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Jan 31, 2013 11:31 PM

February 2013 COTM “Bistro Cooking at Home” Savory Gratins, Gallettes, and Tarts; Fish, Bistro Style; Chicken and Other Winged Things

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Savory Gratins, Gallettes, and Tarts 101 - 124
Pasta, Risotto, and Polenta 125 - 148
Fish, Bistro Style 149 - 176
Chicken and Other Winged Things 177 - 208

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  1. Walk-Away Chicken with Onions and Potatoes, Pg. 181

    My kind of roast. Rub a whole chicken with a savory marinade; prepare onions and small red potatoes separately but with the same sauce, I included chunks of carrots. Place vegetables in roasting pan, nestle chicken into vegetables, bung into a pre-heated 375F oven, roast till perfectly done. Remove veggies and place on a serving platter. Take chicken from pan and pour juices into roasting pan. Rest chicken while the sauce is made.

    While the roasting pan is over heat pour in some lemon juice and stock. Bring to boil scraping up the fond. The sauce will thicken just a bit. Carve chicken and serve with the vegetables. Pour the sauce over all.

    For a 3 1/2 lb.chicken it took about 1 hr 20 minutes. A carefree 80 minutes! Unless, of course, one makes a salad. But that's just incidental. The marinade/rub was very well seasoned with: EVOO, Dijon, thyme, rosemary, lemon juice, S & P so the finished chicken was so delicious. Crisp skin most of us love, perfect juices, somewhat caramelized onions, roasted potatoes that were just beginning to crust but were soft inside. It seems to me I had just such a roast as this at the restaurant...

    The salad was the Hearts of Romaine with Watercress and Creamy Parmigiano Dressing on page 35. Lovely meal.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Gio

      This sounds wonderful and carefree Gio. I had it tabbed, but will move it up in the queue. Thanks for the inspiration.

      1. re: Gio

        Made the Walk-Away Chicken with Onions and Potatoes (and parsnips and carrots) tonight. I liked that I had the carb and the veg all done at the same time as the main. My chicken was a bit larger than called for, so it took longer to cook. I was concerned that he doesn't call for you to turn the bird at any point, and turned it myself. I was glad that I had done so. We all liked this a lot, but I would say that it won't replace my favorite (River Cafe) roast chicken. Still and all, there is nothing like a nicely roasted chicken and some potatoes, and this fit the bill. Lulu raved about the smell (probably the mustard part of it).

        1. re: LulusMom

          Which is your favorite chicken, Lulusmom? Of course now I need to know. From one of the (London) River Cafe books?

          1. re: blue room

            Yes, from Italian Easy (one of the River Cafe books). You stick it in the oven with either thyme or rosemary (I usually go thyme) stuck inside and a cut lemon. And that is it! Easy peasy and always good.

        2. re: Gio

          Made this last night and it was nice, but nothing stand out for me. I was drawn to the ease of having the side dish made along with the chicken but found that the veg didn't crisp up nicely like stand alone oven roasted ones do. Pleasant meal but still searching for the perfect roast chicken recipe!

          1. re: bonbon35

            (nudge, nudge - Italian Easy). Here is our own greedygirl's take on it when IE was recipe of the month:

            (sorry, can't seem to figure out how to put in the link):

            Chicken with lemon, Italian Easy, p 147

            This is basically a pared down version of Marcella Hazan's recipe for roast chicken with lemons, which is the way I usually roast chicken. This method has you roll a lemon on the counter to soften it, then pierce several times with a fork. Put the lemon in the cavity of the bird, along with some fresh thyme, season well and secure with a toothpick. Roast in a 200C oven, breast-side down, for an hour, then flip the chicken over and roast for another 30 minutes.

            This was spectacular, really moist and juicy and falling-off the bone tender. It was a free-range bird from the farmer's market so the flavour of the meat was very good. I served it with the pan juices, and the courgettes from ITE, which I've reported on in the appropriate thread, and some sourdough for mopping.

            The only difference between this recipe, and Hazan's is the addition of the thyme, and that you keep the oven temperature constant (Marcella has you raise it for the last portion of cooking time). I think you might also flip the bird later in the cooking process as well. Anyway, the results were just as good and as it's a slightly simpler method, with no faffing about with the oven temperature, this will become my new standard.

            1. re: LulusMom

              Thanks so much Lulusmom! This looks so delicious and so simple. What a great description by greedygirl...This is next in line on the poultry queue for sure - can't wait to try it! Aside: I'm also jazzed at the rolling of the lemon. Bizarre kitchen quirk of mine - I love bashing and rolling citrus fruit on the counter, so that's a plus :)

              1. re: bonbon35

                I hope you love it. It is definitely my go-to recipe for roast chicken. so easy, and always good. Simple and delicious.

