Rosemary Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Waffles

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Well good golly Miss Molly! Being from the south I’ve had my fair share of fried chicken, well actually fried everything. I’ve never been a huge fan of fried food but occasionally I have a hankering for it. A couple weeks back we were watching Master Chef and they had to make chicken and waffles for a challenge. This got me craving the southern classic and went looking for a great fried chicken recipe. I found this one in my new Food 52 Genius Recipes cookbook (which is soooo beautiful!) and it is hands down the best fried chicken I have had in a long time. The chicken brines for for up to 24 hours and the rosemary adds an extra punch to the flavor. One of the reasons I’ve stayed away from fried chicken is the dryness of the meat after frying. Brining the meat (and using dark meat) helps lock in the flavor and keep the meat extra juicy.

To make our dinner even more southern we served the chicken with waffles. If you haven’t had this combination you are missing out! The sweetness of the waffle works perfectly with the fried chicken. Add a little of this whiskey maple syrup on top and you have the perfect dinner! Now to make sure I don’t make this too often or we will be double our size!!

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French Bread- Round Two

After my first attempt at French bread I knew that I needed to try a different recipe. I think I found a winner in this recipe! The bread is perfectly soft in the middle and has the baguette chewy crust that you want in a French bread. It was really easy to make and the only time consuming thing is that you have to punch the bread down and knead it every ten minutes for an hour. I started the bread first in dinner prep (I served Poulet Vallee d’Auge again for friends) so I was already in the kitchen when I needed to punch down the dough.

The dough itself, when properly mixed, is slightly sticky but not so sticky that it sticks to your hands when kneading. You want a good elasticity in the dough to get the airy center.

This definitely will be my go to bread for any French dinner that we have! Also I halved the recipe so that it made two loaves instead of four. For dinner for four people we only ate one loaf and for lunch the next day we made ham and swiss panini sandwiches with the leftover loaf. This bread works really well for a panini!

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Pan Roasted Chicken with Harissa Chickpeas

 

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After venturing in the world of French cooking I thought I would move a little further south and try something African. I started with this Moroccan dish and boy was it delicious! It was a tad on the spicy side but full of flavor and textures. The most time consuming part of the recipe is browning the chicken. You will want a good color on the chicken so don’t turn the chicken until it is nice and crispy.

I made this dish for lunch and was able to get it in the oven in about 15 minutes and then answer emails while it cooked. Making nicer lunches has been exciting around here. I crave flavor and I used think that I had to eat out to get flavor and something exciting for lunch but now I’ve found quick prep items and it has been really fun to switch things up a bit.

Also the bowl I used in the pictures is a new one from a set that Philip got me for our anniversary. I’ve been eyeing these vintage Vignelli pieces and when he surprised me with 4 complete place settings I was shocked! They make me so happy!

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Chocolate Tartlet

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I love a good tart, especially one that is chocolate. I’ve always thought that tarts were complicated but really if you can get the crust the rest is easy. I served these with a homemade vanilla whipped cream and we downed these suckers in one evening, all six of them 🙂 These are great because you can make them ahead of time and serve them at room temperature.

I made these tartlets to go with our Poulet Vallee D’Auge and they were the perfect light dessert to finish off the French evening of dining.

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Poulet Vallee d’Auge

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A few years ago I made a seven course dinner for Philip’s birthday. This was my first adventures in French food and also the beginning of my love of cooking. That party I realized for the first time that the dinner table really is a place of community and amazing conversation. From that night on I kind of decided that I was going to be all or nothing when it came to cooking…

Philip laughs at me because I used to hate cooking but now I find the kitchen to be therapeutic. I’m trying new recipes left and right these days and there constantly is flour in my hair and I am loving it. I eventually want to cook through Julia Child’s cook book but for now I will do a couple French dinners a month.

One thing I love about French food is it sounds so elegant and complicated but truth be told most of the French recipes I have tried so far are doable for an intermediate cook. For the first couple of times that I make a new recipe I follow it to the letter; that is due to my OCDness. 🙂

For this chicken dish, Poulet Vallee d’Auge, I served alongside it French bread (recipe found HERE) and a creamed garlic potato. For dessert we had a chocolate tartlet that I will blog later.

The chicken is incredibly tender and full of flavor! I bought an entire chicken that had been pre-quartered and this was a nice step to have done for me. I have a chef’s knife that is sharp enough to quarter a chicken but it does take a little while to do and I like having some of the steps done for me.

Creamed potatoes are one of my favorite side dishes to make, cause duh potatoes are delicious. A little trick I learned a while back, to give the potatoes a fuller flavor, is to boil the potatoes in chicken stock instead of water. I then cream them with butter, additional chicken stock, minced garlic, milk, and plenty of salt and pepper. I tend to add the last ingredients until I get the consistency that I desire… one of the few times I don’t measure but instead go on taste and texture alone.

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