Chicken legs with tarragon sauce

On Mondays, we go to the fresh market of Mirepoix where we have a number of trusted suppliers, like the refrigerated van of Guillemot for meat and the Zengarli family for vegetables. The Guillemot farm lies in the mountains beyond Foix and is run by a Dutchman, Hugo De Jonge Van Ellemeet, and his French … Read more

Chicken with lemon, onion and marjoram

My wife is growing herbs in a window box and she recently had a relatively large harvest of marjoram. I could have used it on a pizza dish but the dough and cheese would have been rather heavy, especially with the current heat.

I stumbled on this recipe. The combination of lemon and chicken is a pleasant one and I used it in roast chicken. Here, the procedure is slightly different.

The result was very pleasant. We were left with a lot of sauce afterwards that could be used to accompany other dishes.

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Roast chicken with lemon

Sometimes the simplest recipes give extraordinary good results.

Like this variation on the classic roast chicken from the oven.

Lemon gives it a bit of peps, it makes it tangy and fresh, it also helps preventing the chicken meat from getting dry during the cooking.

This you can also prevent through low temperature cooking or by putting the chicken in a plastic bag, but then you do not get the typical scorched and crackly skin of the traditional roast chicken.

Here the coriander and the lemon juice give the chicken an appetising colour.

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Poached Bresse chicken with bear garlic

I love to cook with the seasons and to use seasonal products, provided they are not very expensive such as the morel mushrooms at the moment. One of the early manifestations of Spring is the appearance of young shoots of various vegetables and plants.
Such as bear garlic.
I first ran into this herb in Switzerland where you can find it in the shades in mountain valleys. In fact, you can smell it as the plants grow closely together and emanate a garlicky smell. They are full of vitamin c and have medicinal properties related to the prevention of arthritis, and it is also a slimming agent.

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Chicken liver pie

We had bought some chicken liver at the poultry stall on the market and I had a package of pie dough left in the refrigerator. With some shallots, raspberry vinegar, eggs and cream, I made a nice quiche-like open pie.

Why raspberry vinegar? It is one of those French habits. The vinegar helps to kill any bacteria that might be lurking in the innards and raspberry gives sweetness to the taste. Alternatively, balsamic vinegar or wine can be used with chicken livers.

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Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, revisited

The chicken with 40 cloves of garlic is one of those rustic traditional dishes that are a pleasure to make and eat. Forty is just an approximative figure, as in Alibaba and the forty thieves, but there is indeed a lot of garlic in it. You do not peel the garlic but let it cook in oil so that you get a puree that can be spread out on bread. I decided to make a variation and added cubes of raw celery and sweet potato to the garlic in the oil and it was delicious.

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Cauliflower soup with Avesnes cheese and smoked ham

Cauliflower is a very healthy vegetable with anti-cancer and detox properties. However, it stinks when cooking and has a very bland taste. Basically, it is boring and needs something to liven it up.

Often it is combined with cheese, as in the British cauliflower cheese dish or the Dutch cauliflower with cheese sauce dish.

In France, cauliflower is often prepared with a white sauce of cream and flour (béchamel) to which grated cheese can be added (mornay) and also ham.

Here, I make a soup of the cauliflower and add a pungent and spicy cheese – Boulette d’Avesnes.

It is another cheese from the North, made up mainly (95 {4cde4f594ebc992dd9c13235afe1d83f0ef707c70b5a049696e6a42fcf7b49ed}) of left-over Maroilles cheese with added herbs and spices such as parsley,tarragon, clove and paprika.

It has a conical shape and is red on the outside because of the paprika. I also add smoked ham, preferably Ardennes ham to stick to the Hainault area of northern France and southern Belgium.

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Chicken with Maroilles sauce

We were in the north of France recently and had lunch with a friend who had prepared a regional dish of chicken legs with Maroilles sauce. Maroilles, named after a town, is a very pungent soft cow cheese that is produced in the Avesnois region in the north.
Our host, Nathalie Banckaert, made the dish with chicken legs cooked in a stock with wine and made the sauce from cheese, cream and wine and she presented it with noodles.
In “my” version, I braised chicken tights in butter, deglaced with 3 Monts beer from the north, and put shallots and cheese in the remaining cooking juices for a sauce. I presented it with potatoes.
If you do not have Maroilles, another pungent cheese like Epoisses, Pont l’Evêque, Livarot, a Belgian Hervé or Dutch Rommedou will do, or a « Limbuger ». For the beer, any strong brown beer is fine.

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Sesame chicken, peas with turnips

I often buy a small chicken called poussin on the market because it is sufficient for two people. Here I first braised the chicken in butter and oil and then completed the cooking in the oven with tomatoes and sesame seed. I served it with peas and turnips cooked in a chicken stock and some green salad in a reference to the classic French pea recipe which I skipped because of the butter.

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