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!!
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!
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.
This French bread recipe was one I wanted to try for a while and need a good excuse to make it. I wanted to serve it with a chicken dish that I had also been eyeing but haven’t had the time to do both. Well I finally got around to making both this past week for a dinner with our friend Ben.
Since this was the first time making this bread, and I honestly don’t make many breads, I found that the recipe will need some perfecting. You are only supposed to let the dough rise for 15 minutes but I got distracted and it rose for 30 minutes. I think this made the dough too airy and it ended up being flatter than I had anticipated. Next time I am going to try and let it rise just the 15 minutes needed and see if the texture is better. But for a first attempt I liked how it turned out, the taste was spot on even if it wasn’t as pretty as I had hoped.
For our first date Philip took me to one of my favorite restaurants at the time, India Palace. It was his first time to eat Indian and even though he wasn’t immediately a fan of Indian food I eventually won him over and now we eat it pretty often. This is one of our favorite versions of an Indian dinner : grill Tandoori Chicken, Bombay potatoes, garlic naan, and basmati rice.
For the chicken we use a premade Tandoori paste that you mix with plain yogurt. When mixed you marinate the chicken in the mixture for 4-6 hours in the fridge. We then grill until tender. Easy peasy. The other dishes are just as easy, they just take a few minutes of prepping earlier in the day. I prep the side dishes when I start marinating the chicken.
First up, the garlic naan bread :
I prefer to use a rolling pin to flatten the dough. I’ve done it by hand and I can’t seem to get it thin enough when hand pressing.
Prep takes just a few minutes on the potatoes and then they finish in the crock pot.
They are super tender and full of flavor when finished!
And a completed dinner. I serve over a lime, cilantro basmati rice that I prepare in a rice cooker. Over all the dinner takes about 40 minutes of hands on cooking and the fullness of the flavor is perfect!