Tuesday, June 28, 2016

CtBF’s Lady Chicken Lady ~~ Polet Crapaudine Façon Catherine

CtBFs' Lady Chicken Lady from "My Paris Kitchen"
Last week, for our Cook the Book Fridays, our pick was David Lebovitz's Lady Chicken Lady. It's from his new cookbook "My Paris Kitchen".   I made this a few weeks ago and served it with my Fattoush salad. We loved this chicken. It was so moist and filled with wonderful flavor. My husband claimed it was the best chicken he ever ate. Anyone who knows my husband knows this is a pretty huge compliment...especially because he seems to be a tad fussy. 

The skin stuck to the grill, and that's too bad. the chicken was fabulous
This chicken recipe calls for you to "spatchcock" your chicken. I learned this technique while cooking through "Around My French Table". It simply means, taking the backbone out of the chicken and lying it flat on a grill pan or for me, the grill. The term les crapaudines means bullfrogs, which is how your chicken looks when it is lying flat. This time around, I let my butcher have the honor of  cutting out the backbone. Anything to save time. 

This post should have been posted on the 17th. However, my life has been a bit hectic lately. See you  Friday.

Marinating overnight
Oh so good!
A perfect summer meal

CooktheBookFridays is an on-line cooking group. We are cooking through David Lebovitz cookbook, "My Paris Kitchen". David shared this wonderful chicken recipe here at Serious Eats.

Chicken Lady Chicken~~ Polet Crapaudine Façon Catherine
By David Lebovitz adapted from "My Paris Kitchen"

3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2  teaspoons sea salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons white wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 1/2 teaspoons harissa, Sriracha, or Asian chile paste (I used chile powder)
2 teaspoons Dijon or yellow mustard
2 teaspoons honey
1 (3-pound) chicken

1. Put the minced garlic and salt in a resealable plastic bag and crush it with the heel of your hand until it’s a paste. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, white wine, soy sauce, harissa, mustard, and honey to the bag, combining the ingredients well.

2. Remove the backbone of the chicken by snipping down both sides of the spine with poultry shears, or taking a chef’s knife and cutting along both sides of it, and pulling it off. With the breast side down on the cutting board, take a knife and crack the bone between the breasts, then push the chicken down with your hands so it spreads out and lies flat. Flip the chicken over so it’s skin side up and press down with the heels of your hands on the chicken very firmly—like you’re giving it a shiatsu massage—to flatten it as much as you possibly can. Don’t go easy on it.
3. Loosen the skin from the breast and thigh meat and spoon some of the marinade under the skin. Put the chicken in the bag, close it securely, and use your hands to rub the ingredients into the chicken. Refrigerate it for 1 to 2 days, flipping the bag over a few times as it marinates.
4. To cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Heat a cast-iron skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat on the stovetop and place the chicken in it, breast side down. Drape a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil over the top and set a heavy weight on top of it. A good option is a brick or a large saucepan filled with water.
5. Cook the chicken until the skin is a deep golden brown, which usually takes about 10 minutes or so—check it often. Once it’s browned, flip the chicken over, replace the weight, and let it cook for about 5 more minutes.
6. Remove the weight and the foil and place the chicken in the oven for 25 minutes, until it’s cooked through. To serve it French-style, cut the chicken into eight pieces: two legs, two thighs, and cut each breast in half crosswise, leaving the wings attached.

Friday, June 3, 2016

CtBF ~ Fattoush (Middle Eastern Bread Salad)

CtBF's Fattoush Salad
This week for Cook the Book Fridays we have picked David's version of Fattoush. Fattoush is a bread salad popular in the Middle East, made with torn pieces of stale or toasted pita bread. Bread in a salad is something I grew up with. Fattoush was one of my favorites. It would be interchanged with Tabbouleh on my grandmother's table. It also fit my grandmother's mantra of never wasting food and was so wonderfully delicious that you never knew you were eating stale bread. 

Notice the sprinkling of sumac...love the sour taste it adds.
Grandmothers have been doing it for generations. Some of our favorite foods come from grandmothers who didn't want to waste that stale bread. Think about it. The Italians have their own version of bread salad called Panzanella. I made a wonderful version with butternut squash that you can find here. We can also thank our ancestors for French Toast and Bread Pudding. Waste not, want not.
There is something about crisp pieces of bread soaking up all the juices in a salad that makes my mouth water. Combined with crisp greens, tomatoes, mint, green onions, parsley and a delectable lemon based dressing this salad is something to swoon over. Davids recipe is almost exactly like my grandmothers...sans the mustard in the dressing. That said, I loved the flavor the mustard added.  I didn't have to buy anything unusual for this salad since I always have sumac in my house. If you want to try this unusual middle eastern spice, which adds a delightful sourness to the salad, you can find it at Penzeys.com. 

This was a winner with my hubby. Although he added Parmesan cheese to his and told me the cheese made it! Happy Friday everyone!

An old favorite with a new twist
Since David's version has been shared many times I am sharing it here with all of you. Cook the Book Fridays is cooking through David Lebovitz's cookbook, "My Paris Kitchen". If you would like to cook along with our group or just check out what the other bloggers thought of this salad check it out here.

In my hubby's words, "A definite keeper."

Fattoush (David Lebovitz)                                     
Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz' "My Paris Kitchen," Ten Speed Press, 2014
Published in The Oregonian

  • 2 large or 4 small rounds of pita bread
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, plus extra for brushing the pita
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 8 cups torn or wide-cut ribbons of romaine lettuce
  • 4 scallions, white and tender green parts, thinly sliced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into large dice
  • 20 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 bunch radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground sumac
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the pita bread on a baking sheet, brush them evenly with olive oil, then toast for 10 to 12 minutes, or until crisp. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
In a large serving bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, salt, garlic, and mustard. Whisk in the 1/2 cup of olive oil.
Add the lettuce, scallions, cucumber, tomatoes, parsley, mint, and radishes. Toss the salad with 1 teaspoon of the sumac and a few generous grinds of pepper. Crumble the pita into irregular pieces that are slightly larger than bite-size and gently toss until the pieces of pita are coated with the dressing. Sprinkle the salad with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of sumac and serve.