Friday, September 25, 2015

Chicken Chasseur (or Hunter’s Chicken)

Julia Child

Being a child of the 70/80's, I can say that TV molded most of my younger life. Not in a way that the VCR generation, with their Disney movies, but in a way that we can quote a Looney Tunes cartoon ("which way did he go, George.") or understand that violence on the TV was just that. We didn't go out and push each other off a cliff like Roadrunner and Coyote. That being said, with Sesame Street, we had the TV turned to our local PBS station quite often.  Which brings me to the subject of this post, growing up, I (unfortunately) didn't care for Julia Child. I found her shows boring and uninteresting (please, before you come to a judgement, finish reading!), but I was 9 in 1980, so I was heavily influenced by my parents viewing decisions. A few years later, I did take to watching Yen Can Cook. And found a few techniques I still use, daily. 

Fast forward 35 years into the future, and I am truly sorry for all of the history I missed, right in front of my eyes.  Julia, I have learned to love and respect you more now than ever!  You were truly so far a head of your time.  

The first thing that brought Julia into my life was watching Merrill Streep in "Julie and Julia". I was so enraptured. I have seen that movie at least 6 or 7 times.  In addition to the movie, I have read every biography I could get my hands on about her life, even if it's just a different perspective of the same story, I find it so very interesting. Even to the point of buying a copy of Mastering The Art Of French Cooking, granted I have yet to make anything out of it, but I feel it makes me closer to Julia.  Of course, tonight's recipe is featured in Vol. 2. 

So, the second part of this post is that last week , I decided to make a French chicken dish for dinner. I've tried Coq Au Vin, and a few others, so I wanted something different. That's when I came across this delicious dish, even rated "good" by my husband!  (and you all know that that's close to 5 stars in his book, the only thing higher is, "can you make this again") It's a classic dish, with lemon, wine, mushrooms and all the other cast of characters. Check it out, it's really not that intimidating. 

Chicken Chasseur, or Hunter’s Chicken, is a simple French country meal.  A hunter would have brought back his game and maybe a few mushrooms he’d found along the way, and his wife would have thrown the lot in a pot with some wine and simmered until tender. It’s ready in less than an hour and cooks all in one pot!  I served it with mashed red potatoes, and Frenched green beans.  

Chicken Chasseur

* 2 T Butter
* 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
* 2 lbs Boneless Chicken Breasts
* 1/4 Cup minced Shallot
* 3 Garlic Cloves (minced)
* 10 oz Baby Bella Mushrooms (sliced thin)
* 2 Tomatoes (seeded, and diced small)
* 1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
* 1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
* 1/2 Cup Low Sodium Chicken Stock
* 2 T Lemon Juice
* 1 Tablespoon Flour
* 2 T Basil (chiffonade)
* In a large skillet over medium heat, melt your butter and oil. Pat your chicken breasts dry with a paper towel and season both sides with salt and pepper, liberally. When the butter starts to foam, add in your chicken and sear on both sides (about 3-4 minutes per side) until a golden brown crust forms.
* Remove the chicken from the pan and place on a plate. Add in your shallots and garlic to the pan and saute for 2 minutes. Add in your mushrooms and tomatoes and saute about 8 minutes over a medium heat, stirring frequently.
* Return the chicken to the pan and add in your cream, wine, stock, and lemon juice immediately. Bring the liquids to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the chicken has cooked through. Remove the chicken again from the pan and place on a serving platter, and stir in your flour, cooking the liquid another 3 minutes to thicken. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
* Pour the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle the fresh basil on top. Serve hot.

Dried chicken seasoned with salt and pepper 

Chicken sautéed and resting

The dripping of the chicken, waiting for mushrooms 

Tomatoes and shallots

Saluting shallots, mushrooms and tomatoes

Chicken, back in the pool!


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Crab Bisque

Years ago my family used to frequent a restaurant in Portland (Pa's Kettle) that their signature soup was chicken bisque. It was amazing. You could just fill up on it alone. For years I've read about bisques, and have wanted to make one, be it chicken, tomato, or tonight I made crab bisque. It turned out amazing. 

Crab Bisque


* 1 cup  onion, minced
* 1 cup  carrot, minced
* 22 ounces seafood stock
* 4 tablespoons  flour
* 6 tablespoons  butter
* 1 cup  heavy cream
* 1⁄2 cup  cooking sherry (or vermouth)
* 1 tablespoon  lemon juice
* 1 teaspoon  Worcestershire sauce
* 1⁄2 teaspoon  cayenne pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
* fresh chives, minced
* salt
* 1⁄2 lb. lump crabmeat
* hot chili oil, to taste

* Saute onion and carrot in 2 tablespoons butter until soft. Set aside.
* In 4 quart saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter and add flour, whisking constantly over medium heat until roux becomes light brown (about 5 minutes). DO NOT BURN!
* Slowly add seafood stock, whisking constantly to ensure mixture stays smooth.
* Add onions and carrots, cover, and simmer for 1/2 hour.
* Add cream, sherry, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, salt, and lobster or crab and simmer an additional 5 to 10 minutes.
* Garnish with fresh minced chives, hot chili oil & crab. 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Zesty Lime Shrimp and Avocado Salad

Zesty Lime Shrimp and Avocado Salad

This week, after the wedding we catered this weekend, Craig and I decided to "clean out" the pantry and freezer. First up a bag of shrimp...... So I decided to make a shrimp salad.  I found this recipe and adjusted it a bit, and it was delicious. 

Zesty Lime Shrimp and Avocado Salad


1/4 cup chopped red onion (3-4 slices)
2 limes, juice
1 tsp olive oil
kosher salt, black pepper to taste
1 lb jumbo cooked, peeled shrimp, chopped* (16/20)
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 medium hass avocado, diced (about 5 oz)
1 jalapeno, seeds removed, diced fine
1 tbsp chopped cilantro


In a small bowl combine red onion, lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Let them marinate at least 5 minutes to mellow the flavor of the onion.

In a large bowl combine chopped shrimp, avocado, red pepper, jalapeño. Combine all the ingredients together, add cilantro and gently toss. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.