        3. Chicken Pipérade p. 188

          A good one! Chicken breast is sliced and marinated in sherry vinegar, browned in oil and butter, and set aside. Then you'll cook (I'm oversimplifying the method) onion, red bell pepper, garlic, cayenne, some matchsticked ham, cherry/grape tomatoes. ( I used sliced Roma tomatoes -- I won't say how much they wanted for grape tomatoes because if I told you you would DIE.) Anyway, the chicken and a little more sherry vinegar is reintroduced into the softened vegetables of the pipérade and cooked a little more -- then wilt some cress into the mix (first time I've ever had watercress!) and you're done.
          Big success with Mr. blue room, and I loved it.
          I've since looked around the 'net and see many versions of pipérade -- this one is pretty simple, but certainly doesn't lack flavor. I was pleased to marinate the chicken (15 minutes) in just sherry vinegar -- not six or seven ingredients. It smelled so good the minute it hit the hot oil!
          The book notes that this is a Basque dish, and a French bistro favorite.

          8 Replies
          1. re: blue room

            Hmmm, wrote a reply to this but it seems to have disappeared. Anyway, as I was saying, I am happy to hear that you liked this - I am planning to make it on Monday. Because that is my craziest pre-dinner day I'm planning to prep the veg and slice the chicken ahead of time and am hoping that makes it into a quick dish. Do you think that will do the trick? Is it pretty simple once the chopping is done?

            1. re: LulusMom

              I would say yes, if you have sliced chicken and vegetables beforehand you'll be sitting around wishing you had something to read... :)
              I looked to be sure you have the book, so you'll see that some things go in before others, also a little minimal stirring, but I made it I think in less than 45 minutes without *anything* pre-prepped, and fooling around with other household stuff too.
              Hope you like it, I know you'll let us know.

              1. re: blue room

                My "something to read" will be getting Lulu out of her ballet outfit, helping her with her homework, and quickly downing a glass of wine to deal with the insanity of my Monday late afternoons. Thanks for the assurance. Much appreciated.

                PS - I'm doing mine on a bed of baby spinach, since there was no watercress to be found today at the grocery store. I believe this was given as a reasonable alternative.

            2. re: blue room

              Ooh, how lovely, Rue Bloom! I had this on my list but couldn't locate any watercress this time around. Happy to hear it turns out so well.

              1. re: blue room

                Funny, I am making that tonight for dinner but from a different French cookbook. I will have to try this and see how they compare.

                1. re: blue room

                  We loved the Chicken Piperade. I did most of the prep work in the morning (cut the veg, cooked the veg, cut the chicken, cut the grape tomatoes, cooked the turkey bacon, which I subbed for the ham - and yes, totally different but still delicious) so taking Lulu to ballet directly after school and meeting a friend for a glass of wine did not make things especially stressful. The sherry vinegar really does give it a lovely tang. I cooked mine with baby spinach instead of watercress (didn't see any in the store). Served with polenta. Delicious.

                  1. re: blue room

                    Chicken Pipérade p. 188

                    This was a nice, relatively simple dish. Marinating the chicken in the vinegar added a good flavour to the usually-drab breast meat.
                    I made a half recipe; just perfect for two. There was plenty of tasty sauce pooling around the meat & veg, which I sopped up with the suggested polenta. The Mr. & I decided that mashed potatoes would have been a better vehicle for excess juice distribution.
                    Mr. Allegro has a "knack" (his words) for being able to turn anything into a sandwich, and this meal was no different. He ended up smooshing the ingredients between a few thick slabs of french bread instead, which he claims bettered the dish.

                    1. re: blue room

                      Chicken Pipérade, page 188.

                      Blue room nicely describes the dish, above, so I won't add to that. I also liked the quick soak in the sherry vinegar. And when the chicken hit the pan, the entire house smelled lovely. While we liked this dish, we ended up describing it as "good, not great." I'm not quite sure why. I think the sherry vinegar, while acidic, was also a bit too sweet, and perhaps needed something else to balance it. I'm not sure exactly what made it less than great for us during dinner. I ate some of the leftover the next day for lunch, and it seemed delicious!

                      Anyway, it certainly was a very pretty dish, with fresh, bright colors. Also, easy to prepare.

                    2. LU LU'S FAVORITE LINGUINI – p. 129

                      While this may be Lu Lu’s favourite, it was a little too rich for our blood. Cholesterol counts be damned – with 1.5 cups of heavy cream, and 4-6 oz of cheese, this recipe isn’t for the faint of heart. Truly.

