Tarragon Chicken in White Wine and Cream Sauce

This time of the year is all about food, and I love it!

We were invited to our friends’ house for a potluck lunch and I wanted to make something with white wine, so I dug through Nigella Lawson’s cookbook and I found this awesome recipe. I modified the recipe a little bit, I sort of just worked with what I had, but it turned out great.

The photo might not be the most appetizing, but that was the best I could do while rushing out the door!

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TARRAGON CHICKEN in WHITE WINE AND CREAM SAUCE (serves 4)

– 3 Tbsp olive oil
– 3 green onions, chopped
– 2 Tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped (replace with marjoram if tarragon isn’t available)
– 2 full chicken breasts sliced into thin fillets
– 1/2 cup white wine
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1 cup cooking cream (15%)
– 1/2 tsp white pepper
– 1 Tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped (or marjoram, if using that)

Method:

1. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the tarragon and onions. Fry for a few minutes, just until soft.

2. Add the chicken and cook until golden.

3. Add the white wine and salt. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for at 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Add the cream, white pepper and fresh tarragon. Bring to boil. Let it boil for 5 to 10 minutes, until the sauce thicken. Check for salt.

5. Serve hot with white rice or plain boiled pasta.

I really love this recipe. It has a deep rich flavor, and although might seem heavy, it isn’t.

Bon appetit!

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Mousse au Chocolat

Today I discovered that the most delicate and divine things indeed come in the smallest of sizes!

mousse au chocolat

When I was over at my friend Marie’s house for a cup of tea, she also offered me a little cup of her mousse au chocolat with fresh orange zest on top. Wow! The velvety feel and taste of the chocolate is indescribable!  And the orange zest just adds to the perfection. Just wow. Hats off Marie.

Continue for the recipe.

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My Mother’s Coq au Vin

My mother isn’t a huge fan of the kitchen (I take after my father), but whatever she cooked (and she cooked everything) she cooked very well. She makes the best Niçoise salad, the best pasta in the oven, and absolutely the best coq au vin! This is her recipe as told to me over the phone.

COQ AU VIN (serves 4)

– 1 kg chicken (I used a chicken thigh, one chicken leg and two drumsticks)
– 1 Tbsp butter
– 2 Tbsp olive oil
– Flour with salt and pepper to coat the chicken with
– 1 cup pearl onions (baby onions) peeled
– 250 g whole mushrooms, the fresh white kind
– 2 carrots cut into thick circles
– 2 garlic cloves chopped
– 1.5 cups chicken broth (I use Campbell’s No Salt Added)
– 1 bottle of red wine
– Salt, black pepper and bay leaves
– 1 tsp mixed dried Italian herbs
– 1 Tbsp cornstarch

coqauvin02

coq au vin

coqauvin04

METHOD

1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a big deep pot. Coat the chicken in the flour Brown the chicken on both sides. (10 to 15 minutes)
2. Add the carrots, mushrooms, onions and garlic to the pot. Cover it and let everything saute for a few minutes. Grab the pot by both hands and shake it it every now and then.
3. Add the chicken broth and wine. Add the bay leaves and the dried herbs. Adjust the salt and pepper. Bring to boil then simmer for minimum 45 minutes. 4. After 30 minutes of simmering, dissolve the 1 Tbsp of cornstarch in a 1/4 cup of the hot liquid from the pot. Once totally dissolved, pour that into the pot. Let everything continue simmering for 15 minutes.
5. After 45 minutes of simmering, uncover the pot and raise the heat to medium, this way some of the liquid will evaporate.

That was easy, no?! And I guarantee you, so damn good!

I served it with white rice, but you can also have it with a side of Oven-Roasted Baby Potatoes with Rosemary and Olive oil.

Easy Asparagus Quiche

This is an old favorite revisited. My good friend Peggy taught me this asparagus quiche recipe when we used to be neighbors, and she used to love doing it, and we used to love devouring it! Unlike Peggy, I don’t have the immaculate skill of working with dough, so oftentimes I just skip the dough and just work with the filling. We’re after the cheese anyway, right?

Quiche d'asperge

Asparagus Quiche

Ingredients:

– 4 eggs
– 1 cup of 35% cooking cream
– 1 cup of mixed shredded cheese (I used an Italian mix of mozzarella, provolone and parmesan)
– 2 heaped Tbsp flour
– 1 tsp salt
– 1/2 tsp white pepper
– A bunch of fresh asparagus, boiled until half tender

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Whisk the eggs in a  bowl. Add the cream. Mix well. Add the flour, salt and pepper. Mix well. Add the cheese. Mix well.

Pour mixture in your baking dish. Line the asparagus fashionably on top.

Bake for 35 minutes.

EASY & IRRESISTIBLE!  (And totally fattening I know!)

Gift Ideas

Christmas and New Year are just excuses for me to get creative with finding creative gifts for my friends and family (and sometimes for myself too). But a gift needs no occasion, that’s my motto. So, if you find yourself with gift block and a list of friends and occasions, here are some ideas:

A Children’s Book or An Adult’s Picture Book

Oliver Jeffers

Maira Kalman

The Essential Leonard Cohen and The Book of Longing

Leonard Cohen

BookofLonging

A Jack Dylan poster

JackDylan

Sac Magique (a very practical alternative to the hot water bottle)

sacmagique

A subscription to Tricycle magazine

TricycleMag

Tea (from Tea Sante, for example)

TEA

Artisan oil such as La Tourangelle

latournagelle

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN FROM THE OFFICIAL WEBSITES.

Chicken Marsala

I bought a bottle of dry sherry because I wanted to try a garlic mushroom recipe that I am planning on making for our housewarming party next week. The mushrooms turned out fantastic, but I am left with almost 700 ml of sherry in my fridge! While thinking of dishes that I can do with sherry, the all-time favorite Chicken Marsala came to mind. I haven’t actually made it before, so I improvised with the sherry, the fresh thyme that I have in the fridge and of course, fresh mushrooms. The verdict: BUONISSIMA!

chicken marsala

Chicken Marsala (for 2 hungry bears):

– 2 chicken breast halves sliced into 6 thin slices
– 1/4 cup flour with 1/2 tsp of salt
– 1 cup sliced fresh white mushrooms
– 1 tsp fresh thyme
– 1/2 cup dry sherry
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/2 tsp black pepper
– 1 Tbsp butter and 2 Tbsp olive oil

Method:

1. Coat the chicken slices in the flour.

2. In a large saucepan, heat the butter and olive oil on medium heat and fry the chicken on both sides until it turns white o golden, but not too golden.

3. Add the mushrooms and cover the pan so that the chicken continues to cook and the mushrooms soften and let out their juices. (7 minutes)

4. Mix the dry sherry with the thyme, black pepper and salt. Add to the pan. Cover and simmer until the chicken is fully cooked the sauce thickens (because of the flour). (10 minutes or so)

5. Turn off heat before all the liquid evaporates. You want the thick sauce, believe me! The flavor is all there.

There you go!

Serve with white rice.