Poulet au Citron et Tarragon Lemon Tarragon Chicken

  1. One free–range chicken, or several boneless chicken breasts. The chicken should ideally brine for one to two days. See Let’s Talk Salt post for instructions: https://open-heart-open-hands.com/2014/03/05/lets-talk-salt/
  2. 1–2 lemons
  3. olive oil
  4. curry powder
  5. tarragon (fresh is best, but dried is okay)
  6. tamari/or salt
  7. several potatoes, sliced in half
  8. 1–2 onions sliced into four quarters each
  9. yams cut into thick rounds or quarters
  10. whole Shitake mushrooms
  11. fennel bulb cut into wedges
  12. carrots or other veggies can be substituted or included, all vegetables should be chopped into large sections, not fine little pieces.

Prepare/Brine Chicken and then wash surfaces with bleach water or very hot water and soap, afterwards that came in contact with the chicken. Preheat the oven to 375°–400 for a whole chicken.

In a large casserole dish or cast iron pan, place the potatoes and onions (or other veggies) in the bottom of the pan underneath and around the chicken. Put one of the onion quarters inside the chicken cavity. Squeeze lemon juice over the chicken and place one of the lemon halves inside the cavity, then sprinkle with olive oil and tamari or salt (if you didn’t brine the chicken, no salt is necessary if you brined your chicken in saltwater), curry powder and tarragon. Do a healthy amount of each and spread the herbs around the chicken to insure coverage of the whole bird. Place in the oven and cook for 45 minutes–1.5 hours depending on the size of your chicken. Brush the chicken with the juices that escape three or four times during the cooking.  Serve with rice and blanched veggies and a salad.

For breasts, don’t put any vegetables under the chicken, just cook the chicken breasts. Put the herbs/lemon, oil and tamari on both sides of the breasts . It’s better to marinate breasts if you can in this sauce for at least an hour or many hours, but you can make it without marinating as well. You should have some extra sauces leftover in the pan from this once cooked, just place in the oven, whether you’ve marinated or not. Cook in the oven at 375° for 20 minutes to 1/2 hour. You should turn the breasts once about halfway through cooking time. Do not cover.

Asian Cabbage Salad with Cilantro, Black Sesame Seeds,Ginger, Peanut Butter and a few other ingredients!

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Detail of the finished very lively, colorful and delicious salad

Ingredients: Always use organic for everything or locally sourced from your area

  1. one to two Asian cabbages (Sliced very thinly)
  2. about two inches of fresh ginger, peeled and grated or chopped very fine
  3. 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
  4. 1/4 rice wine vinegar
  5. splash of Mirin (Japanese Rice Wine), if you don’t have this ingredient or can’t find it, this marinade will still be good. I use Mirin in many recipes, and it’s got a great flavor. You can often find it in the alcohol section of your market or in the Asian Food Area (if your store has one).
  6. one tablespoon peanut butter (you can also use fresh roasted peanuts for a crunchy flavor and texture addition).
  7. 1/4 cup toasted black sesame seeds or white, but the black ones look much prettier
  8. a bunch of cilantro chopped finely
  9. five to six Shiso leaves chopped finely (this is a harder ingredient to find). I grow my own and love this flavor. It’s unlikely you will have this, but you may find a dried variety. I’ve never used it dry though, so I couldn’t tell you how much to use.
  10. juice of one to two limes or lemons
  11. one to two tablespoons of tamari

Combine in a small bowl or jar the sesame oil, vinegar, mirin, lime juice, tamari and ginger and mix well or shake up in the jar. Add the peanut butter and make sure it gets dissolved or blended in well. Put the chopped cabbage, chopped cilantro, chopped Shiso leaf and the toasted sesame seeds in a large bowl and mix well, then pour the dressing over this and toss well. This salad is good the next day. The flavors are a marinade for the cabbage, so it will get less crunchy as time goes by. You can garnish with fresh roasted peanuts or more cilantro. You can also experiment if you don’t have all of these ingredients and just do some combination. Enjoy!

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Japanese Shiso leaf growing on my deck, next to Mexican Tarragon

 

Maren’s Summer Bean Salad

Maren Summer Bean Salad
Summer Bean Salad with Neukom Family Farms Heirloom tomatoes

I learned this easy simple recipe from my beloved Mother in Love Maren Frank. She and I don’t like the terms “mother-in-law, daughter-in-law.” They often have negative connotations and the relationship the two of us have is one of loving kindness, shared values and supporting each other in our differences. Much like a good bean salad, the different ingredients make a great combination of flavors. I’m a spicy pepper and she’s a good tomato, or perhaps she’s a nice sharp white onion and I’m the ripe tomato. I’ll let you decide!

Ingredients: Combine all of the ingredients below in a nice glass bowl and mix gently with a spoon and then refrigerate until you are ready to eat. This dish is better served at room temperature, in my opinion, so you can always take it out 1/2 hour before your meal or make it before you are about to eat.

