Category Archives: chicken

Poulet au Citrons Confits (Preserved Lemon Chicken)

I realize that the picture above does not look like much. Don’t let the image fool you, though. This chicken recipe is flavorful with chicken falling of the bone. You will want to go back for seconds. The only downside to this recipe is that it requires that you first make (or somehow procure) “preserved lemons,” which takes a month. It’s really easy, though and it will be worth it. Believe me.

Preserved lemons:

Ingredients:

  • 6 lemons (preferably organic…you will be cooking with the whole lemon once these are ready). I like to use Meyer lemons, but any variety will do.
  • Several cups of sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp whole coriander seeds
  • You will also need a large, gallon-sized mason jar.

Directions:
1. Wash and dry the lemons.
2. Cut the lemons into quarters length-wise, but leave one end of the lemon intact.
3. Using a paring knife, remove as many seeds as you can easily access. Don’t worry, though, if you miss some seeds. You can get them out later.
4. Sprinkle about 1/2 c of salt in the bottom of the jar and about half of the coriander seeds.
5. Stuff as much salt as possible into the just-about-quartered lemons. Then stuff the lemons into the jar. After each lemon you add to the jar, sprinkle some salt on top. You certainly don’t need to fill up the jar with salt, just make sure there’s plenty in there. About halfway up, add the rest of the coriander seeds. Don’t worry about smushing the lemons. It’s ok, they’re going to soften a lot anyway.
6. Wait 2 days. The salt should extract the lemon juice and the lemons will start to be submerged in their own juices. If after 2 days, they are not submerged, add enough boiling water to cover the lemons. Put the jar in the fridge and wait at least 1 month. After a month, they are ready to use. I’m not really sure how long they’re good for. One recipe I have says they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. I have personally used them after a longer time than that, but of course, if you do, it would be at your own risk.

Preserved lemons

Now, you can finally make the preserved lemon chicken, or as I prefer to call it “Poulet au Citrons Confits.” That sounds much better.

Poulet au Citrons Confits:

Ingredients:

  • 1 large yellow onion. Peeled and cut into rings.
  • Olive oil
  • 6-8 chicken drumsticks.
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed.
  • Juice of 1 fresh lemon
  • 4 preserved lemons
  • 1 Tbsp coriander seed
  • Pinch of saffron

Directions:
1. Rinse the chicken and pat it dry with a paper towel. Douse it with fresh lemon juice and a little salt. Set aside.
2. Rinse your preserved lemons and cut them the rest of the way, so that they are now fully quartered. Remove any seeds that you see and can easily access.


3. Heat a heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pot. Cook the chicken until it is golden brown on all sides. Remove chicken and set aside.


4. Add a little more olive oil. Place the onions, garlic, coriander seed, and preserved lemons in the bottom of the pot.

5. Put the chicken on top of the onions and preserved lemons. Add enough water to just submerge the chicken. Add the pinch of saffron.



6. Bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for about an hour, or until the chicken is cooked through and very tender. Serve with rice to help soak up the extra juices.

Enjoy!

Tarragon Chicken

After picking my parents up from the airport the other day, I left their house with a big bunch of tarragon from their garden. While it may seem strange to base a meal off of an herb, that’s exactly what I was going to do. Should I make fish? Chicken? An omelet? Hmm…I settled on Tarragon Chicken, a popular French dish (called “Poulet a l’Estragon”). I had never made it before, and didn’t have a recipe, but it’s a simple dish and I had a pretty good idea of how to go about making it. Start with some shallots, butter, chicken, salt, pepper, white wine, tarragon (duh!), and finish the sauce with some creme fraiche. I called my mom just to find out if I was completely off base, and she named these exact ingredients! After doing a little celebratory jig and patting myself on the back, I got to work. If you’re not sure what to make for dinner, give Tarragon Chicken a try- it’s simple and tasty (my favorite combination)!

