cookbook

Chicken With Mustard and Bacon

by Anne Maxfield on May 7, 2018

Accidental Locavore Mustard Chicken With AsparagusFrank requested chicken with mustard “like the pork chops you make” last night.

I had just enough bandwidth to get it done (being in the throes of putting the house on the market) and thought it would be a good recipe to remind you of.

I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of David Lebovitz’s new book My Paris Kitchen. 

The recipes look great and the first one I put to the test was this one for poulet à la moutarde. It was one of those “what’s not to like?” recipes, with bacon and so much mustard I actually ran out of Dijon – something I wouldn’t have thought possible! This serves 4.

Chicken With Mustard and Bacon

  • ½ cup plus 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
  • Black pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon salt (Kosher or sea salt)
  • 4 chicken legs and 4 thighs
  • 1 cup bacon, thick cut and diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried
  • Olive oil (optional)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon whole mustard seeds or grainy mustard
  • 2-3 tablespoons crème fraîche or heavy cream
  • Chopped parsley or chives for garnish

In a bowl big enough to hold the chicken, mix ½ cup of the Dijon with the paprika, salt and pepper. Toss the chicken in the mustard, coating the pieces well, and rubbing some of it under the skin.

Heat a big skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until the bacon is just starting to brown. Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels. Leave about 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat in the pan and discard the rest.

Add the onion and cook about 5 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the thyme, cook for another few minutes and scrape everything into a medium-sized bowl.

Accidental Locavore Mustard ChickenIncrease the heat to medium-high, add a little olive oil if needed and the chicken pieces in one layer. Don’t crowd them and cook in two batches if necessary. Brown them well on one side and then flip them over and brown the other side. Give it time as you want the chicken to be really browned as this is where the flavor comes from.

Remove the chicken from the pan and put it in the bowl with the onions. Add the wine to the pan and scrape off the bits that have stuck to the pan. Add the chicken, onions and bacon back to the pan. Cover and cook over medium heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes (165° on an instant-read thermometer). While the chicken is cooking, stir it a couple of times, to coat with the sauce.

Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the mustard seeds or grainy mustard and the crème fraîche into the sauce. Sprinkle the parsley over the top, serve and enjoy!

My verdict: Wonderful! An important lesson I learned from Gabriel Rucker and again, making this recipe, is that you really have to have some patience (something I have in terribly short supply) and let the meat really brown – it makes a world of difference! This is a pretty classic recipe and I’ve done a variation of it with rabbit – also delicious! Since Frank isn’t fond of chicken legs, I just used thighs and that worked fine. As you read in the intro, I ran out of smooth Dijon, so added in about 3-4 tablespoons of grainy Dijon, which was fine. If you used a good, strong Dijon, it will give you more of a pronounced mustard taste (which is a good thing – right?). He suggests serving it with some fresh pasta, but rice or mashed potatoes would soak up the sauce nicely too. Definitely give it a try, it’s probably under an hour, start to finish.

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Magic Sriracha Sauce Recipe

by Anne Maxfield on January 15, 2018

Accidental Locavore Sriracha Sauce With SproutsThis magic sauce came about when I was looking at Tracey Medeiros’ The Vermont Non-GMO Cookbook recently. Her Brussels Sprouts with a Creamy Sriracha Dipping Sauce was one of the recipes that jumped out at me!

Two things we really like—Brussels sprouts and Sriracha, seemed like it would be a great dish, but if you’re not a sprout fan, just skip down to the sauce. Serves 4:

Brussels Sprouts:

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 3 garlic cloves (medium sized), minced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • Salt and pepper

Creamy Sriracha Sauce:

  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon horseradish
  • ½ teaspoon Sriracha
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne or chili powder
  • Salt and pepper

Accidental Locavore Sauce With SproutsPreheat the oven to 400°. Lightly grease or cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the Brussels sprouts, garlic, oil, salt and pepper. Toss to combine.

Put the sprouts on the baking sheet cut side down and bake for about 20 minutes until they’re golden brown.

While the Brussels sprouts are cooking, make the sauce. Stir all the ingredients together until well combined.

Serve the Brussels sprouts with the Sriracha sauce on the side and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Sriracha Magic SauceMy Verdict: It took a while to actually getting around to trying this, because one day we had a lot of sprouts, but no mayo. Then I made mayo, but we’d eaten all the sprouts. Finally, I got it all together we loved it!

I used olive oil on the sprouts, instead of coconut oil and they were fine. I might try coconut oil the next time, just to see what happens. For the garlic powder, I used my new fave from Rockerbox Spice Company. It’s pure dehydrated garlic and really makes a difference!

After tasting the sauce, I added more Sriracha and horseradish to give it more of a kick.

