January 29, 2011 § 5 Comments
My friend Susan and I were sitting around looking at this book, by my new best friend Dorie Greenspan (I’m positive we would cook together all the time if I lived in Paris, NYC, or Connecticut!), when I started telling her about an online group that cooks through DG’s newest book one recipe at a time. It’s called French Fridays with Dorie, and they do one recipe a week and post about their efforts on Fridays. Susan said, “That’s great and all, but let’s just do it ourselves. We can cook through the book together and you can start a blog and post about what we are cooking.” I said “yeah, that would be fun…..” thinking, “we’re never gonna do that”.
Well, if you say to Susan, “we should do that…” she will call you the next day and say, “well, what do you think about doing it today? I’m on my way to the grocery store to get all the ingredients we need.” Somehow the immediacy threw me and I said “ok”. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to, it’s just that I tend to say no to things when it’s not my idea. It’s an annoying trait, I know. Anyway, I’m so glad she is the way she is because she pushes me to do things that I would want to do, but would put off forever.
So, she showed up an hour later with the ingredients for Chicken B’stilla, and both this blog and cooking through Around my French Table began. This was the dish the online group was doing this past week, so we started there. I still may join the online group for when Sus moves back to California and we can’t cook together anymore. Sniff. If I do I’ll have to keep hogging the library’s copy of the book or break down and buy one for myself. I’m sure I’ll just hog.
So, the dish. Oh yes, the dish! Chicken B’stilla is widely cooked in France, but has been adapted from Moroccan cuisine. It’s full of aromatic spices like ginger, coriander, cinnamon and saffron (we actually skipped the saffron) that you use to marinate chicken thighs. You cook the thighs in broth and shred the meat which is then mixed with an excellent lemon-honey sauce. It’s somewhat like an exotic chicken pot pie with a crust made of phyllo dough and dusted with cinnamon sugar. It’s not your average American flavors, and I was pleasantly surprised how the flavors fit together so well.
I’m not going to post the actual recipe as this is the first time I’ve seen someone ASK that you not post entire recipes from the book, but if anyone out there (is anyone actually out there?) is interested in the recipe, I’ll email it to you. Just leave me a message in the comments. Overall, I would give this recipe a ” very good”. It’s a project, for sure, but a very tasty and beautiful one that smells of cinnamon and spice and feeds your family, too. It’s not like cleaning out the garage can say that for itself!
Sus and I definitely felt like we’d done a lot of work for dinner that night, but agreed the experience of cooking something so different was good for both of us. I think we are on again for this week, so I’ll report back on “Basque Potato Tortilla” in the coming week.
**As a side note, these pictures were the first ones taken with a blog in mind and I was (even more than I am now) trying to figure out where any good light could be found. Bear with me.