Daily Archives: 5 September 2014
I was seriously challenged by this week’s recipe for French Fridays with Dorie: Curried Chicken, Peppers, and Peas en Papillote. It’s not that I didn’t think I’d like it. It’s that, first of all, I have a kitchen overflowing with fresh produce from my farm share. This week we picked up 10 POUNDS of tomatoes, yes, that’s 10 pounds, and I’d just finished up last week’s 6 pounds. That’s in addition to 3 pounds of potatoes, another 10 cucumbers, another 7 items plus a slew of pick-your-own. Clearly, it’s the peak of the summer harvest season. And I won’t even mention the vegetables from last week that I haven’t quite used up… The second thing is that Howard isn’t wild about the flavor of curry. So, it was hard to get my head around making a dinner of chicken steamed in foil packets with peas (not in season fresh, and how can I buy frozen vegetables with all the fresh ones in the house?).
What to do? Well, I channeled my inner Cher and decided not to follow directions. I had a red onion and a red pepper on hand, so all set there. I liked the idea of the green peas, so I sliced up some cooked green beans into pea-sized slices for color. What else would go with those? I decided to add a handful of halved cherry tomatoes and some Kalamata olives. Given the landscape of these ingredients, I substituted crumbed herbes de Provence instead of curry powder. Et voila! I think I’ll call it chicken provençal en papillote.
I have 8 bell peppers that I plan to stuff tomorrow, so I made a double batch of this rice pilaf using pistachios and adding some diced red and purple peppers, using some of it as tonight’s side. The rice was quite moist, so it will make a good stuffing in addition to an excellent side.
We’ve made a few other recipes from AMFT en papillote. I always forget what a great technique this is. The only thing is that I think one big packet would be fine. I didn’t plan on presenting each diner with their own packet and ended up combining both packets into one bowl for serving. Even though I halved the recipe, we still had plenty of leftovers, so for us, the serving size in the recipe was on the large size.
If you make up the packet(s) in advance, as I did, dinner is a snap. Just remove the packets from the fridge and let them bake while you make the accompaniments. And now that I’ve successfully modified it, I hope to remember to use this method again and again.