Little did I know that Frank made the sauce his go-to for every sandwich he’s made since then. We think it’s going to be great on burgers—just haven’t done that yet. And don’t tell anyone, but it’s terrific as a dip for potato chips. Try it and let me know what you think. Brussels sprouts optional.

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The Vermont Non-GMO Cookbook

by Anne Maxfield on December 11, 2017

Accidental Locavore Non GMO CookbookI’ve been lucky enough to get advance copies of the last two of Tracey Medeiros’ cookbooks, so when she asked me if I’d like a copy of her newest book The Vermont Non-GMO Cookbook, I jumped at the chance.

Like her previous books, The Vermont Farm Table Cookbook and The Connecticut Farm Table Cookbook, this one focuses on local farmers and other food producers. What makes this one different is the emphasis on people who are working to produce non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) and organic foods. You may remember that Vermont was the first state to require labeling of GMO foods.

While I think that non-GMO foods taste better and are probably better for you, you don’t need to be in Vermont or have a pantry full of non-GMO foods to make these recipes. There are recipes to fit every level of cooking skills– from some super-easy recipes to others that take a bit of time or kitchen chops. She’s also done a great job in finding something for every type of eater.

Accidental Locavore Non GMO Spinach GratinRecently I made the Spinach and Smoked Chicken Gratin which was delicious and will certainly be repeated. I’ve got my eye on the Brussels Sprouts with a Creamy Sriracha Dipping Sauce which Tracey warned me would be gone in a flash, as would be the Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt Cookies (which with a pound of butter have to be great, right?). Tracey also recommended the Northern Lake Fish Chowder, the Honey-Glazed Pork Bellies and the Apple Raspberry Pie as some of her favorites.

Accidental Locavore Page from Non-GMO CookbookThe profiles and directory are there to give anyone a great jumping-off point for a culinary trip through Vermont. Even if you’re just an armchair traveler, you can sit back and thumb through the great photos and read about all the producers Vermont is lucky to have.

If you’re looking for a new cookbook to add to your shelf, or something to gift to friends, The Vermont Non-GMO Cookbook will definitely be a great addition!

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My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories

by Anne Maxfield on April 3, 2017

Why was My Paris Kitchen a highly anticipated cookbook?

The Accidental Locavore has long been a fan of David Lebowitz.

If you’re not familiar with him, David is an American chef and food writer living in Paris. His blog is a great source of info on food, restaurants and the day-to-day quirkiness of living in Paris (and points beyond).

Up until this point, the books have dealt mostly with his specialty – pastry and baking. And even though I’m not any kind of baker, I’ve bought his books just for the writing.  So I was thrilled to learn that his latest book, My Paris Kitchen, was going to be more of a “real” cookbook and even more excited to get an advance copy to peruse.

Even reading it on my iPad (not my favorite way to look at cookbooks), it was easy to see that in print this was going to be a beautiful book with great photos.

The only downside? It’s going to make you want to drop the book and get yourself on the next flight to Paris!

And even though I don’t read cookbooks very thoroughly, I began at the beginning with My Paris Kitchen and actually read through the first few chapters – which was kind of a revelation, because David really explains his methodology and the rationale behind the recipes.

Now did I remember any of it when I went to make one of the chicken recipesAccidental Locavore My Paris Kitchen Mustard ChickenNot at all, but the dish turned out great!

Of course, there’s the usual must-haves for gear and pantry, but what makes David’s approach so  informative, are his comparisons between what he thought would be easy to find in Paris (and wasn’t). What the French take for granted vs. what we take for granted; as you might expect, for the most part we come up lacking.

As he says, “It’s easy to make good food with good ingredients, because most of the work is done for you.” I agree!

The introduction to many of the sections and some of the recipes will seem familiar to followers of the blog. You may or may not remember the chase for cheese in the Jura, when the car skidded off the road, but it’s certainly well worth re-reading. The book is traditionally organized by courses, with a pantry section at the end to give you David’s take on the basics.

Accidental Locavore My Paris Kitchen Olive ToastsI guess the good news/bad news part about reading this on an iPad is that you can’t dog-ear the pages with the recipes you want to try, so when my real copy arrives (thank you Julie!), I’m going for the Chicken Lady Chicken (which has a great hint for making a paste of garlic and salt!), as well as the Salted Olive Crisps, the Scalloped Potatoes with Blue Cheese and Garlic, and so much more. This is definitely going to be one of my go-to cookbooks!

Update: As expected, this has become one of the cookbooks I reach for over and over again. Along with the recipes mentioned, I’ve made his salted caramel chocolate mousse and green beans in the style of escargots. And unlike a lot of cookbooks (and recipes), nothing has come out less than great! Rereading this, I realize that I still haven’t made the scalloped potatoes, or one of my favorites when I took his cooking class at DeGustibus, the Parisian Gnocchi. Hmm…time to get cooking!

Let me know in the comments–how do you keep track of recipes you want to try? 

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