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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Lemon and lime jam

I was in a jam mood, I nearly bought a real copper confiture basin but it would not have worked on my induction stove. Most jams are sweet, but this one is more sweet and sour, and very refreshing.

Of course I made a huge mistake. While it is the high season for jams made from red fruits, it is not the season for lemon or lime at all. The best lemons in France, the Menton lemons, are sold in the first quarter of the year and the lime from November to March.

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Milan-style Ossobuco and ceps risotto

The other day I made a grilled chicken with lemon and did not feel like throwing the remains away so I turned it into a chicken stock. Then my wife suggested I made risotto and then I saw nice veal shank at the butcher’s. The ossobuco, “bone with a hole” can be made in advance and is even nicer when reheated. It also takes several hours. Risotto is best eaten straight off the stove, because of the grated cheese, but leftovers can be reheated later.

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Lemon jam (marmalade)

The other day we walked around on the Saturday market in Dieppe and there was a stall with great-looking lemons. They were from Menton, which is at the Mediterranean while Dieppe lies at the English Channel. Nevertheless, Menton lemons are known for their quality and for being non-treated (that means they have not been sprayed with chemicals to make them look nice and resist insects) and therefore you can use their skin as zest.

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I love this plaice – Plaice on the grill with vegetables

When I was young and lived in the Netherlands, my mother would sometimes serve us fried plaice. Apart from regular steamed mackerel, and rare moments with cooked eel, that is the only fish I can remember of my diet then.
Nowadays she has branched out to Tilapia and other exotic fish species that are available in the Netherlands, but then you could mainly buy herring, cod, plaice, flounder, mackerel, sardines and eel.

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Risotto with lemon, ginger and yoghurt

Recently I went to a restaurant in the Paris suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt, le Bistrot de Laurent. Overall, the food and dishes were decent but I was disappointed about the risotto that was served with my tuna steak.
It was supposed to have asparagus, very late in the season, but I could hardly taste that. There was a lot of chives and much olive oil.
I decided to ‘invent’ a better risotto to go with fish.

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Apricot compote

Last week, I was in the Roussillon area in southwest France, the region between the Pyrenees mountains and the Mediterranean, which is a major fruit producing area. In fact, it is the second-biggest producing area in France after the Provence and France is the second-biggest grower in Europe. The apricot harvest had been somewhat delayed … Read more

Chicken with vegetables in a Dutch oven

I have often wondered about the name “Dutch oven”. I first encountered it during my maiden foreign posting in London, where we lived for several years. As a Dutchman, I had never encountered the name in the Netherlands. There we prepared slow-cooking food in either a “stoofpot” casserole or an oven dish. Just as Brussels … Read more