But fellow bloggers out there, I ask you: how do we live in the moment, enjoy it, and record it for posterity too? How do you manage it?
This brings me to the recipe I wanted to post today, Chicken basquaise. We made it last week and it gave us a perfectly happy-in-the-moment evening for which I am so thankful.
This is my mother’s way of doing it, which might differ from the traditional recipes. I love that about my mother’s cooking. She cooks from the gut. She knows, she estimates, she tastes, she smells. She cooks organically. I try to follow in her footsteps with some things I cook, but I often find myself laboring over recipes and following instructions… I feel like a dutiful student of cooking. She has true wisdom in her cooking. I admire that.
This is in honor of a wonderful meal shared with my mother and our dear friend Dominique (and her puppies). Summer night. Eating outside. My mother cooking. Me photographing. Pablo tasting and loving the cooked garlic most of all. Dogs licking. In the moment living… Cheers to that.
Recipe by my mom Daniele Rimbault
Age: 10-12 months, because it has a lot of different ingredients.This can be mixed together in a food processor for a younger baby still eating purees, or just cut-up for an older toddler.
Health benefits: It’s basically chicken simmered with lots of vegetables… Need I say more?
Note: This is one of those dishes even better the next day, when the ingredients have had time to soak up all the flavors. Ironically, it’s also a dish that rarely produces leftovers. It’s that good!
1 whole chicken (cut up in large pieces)
4 tomatoes, peeled (after plunging them whole in boiling water for 30 seconds)
2 sliced bell peppers (red and green, or other colors)
4 sliced zucchinis (peeled only in strips)
1 peeled, sliced eggplant
2 sliced red onions
12 garlic cloves (6 peeled, 6 “en chemise”, with the film left on)
A few sprigs of Italian Parlsey
A couple of sprigs of fresh thyme
Salt & pepper
Piment d’Espelette (optional - powder made from a variety of chili peppers cultivated in the town of
in the Basque country. You may find it in specialty stores, or in Espelette !) France
In a Dutch oven, sauté and brown the chicken pieces on all sides (in batches if needed) with 2 tbsp of olive oil and 6 peeled whole garlic cloves.
Put one layer of chicken, add one layer of sliced onions, add another layer of chicken on top.
Add the eggplant, bell peppers, zucchini, then the quartered tomatoes, the six remaining garlic cloves “en chemise” (literal translation: “in their shirt”, meaning you leave the film on).
Make a bouquet garni by tying together the parsley, thyme and laurel leaves. Add it on top.
Add salt & pepper, and a pinch of Piment d’Espelette.
Add half a glass of water, cover and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.
Remove the bouquet guarni and serve with some cooking juice over the vegetables and meat.
If you have vegetables left-over (a big IF, we had none this time): A great way to make them, for baby or grownups, is to reheat them in a frying pan with a bit of olive oil, and scramble some eggs together with the vegetables. It’s called a “Chouchouka”. Delicious, and fun to say! J
PS: Adding "chicken" to the food sign list, check it out!
Loving the idea of cooking for a good cause, thanks to Vanesther at Bangers & Mash, I have learned about a wonderful adoption and fostering charity called TACT.
Entering this recipe in the Care to Cook Recipe Challenge, as this is definitely a meal we would serve to welcome someone into our home.
For details on the Care to Cook challenge, go to: http://bangermashchat.wordpress.com/2012/07/10/care-to-cook-challenge/
and details on TACT here: http://www.tactcare.org.uk/pages/en/buy_tact_adoptions_care_to_cook_recipe_book.html