                      On paper, this sounded a little like a Carbonara without the eggs but on execution; it’s far heavier than that. Not sure exactly why this didn’t work for us. I don’t love dried herbs and this called for 2tsp of herbes de Provence. My dried herbs were fresh enough, a friend of mine just brought them back from France but I really think fresh herbs work much better w pasta.

                      To make this dish you sauté sliced bacon and onions over medium-high heat then add a 3:1 mix of white wine and dry sherry. Once the browned bits are released from the bottom of the pan, heavy cream is added along w parsley. This mixture is simmered for approx 4 mins before adding in the linguine and Asiago.

                      This was so rich it made our faces tingle. Proof that sometimes; there can be too much of a good thing. I wouldn’t repeat this dish.


                        This is the first recipe I made after I bought this book. I posted my thoughts about the recipe back when I first made it but am reposting them now so everyone will know to make this excellent dish.

                        Thoughts and suggestions: The Roasted Chix recipe is outstanding as written. Not too much work for a school night if you make the marinade the night before. I would also opt for removing the backbone and flattening it before broiling, rather than cutting it up. It calls for making two chickens, so this would be a real workhorse for a second meal during the week. The backbones could also be used to make a chicken soup later in the week so really 3 meals from this one dish. Love, love, loved it!

                        Recipe adapted from Bistro Cooking at Home by Gordon Hamersley (Broadway Books, 2003).

Marinade/Wet Rub:

                        1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
3 garlic
3 shallots
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons Coarsely ground black pepper
6 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon dried herbes de Provence

                        1 teaspoon dried rosemary
zest of 1 lemon

                        2 whole chicken (3-pounds each)
black pepper

                        1 Garlic head (unpeeled)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cup chicken broth

                        1 lemon, 1/2 juiced, the other 1/2 sliced

                        1 tablespoon butter


                        To prepare marinade: 

                        Combine all ingredients in a food processor; process to a paste.

                        To prepare chicken:

                        Coat chicken with marinade.
 Cover and refrigerate 2-4 hours.
 Preheat oven to 350F.
Season chicken with salt and pepper.
 Place on rack in roasting pan. 
Separate cloves of garlic but do not peel them. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Wrap garlic in foil and place alongside chicken to roast. Take out after 1 hour.
 Roast chicken for 1 1/4 hours. 
Remove from oven and let the chicken rest on a cutting board for 30 minutes.
                        To prepare the sauce and finish the dish:
While the chicken is resting, pour off the pan juices and degrease the pan with the chicken broth. 
Quarter the chicken and return to the pan, skin side up. Top with lemon slices.
 Broil for 7-8 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare a sauce pan for the pan drippings. Put the lemon and butter in it. 
When the chicken comes out of the oven, put them on a plate and pour off the juices into the saucepan. 
Reduce the sauce by 1/2. 
Squeeze roasted garlic cloves into broth mixture. 
Serve with chicken. 
Garnish with parsley.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: dkennedy

                          I made the ROAST CHICKEN WITH GARLIC, LEMON AND PARSLEY and served it with BISTRO POTATO & LEEK GRATIN (I'm cooking from online recipes so am unsure where in the book the gratin comes).

                          both were excellent. I used a whole chicken and just rubbed the marinade over it, not portioning, cooling and then reheating under a grill with lemon slices. I loved the gravy.

                          the gratin recipe was also fiddled with a little - I used more leeks than called for and mixed the cream with creme friche to lighten it a bit. delicious.

                          1. re: dkennedy

                            Roast Chicken with Garlic, Lemon and Parsley

                            I didn't get the book so the version I made was pulled from the link that is attached to this recipe on EYB. It seems to be essentially the same except that it includes a side recipe for roasted onions and potatoes which are to be served as an accompaniment.

                            The chicken recipe as written was excellent. I was cooking for just the two of us so I went with 1 large bird, and cut the marinade and sauce ingredients by about 1/4. The chicken was close to 4lbs and took about 1 hour and 20 minutes at 350, and it came out stupendous. Juicy and flavourful form the marinade, most especially the breasts which had received a healthy slathering of the marinade under the skin. I sectioned the chicken, and broiled for about 8 minutes and the skin and meat had just the right amount of browning. This dish is definitely a winner.

