Friday, March 27, 2009

Charles' Poulet Chasseur

I inherited this recipe from my friend and Central Market coworker Charles. As a young man he left his hometown of New Orleans and traveled to France working as a hotel kitchen cook in exchange for room and board. He had learned first hand the art of French food from pure life experience and was a great teacher to all of the aspiring chefs and bakers at CM.
Charles was the type of guy that made his own mayonnaise, had friends return from Europe bearing gifts from their journeys (I remember him receiving black truffles from France.) He would correct our French and Italian (I remember him correcting my pronunciation of prosciutto) and make homemade Chicken, Cognac & Truffle pate w/ aspic for Christmas gifts. One of the greatest gifts he had given me was a print out of recipes he had learned from a woman in Alsace-Lorraine.

He was a wealth of culinary information and inspiration. My relocating away from Texas unfortunately separated us, but I will always have his recipes to remind me of our friendship and culinary bond.

Poulet Chasseur
(Hunter Style Chicken)
according to Charles, there is a misconception that many believe "hunter" refers to the hunter of game, when in truth it
represents the hunter of mushrooms

4 skinned chicken thighs
2 T. olive oil
1 T. butter
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 c. assorted mushrooms (I used Texas Brown, Oyster & Cremini)
1/2 c. dry white wine
1 c. chicken broth
1 c. tomato sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/4 c. flat leaf parsley, chopped
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, to taste
Salt & Pepper to taste

  • Heat olive oil and butter in a heavy bottom pot over medium heat.
  • Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper and brown on all sides in hot fat
  • Remove chicken and add vegetables and bay leaf. Cook until the onion is translucent
  • Add the mushrooms and cook 3-5 minutes more
  • Return chicken and any accumulated juices to pot
  • Add wine, chicken broth, tomato sauce and garlic
  • Add red pepper flakes, salt and pepper
  • Cover and simmer for 45 minutes over low heat until chicken is tender
  • Stir in chopped parsley and simmer for another 5 minutes.
Serve over mashed potatoes or with boiled and buttered new potatoes.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Poor College Students Peanut Butter Cookies

There is one certain moment while in college I will never forget. As I was sorting out my laundry one afternoon a quarter fell onto the floor from my pants pocket. I remember having such a sigh of relief considering that that one quarter was half of a candy bar, a bag of chips or a soda. (Yes, vending machines only charged 50 cents at that time!) It was in that moment that I realized I was a very poor college student and had a great appreciation for what little money I had.

Being a poor college student did not deter me from sweet satisfaction though. My roommate and I made these peanut butter cookies often as they are common pantry ingredients that anybody (even poor college students) have on hand. They are chewy, crumbly and peanut buttery and I still find myself making them when I need a quick fix.

I only see it fitting to share this recipe now during a time where America's economy is faltering. I believe even in hard times such as these everyone deserves some type of sweet satisfaction.

The Poor College Students Peanut Butter Cookies
makes 1 1/2 dozen
1 c. peanut butter
1 c. sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 egg
drizzle of honey (optional)

Preheat oven to 350

Add all ingredients into a bowl and stir until mixture stiffens a bit. Drop by rounded tablespoons full onto parchment covered or pan sprayed cookie sheet (about two inches apart). With tines of fork create a traditional crosshatch. Sprinkle with additional sugar.

Bake for 8-10 minutes.