This way, we capture the flavor without turning the gravy acrid.)  Serve alongside the turkey.

print this recipe
print this post Posted by Kerry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments
Share

Categories: Eat, Main Courses, Poultry, Recipes
 

Our First New York Dinner Party: Slow-Cooked Bavette aux Caramelized Échalotes

RECIPE: Slow-Cooked Bavette aux Caramelized Échalotes

Bavette aux Echalotes Bavette aux échalotes is a commonplace bistro dish, and I remember exactly when Mr. English fell in love with it.  It was at a tiny, vivacious place called the Coquelicot in Antibes.  He was sorting through the menu and asking me to translate.  When I finally said steak with onions after translating a few in the vein of ‘veal kidneys’, he put down the menu and declared ‘done!’  Ever since then, it has been his ‘safe’ French dinner out if all else looks too Gallic.

Trouville Bavette with Shallots

One of Mr. English’s many bavettes–this one from Trouville in Normandy.

Two of our best friends were coming over for dinner last Saturday night.  Their daughter was only a few weeks old—it was her first dinner out.  A HUGE occasion.  And we had never had people over for dinner at our new New York apartment.  An extra huge occasion.  So the pressure was on to do something crowd-pleasing and heartwarming.  I thought about the bavette.  It’s a cheap cut of meat—usually skirt steak, although I prefer flank steak as I find it somewhat more tender—so I could make it in abundance (my first rule of dinner parties).  Usually, it’s seared to medium-rare, topped with sautéed shallots, and glazed in red wine.  But I wanted to cozy it up for the chilling New York fall, and make it more hostess-proof (so that I wasn’t manacled to the stove).

Making Bavette aux Echalotes

Getting an extremely caramelized shallot is what makes this dish so cozy and French Onion Soup-like.

So I made my own version of slow-cooked bavette aux échalotes.  I slowly caramelized the shallots until they were soft and sweet and deeply gold.  Then, in the same pot, I just seared the two flank steaks to give them a nice barbecue-like bark, then poured some red wine and stock, garlic and thyme, and some of the caramelized shallots over them.  I left them to blip away while I got on with the rest of my life for four hours.  By the time the Bewleys arrived, the meat was fall-apart tender, and the red wine sauce sweet and reduced.  I didn’t have to sear steaks ‘à la minute’.  I just sliced up the steak–although it’s more like stew at this point, which I love–topped it with the reserved caramelized onions, poured over the red wine jus, and topped with some fresh thyme for appearances.  It was all gone by Matilda’s bedtime.

How to Serve Bavette

All that is necessary to partner with this bavette is a green salad and phenomenal bread.

Slow-Cooked Bavette aux Caramelized Échalotes
serves 4 thoroughly

Bavette aux EchalotesCaramelized Shallots

INGREDIENTS

  • 20 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt

METHOD

Sauté on medium to medium-low for 40 minutes.  If the pan gets too dark and you are worried the shallots are burning, add in a little bit of water as need, and stir to scrape the bits off the bottom of the pan.  Once the shallots are deeply golden and soft, set aside.

Bavette aux Échalotes

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1-pound flank steaks
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine, like pinot noir
  • 1 small bunch of thyme, tied with twine
  • 6 cloves garlic, left whole in their jackets
  • 1.5 cups beef broth
  • One batch of Caramelized Shallots (as above)

METHOD

Pat the steaks dry with paper towel and season liberally with salt and pepper.  Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over high heat until rippling.  Sear the meat on both sides until golden brown, about 6 minutes per side.

Add the wine to the pot, and reduce by two thirds.  Add the thyme, garlic, and beef broth, along with 1/3 of the Caramelized Shallots (stash the remainder in the fridge until you’re ready to serve).  Bring the broth to a boil.  Cover, and simmer for 3.5 to 4 hours, turning the meat once.  Take off the cover, and simmer an additional 30 minutes, to thicken the sauce.

Right before serving, reheat the Caramelized Shallots (you can even do this in the microwave).  Spoon the thickened jus on a serving platter.  Carefully slice the tender steaks across the grain (they will fall apart a bit, but that’s all part of the goodness).  Top with the warm shallots, and a few fresh strands of thyme if you have them.  Serve with a green salad and really good bread.

print this recipe
print this post Posted by Kerry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments
Share

Categories: Cheap, Easy, Eat, Main Courses, Meat, Recipes