Ingredients:
4 chicken breasts
4 shallots, peeled & sliced
1 tbsp butter
1/2-1 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
4 tbsp creme fraiche
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • In a nonstick pan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots and sautee for a few minutes, until they begin to soften.
  • Add chicken breasts. Brown the chicken on all sides.

  • Add the white wine. Sprinkle some salt and freshly cracked pepper into the mix.

  • Sprinkle 1/4 cup of tarragon over chicken and white wine. Cover, and simmer for 5-8 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

  • Once chicken has finished cooking, remove chicken from pan and place on serving plate. Remove the pan from heat. Mix creme fraiche into white wine and tarragon. Heat for another minute or two, just to warm the sauce. Do not allow the sauce to boil, as this may cause the creme fraiche to curdle.

  • Pour finished sauce on top of chicken. Sprinkle with remaining tarragon. Serve with rice or steamed vegetables.

chicken tacos

I love summer. The long, warm days are always conducive to inviting friends over for a simple and delicious BBQ. Grilling is one of the few food-related things that doesn’t usually fall on me at our house and despite how much I enjoy cooking, I usually appreciate the break! My husband has been working on his skills as a BBQer since we got married and has gotten pretty good at it, if I do say so myself. So when we had my parents over for dinner the other night, I asked him to take care of the BBQed chicken with spice rub. We served a mountain of grilled squash, zucchini and eggplant on the side, and it was delicious.

But what I really want to talk about is the leftovers. I always make sure to make extra when we grill anything because the leftovers are always so delicious and versatile. Plus, our grill is charcoal, so we don’t like to fire it up unless we’re cooking for more than two people.

Usually, before deciding what to make for dinner, I like to take stock of  what we have in our fridge and pantry so that I can make sure to use up all of our fresh ingredients while they’re still fresh. On this day, the things that popped out at me were: yellow onions, green bell peppers, hot peppers, and tomatoes, all from the San Pedro Square farmer’s market in San Jose. I also remembered that I had some masa harina in the pantry. To me this spelled homemade chicken tacos! They ended up being a little messy but very tasty. Here is a picture of the finished product:

And here is the recipe:

First, I made my masa for the tortillas. All this entails is mixing 1 c. of masa harina with 1/2 c. of water. You mix it up with a fork and then your hands. If it doesn’t come together well, you can add a little bit of water, but only add 1 Tbsp. at a time so that it doesn’t get too sticky. Next, form the dough into balls, about the size of golf balls. You should get about 7 or 8 from 1 c. of masa harina. Cover the balls of masa with plastic wrap until you are ready to use them.

Next chop up the yellow onion and sauteed it over medium heat in a nonstick pan.

While that’s cooking, chop the bell peppers, hot peppers, tomatoes and chicken. Once the onions are translucent, add both types of peppers and let them sautee for a bit. Then add the chicken. Because the chicken is already cooked it just needs to be warmed up. Also, if the chicken already has a nice spice rub on it (like ours did), the only other seasoning you need to add is some salt and pepper (and maybe some red pepper flakes if you like spicy foods). Next add the diced tomatoes to the mix and let it all cook together.

As this is simmering, start rolling out and cooking the tortillas. To roll them, place a sheet of plastic wrap on the counter top, followed by a flattened ball of masa, topped with another sheet of plastic wrap. Then just roll the tortilla out, as flat as possible with a rolling pin. Once it is flat enough, carefully remove the plastic wrap and cook the tortilla on a hot pan with no oil. Flip it after about 1 min., let it cook for another minute, and flip it once more for a few more seconds. Repeat this process with all of the masa, and let guests create their own plates. You can serve the tacos with sour cream, cilantro, shredded cheese and other condiments. One way you can alter this recipe for your vegetarian friends is to substitute tofu for the chicken. I haven’t done this myself but I suspect that thick slices of firm tofu would be really good with a spice rub on the grill. If I were doing this, I would probably put the tofu in a grill basket to keep it from breaking. Maybe we’ll have to give this a try next time!