  1. One large 16 oz can of good organic garbanzo beans, my brand preference is Westbrae. If you have time and want to make garbanzo beans from scratch, that’s always better, but this salad is good with canned beans and much quicker to make this way
  2. Three to four good tomatoes, this time of year, I’m getting mine from Neukom Family Farms and they are incredible. Slice up the tomatoes into small squarish pieces
  3. One white onion, chopped very fine
  4. Three to five garlic cloves, pressed or chopped very fine. Remember to always take out the center part of each clove
  5. Sliced black olives, 1/2 a can or more depending on how much you are making
  6. Fresh oregano and flat leaf parsley (you can use dried oregano if you don’t have fresh, but don’t use dried parsley). Chop up finely
  7. Salt and Pepper to taste. Maren prefers white pepper, so when she is here I use white pepper, but when she isn’t visiting I use black pepper. This salad will taste different depending on which pepper you use.
  8. 1/4 cup good organic red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar or some combination of these.
  9. 1/2 cup or less of good organic virgin olive oil, don’t use cheap stuff for this, the salad needs a really good olive oil.
  10. 1/4 cup or so of pickled sliced banana peppers (these are not spicy, similar to pepperoncinis, but less piquant). My husband doesn’t like this ingredient so sometimes I leave it out, but otherwise, I think it is essential and love the little tang it gives this summer salad.

You can eat this plain or throw it over a green salad. It’s a great dish to bring to a potluck, although nobody is having those right now with Covid-19. This recipe is probably the quickest recipe in my repertoire. It takes fifteen minutes to make and if you let it sit for a half hour before serving the flavors are perfectly blended, but you can eat it right away too. It’s wonderful and keeps for two or three days in the fridge.

Thank you Maren! Enjoy!

May 14, 1986 Family Wedding
May 14, 1989 Family Wedding of Nicole and Kevin. Maren (my brand new Mother-in-Love) is in the blue dress next to me. Maren is next to her son Andrew with my brand new husband Kevin. I’m in the front row center holding Issac, my mother Helen Redman, my brother Paul Barchilon, and my Aunt Ellen Weissberg Whyte, in black. Behind me, in glasses,  are my Uncle Roger Weissberg and my Beau-Pere Kenny Weissberg (I don’t like the word step-father either). The French Beau Pere is softer and literally translates to handsome father. Not pictured, but still present at this wedding, were Kathryn Taylor, my daughter and my father Jacques. He was probably reading her a fairy tale so this picture could get taken.

Spicy Moroccan Carrots, More Yum than you will know what to do with!

Moroccan Carrots nicely plated and ready to serve in local Fire and Light recycled glass bowls. This picture is from Pesach. These carrots are a perfect addition to any meal, holiday or just regular, but they add a definite flair to your fare!

  • A large bunch of really excellent carrots, not pre-peeled “bunny love” in a bag. Good, large or fresh carrots, only! 2020-06-25 14.19.25
  • five to ten cloves of peeled garlic with the centers taken out as per my previous instructions about proper garlic preparation.
    Garlic prepared properly
    Properly Prepared Garlic
  • juice of one to two fresh lemons
  • 1/4 or more of olive oil, depending on how many carrots you are making
  • fresh chopped parsley
  • 1-3 teaspoons fresh cumin seeds ground in a mortar and pestle, do not use this much if you are using already ground cumin, perhaps 1/2 the fresh amount, but I warn you, it will not be as tasty with the already ground cumin
  • 1-2 teaspoons good salt, See previous posting about salt:
  • 1-3 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon or more of hot cayenne powder

(These carrots will be yummy without the spice for folks with a milder palette, but the spiciness is truly part of their charm. You can try substituting a milder cayenne or paprika.)

You need to clean your carrots well, if you aren’t peeling them. Have a large saucepan/soup pot of boiling water on the stove and put in some salt. You need to chop the carrots into long slivers for this dish, so it take a little bit of time to do so. More carrots is better. You will love this dish two days out and it’s unlikely it will make it that long as most folks just can’t stop eating these. Once you’ve got the carrots ready add them to the boiling water and blanch them for five to 8 minutes, depending on the thickness of the carrot slabs you cut. You need to have a bowl or large pan with ice water or cold water handy and you will remove the hot carrots immediately into the cold water with tongs or a strainer or whatever implement you have handy. Keep the boiling water handy and once it’s cooled you can use it for making rice or soup stock. It’s full of yummy carrot goodness.

Put the carrots aside and start working on the fresh cumin grinding. Once you’ve ground the cumin well, not to a powder, but you’ve broken down the seeds a fair amount, add your salt, and the garlic cloves directly into the Suribachi (bowl of your mortar and pestle) and mush, mash, pound that garlic into the salt and cumin seeds, it will start to break down fairly quickly because of the salt.

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Suribachi with smashed garlic, red peppers, salt and ground fresh cumin seeds,

Once you’ve got it pretty mushed so folks aren’t eating giant cloves of garlic, add the cayenne, red pepper flakes, lemon and olive oil and mix it all up and then pour onto your carrots. Stir all of that up and add the chopped parsley.

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Carrots with all the ingredients getting ready to be tossed together, your’e almost done!

These carrots are best served at room temperature, but you can refrigerate them for days. Just take them out an hour or so before your meal.

Enjoy and Lots of Love to you in your food making and food sharing!