Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Provençal chicken

This is silly, because the chicken is not affected: it's the aubergine/tomato/onion combination which makes this southern, but I had to give the thing a name, didn't I?

Slit the small to medium aubergines from tip to tip, in several slices, without detaching at the stalk end. Put them in the pan you're going to roast them in and spread them a little like fans half unfurled. Cut tomato and onion slices (onion thinner, tomato fatter slices), and put both of these inbetween the leaves of the aubergines: so you have aubergine tomato onion aubergine tomato onion...etc. Season, and slosh some olive oil over them. Bake for about an forty-five minutes to an hour at 400'F/200'C.

And that's your meal, if you don't eat meat.

If you do (eat meat, that is) add to the pan (of skottel*) some of your favourite chicken bits. I am partial to the thigh-drumstick combo, as the meat stays juicy and can roast longer, and makes some good, crackling skin, too. Sprinkle oregano leaves over it, and lemon juice and add salt and pepper. Roast them together with the aubergines. I added a handful of garlic cloves, unskinned. These become beautifully soft and the idea is to combine in a forkful the chicken, some garlic, and the caramelized onion/tomato and melted aubergine.

* Afrikaans: 'or dish'.

I'm feeling a bit grumpy. As I was writing this post smoke billowed thrice from the oven where a potato gratin and a roasting, bone-in pork loin are sharing space. The gratin bubbled over. Milk on oven floor = 911 smoke. And it stinks. Happened two more times. I'm an idiot. I used to be able to cook: foie gras terrine (once), souffles, demi glace and Sauce Espagnole, puff pastry houses for butter-poached lobster, 8 course individually plated dinners, Crepes Suzette like tissue paper.

Sob sob sob.

Each time the smoke issued forth I whipped out the precious pig with its crust of herbs and mustard and nest of quinces and apples, worried that it would taste like burned milk. It's back in. We'll see.

Eyes smarting. The cat's gone for the fire brigade.

Where have all the truffles gone?


  1. What a beautiful cédille. It thrones over your post like a king over his kingdom. Well, a queen. I wonder if RSS aggregators will behead her...

  2. and where does one find a cedille anyway...? cut and paste or do you have one on your keyboard?

    I hope your dinner was a success... damn milk... I do the same most times with scalloped spuds.... oven a bit too hot... because otherwise it seems to take about 5 hours too long... sigh.....

  3. The food -- and cedille (mine even lacks the accent aigu) -- are beautiful, Marie. And I'm certain your pork roast and gratin were to die for, in spite of the burned milk and the cat's 911 to the fire brigade! The aubergine looks especially yummy ... a Provencal (sans cedille) version of Imam Bayildi?

  4. You probably guessed the previous comment was from me, Keli'i, and not Ikaika ... but he would have loved the chicken!


  5. i can't wait until estorbo is no longer overcome to write his version of the events.

    i like the fanned aubergine + tomato idea.

  6. :-)

    BV - yep, cut 'n paste.

    Ikaika and Keli'i - thank you :-) the pork worked out fine, to my surprise. I love Imam Baylidi!!

    Donna, that cat, tsk tsk tsk.

  7. Looks wonderful....makes me glad my 4 day vegetarian kick is over...

  8. MFK - :-)

    Mine lasted 6 hours. And the thing is, I love vegetables. Maybe I'll try again.

  9. I just came back to look again at that chicken and whoa! "I used to be able to cook."
    Oh dear, Marie. Do you have any idea how many chefs have thrown tantrums over similar incidents? You can cook. I can tell, just from the writing and the photos.

  10. Marie, you must have a really fancy oven because you chicken always look perfectly golden brown!

  11. Sorry Dinah, I was having a moment...

    Thomas?! I believe I have THE cheapest oven in Brooklyn. It gets hot. I like hot.


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