                            The potatoes and onions were a very nice accompaniment, but I would modify the technique on these next time. He has you quarter them and place them on a heated and oiled baking sheet. You then season and roast along with the chicken. The challenge I found was that a quartered (lengthwise) russet is quite large and a bit on the awkward looking side. Plus the oil in the pan, even when you roll the veggies around in it, wasn't really enough to coat the vegetables, so they did dry out a bit and the seasoning didn't really stick to them. Next time I would quarter the onions and cut the russets into large chunks, then toss with oil, salt and pepper, and simply roast as directed. The result should be more seasoning and browning given the larger surface area of the cut potato.

                            Overall though a very very nice dish.

                          2. OVEN BAKED PENNE WITH ONIONS, WALNUTS AND GOAT CHEESE, p. 128

                            Oven Baked Penne with Onions, Walnuts and Goat Cheese, page 128

                            I made this yummy dish at Lulu’s Mom’s suggestion, and it did not disappoint. The pasta is simple to prepare, 1 lb. of pasta is precooked and then tossed in some oil to keep it from sticking. The onions are browned and then bathed in some wine. The wine mixture is poured over the pasta, along with some goat cheese, cream and parmesan, walnuts, and parsley. The dish is served warm.

                            I really enjoyed this dish though I think next time I will do some tweaking. The cream seemed to be entirely absorbed by the pasta which made for a very rich pasta with very little sauce. I wonder if by substituting equal parts buttermilk for the cream I can cut out a whole lotta calories and fat without sacrificing taste. I’ll try it and get back to you.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: dkennedy

                              I am definitely trying this one!!

                              1. re: dkennedy

                                Finally got around to trying it. Yum yum yum. This recipe is a keeper!

                                1. re: dkennedy

                                  Oven Baked Penne with Onions,Walnuts, and Goat Cheese, Pg. 128

                                  After deciding to make a different macaroni dish for dinner I chose the Penne and was glad I did. And, taking DK's recommendation to increase a few of the ingredients I'm glad I did that too. Here's what I did: Used 1 cup of white wine and 1 cup of home made no-salt chicken broth, 1 T fresh thyme,
                                  1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes, 1/2 t salt, 1 t pepper, 1/4 c half and half, subbed hazelnuts for the walnuts, and grated Reggiano for the topping. The directions were followed exactly, then the baking dish was put into a 350F oven for about 15 minutes. When the penne was taken out of the oven chopped parsley was sprinkled over top.

                                  Even though the liquids were increased I thought the final dish was not very saucy. Tasty, yes. Texturally pleasing, yes. But then, perhaps it's supposed to be dense. Pasta is not something I usually order at a restaurant so I've never had it at the Bistro. Actually I don't think I would because it's quite "heavy", like macaroni & cheese without all the cheese. A little goes a long way and there's enough left over to feed the republic.... G absolutely Loved it.

                                  The side dish was the Tomato Salad on page 31. That was a perfect accompaniment.

                                  1. re: dkennedy

                                    This was our Sunday dinner last week, with some peas and a green salad with fennel, and was a major winner. The flavor melding with the walnuts, goat cheese, white wine and herbs was excellent - we didnt find it at all too rich or miss a surface creaminess - the dish was both rich and tender.My husband was very impressed.

                                    1. re: dkennedy

                                      OVEN BAKED PENNE WITH ONIONS, WALNUTS AND GOAT CHEESE, p. 128

                                      My turn to make this the other night, as a hearty side with Fiona's Easy Halibut, p. 151 in this book. We really liked the flavors--I combined half toasted walnuts and half hazelnuts-- and it was definitely copious! It made at least enough for 10, IMHO (recipe said serves 6.) Fortunately the remainder held up well as leftovers for the next day.
                                      In the light of other posts, I upped the liquid to 1 cup white wine and I think next time I will do as Gio suggested and add a further cup of chicken broth. The dish needs a bit more sauce, especially if it is held for any period of time. I think you could easily make it ahead and bake it later, if you wished.

                                      And just because my refrigerator fooled me with an unopened carton of cream which turned out upon examination in the midst of my cooking to have expired in March--how could this ever have happened in my highly-organized shelves? ;-) -- I ended up using 3/4 cup of milk instead, which was fine given the amount of goat cheese, which I upped slightly. I also mixed more of the cheese INTO the pasta before baking rather than sprinkling most of it on top, again because of another ingenious poster's suggestion. I also upped the fresh thyme and made it a buxom pinch of red pepper flakes, per suggestions.

                                      The verdict? Very nice dish which worked for us as an accompaniment, which would also be a good pot-luck or buffet-dish. Not overly saucy or cheesy: noo strings of cheese accompanying the serving spoon as people try to serve themselves. Loved the goat cheese--nutty flavor.

                                      Note: I also served this with the Garlicky Tomato Confit on p. 269. Strangely enough, the flavors worked fine together!