I took my inspiration this time from the NY Times Cook Column, which is emailed to me almost everyday.
The aromas coming out of my kitchen, while the food was cooking. Divine. Garlic, onions, Herbes de Provence, Roast Chicken. Close your eyes and imagine this
Such a lucky Family, I reckon
So The Menu read
Cauliflower and Cashew Soup
French Provencal Chicken
French Provencal Potatoes ( courtesy Julia Child)
Charred Broccoli and Rocket Salad
and to Follow The Best Ever Coconut and Chocolate Chip Cake
For this post I will just address the Main Course.
First Course and "Pudding" later
The chicken dish required Skin on, Bone in, Chicken Thighs, but when you are cooling for a crowd
That takes up a lot of space in the oven.
So I decided to bone the thighs myself. Much neater
Took a while but I am very pleased with my labour,
Tidy little thighs with a bag of bones for roasting, to make stock
This amount will feed four people
I was feeding 11, so hence the quantities you see in the photos
Adapt as you see fit
The recipe called for Vermouth but I don't normally have that on hand so I used a dry white wine
• 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
• 2 teaspoons kosher salt
• 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• ½ to ¾ cup all-purpose flour
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 tablespoons Herbes de Provence
• 1 lemon, quartered
• 8 to 10 cloves garlic, peeled
• 4 to 6 medium-size shallots, peeled and halved
• ⅓ cup dry white wine
• 4 sprigs of thyme, for serving
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
Put the flour in a shallow pan, and lightly dredge the
chicken in it, shaking the pieces to remove excess flour.
Swirl the oil in a hot large roasting pan, and place the
floured chicken in it.
Turn the chicken over to oil all sides
Arrange the lemon, garlic cloves and shallots around
the chicken, then add the vermouth to the pan.
Put the pan in the oven, and roast for 25 to 30 minutes,
then baste it with the pan juices.
Continue roasting for another 25 to 30 minutes,
or until the chicken is very crisp and the meat
Transfer to a warm Platter and serve
just like Potato Gratin, but using soft fragrant onions and tomatoes sauteed in olive oil for the liquid instead of milk and cream
I didn't use the anchovies, as our grandson is allergic to fish
So I just smashed the garlic with the Herbes de Provence and olive oil
Add this paste to the onion and tomato
I have left the anchovies in the recipe as Next time, I will add them
• 2 to 3 onions, thinly sliced (2 heaping cups)
• ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
• Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
• 1 ½ pounds ripe tomatoes, seeded and cut into strips about 3/8-inch wide
• 1 2-ounce can anchovies packed in olive oil, drained (reserve anchovies and oil separately)
• 2 large cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
• 2 teaspoons dried herbes de Provence
• About 2 pounds thin-skinned, waxy potatoes like Yukon Gold, sliced 1/8-inch thick
(6 to 7 cups)
• ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Gruyère
In a large saucepan, combine onions and 2 tablespoons olive oil
and stir to coat over low heat.
Sprinkle lightly with salt.
At a gentle simmer, cook uncovered until onions
are softened and lightly golden, 10 to 15 minutes,
stirring often. Do not brown; lower the heat if necessary.
In a small food processor or a mortar, add the anchovies
anywhere from 6 to 12 fillets, depending on their
size and your taste.
Add garlic, herbs and a dozen grinds of pepper.
Add 2 tablespoons olive oil (or use the oil from the
anchovy can, if you like).
Crush or pulse together into a chunky paste,
thinning with oil as needed to make a loose, fluid mixture.
Add to the onion tomato mixture
In a medium-size baking dish, spread a quarter of the
On top, arrange half the potato slices,
Add half the remaining onion-tomato mixture.
Sprinkle cheese on top and drizzle with olive oil.
Transfer to oven and bake, uncovered, until the potatoes
are tender and have absorbed all of the juices in the
bottom of the dish, 40 to 50 minutes.
Test by tasting a bit of potato; it should be soft all the
way through, with no raw taste.
If the top is browning too fast, cover very loosely with
a sheet of foil.
If the top is not brown enough when the potatoes
are cooked, broil briefly until deliciously glazed.
Serve gratin hot or warm.
but do not refrigerate.
So you do need something green with this meal
How about this Charred Broccoli and Rocket Salad
A quick char on a grill for that extra flavour
2 heads of broccoli, florets separated, stems peeled and reserved
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 oil-packed anchovy fillet
1 garlic clove
⅔ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup buttermilk
1 cup tarragon leaves
¼ cup chopped chives
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 cups mature arugula, tough stems removed, leaves torn
Make the Dressing first
Purée anchovy, garlic, mayonnaise, buttermilk, chervil, tarragon, chives, lemon juice, and mustard in a blender until smooth; season dressing with salt.
This can be made ahead and will keep for up to 2 days
Cover and chill
about 2 minutes. Drain; transfer to a bowl of ice water. Let cool, then drain. Pat broccoli dry; place in a large bowl.
Add Rocket to Broccoli and toss to combine.
Drizzle salad with ¾ cup dressing and toss to coat; season with more salt if needed.
Arrange salad on a platter
That didn't work with my Provencal flavours, but I knew it could work another time
So keep this in mind for another occasion
On the Waste Not, Want Not part of this post
First the bits of potato, which didn't look attractive enough for the Gratin
Don't waste please
I cooked them in some boiling salted water, drained and mashed with some olive oil
into the fridge
There was some also leftover chicken
So last night, I made a roux with some of the chicken fat and used the stock underneath to make a very chickeny sauce
I used some of this chicken mixture
Topped with the mashed potato