Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Feast of Seven Fishes

We're not Italian, but we love food. My brother and I prepared the Christmas Eve dinner. We try out a twist on the traditional Italian Christmas Eve dinner, Feast of 7 Fishes.


Stuffed Baked Clams
  • 8 medium baby neck clams, steamed open in 2 cups of white wine with garlic, salt & pepper, meat removed, diced and shells cleaned.
  • 2 cans whole baby clams
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • minced onion
  • minced celery
  • minced garlic
  • S&P
  • 1 egg
  • minced Italian herbs (oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme)
  • 1/4c olive oil
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus 1/2 cup reserved
  • Box of rock salt
My brother did this one, entirely off the cuff. Mince everything up fine and combine. Scoop into clamshell halves. Top each clam with a sprinkle of grated cheese

Fill bottom of paella pan with rock salt. Set stuffed clams on the salt and place into 350f degree oven. Bake for approximately 25 minutes.

Caesar Dressing
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • Dash of Worcestershire
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons anchovy paste or mashed anchovies
  • 1½ teaspoons to 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 cup virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Combine all ingredients except oil in a blender and purée. While motor is running, slowly pour olive oil through cap in a thin, steady stream. Season with salt, pepper and Parmesan.

Caesar Salad
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Croutons
Pour dressing over salad and toss.

Lobster Bisque
  • 2 Lobsters, cleaned with claws and tails removed and reserved
  • Butter
  • EVOO
  • 2 leeks, halved lengthwise
  • 2 onions, halved
  • 2 stalks celery, in big chunks
  • 2 long carrots, in big chunks
  • Handfull of fresh thyme
  • Orange zest
  • Tomato paste
  • Cognac
  • Flour
  • 4 cups heavy cream
Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped lobster bodies and heads and their juices, leeks, onion, celery, carrots, thyme, orange zest and tomato paste. Cook until the shells are red and the vegetables are soft, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and carefully pour in 1/4 cup of cognac. Ignite the cognac with a long kitchen match and let the alcohol burn off. Return to the heat, sprinkle in the flour, stir, and cook for another 2 minutes. Add water to cover and stir up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Add the cream and bring to a boil. Immediately decrease the heat and gently simmer until the soup is reduced and thickened, about 30 to 45 minutes. Strain this into a clean pot and season with salt and pepper if needed; keep warm.

Meanwhile, grill or roast the lobster claws and tails until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove the meat from the shell. Slice the tail and reserve enough perfect slices to top each bowl of bisque. Chop the remaining meat and stir into the bisque.

To serve, fill bowls and then top with a slice of lobster.


Gravad Lax with Pears on Microgreens
  • Filet of cold smoked salmon
  • Fresh dill
  • Vodka
  • Sugar
  • Sea Salt
  • Microgreens
  • Fresh chevril
  • Fresh micro watercress
  • Lime juice
  • EVOO
  • Poire William
  • Fresh pears
For the salmon: An easy prep for gravad lax uses a filet of previous cold smoked and slices salmon. Place salmon on a half sheet pan. Drizzle vodka on the salmon, the coat with salt, sugar, and finely chopped fresh dill. Cover with wax paper, then place another sheet pan on top of the salmon and place a weight on top. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

Whisk together lime, EVOO, sugar, Poire William, salt and pepper to make a light dressing. Pour into a shallow plate. Cut the pears into thin slices. Coat each slice with dressing, then leave on plate.

Lightly toss microgreens, chevril and watercress with dressing. Arrange on platter. Top with alternating slices of salmon and pear.


Seared Scallops
  • 2 large bay scallops per person
  • Salt & Pepper
Prepare scallops immediately before serving. Remove tough membranes from scallops. Dust tops and bottoms with salt and pepper. Place scallops into very hot cast iron pan. Turn once browned, about 3 minutes. Sear bottom side and serve immediately.

Shrimp Risotto

  • 1lb fresh shrimp in the shell
  • bay leaf
  • peppercorns
  • butter
  • shallots
  • carrots
  • celery
  • garlic
  • 2c rice
  • White wine
  • Small diced tomatoes
Rinse and peel the shrimp; set aside.

Rinse the shrimp shells, then put them in a saucepan along with the bay leaf, celery leaves, peppercorns, salt, carrots, diced tomatoes, and water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. Strain and reserve the stock.

In a heavy large saucepan or skillet, melt butter then add the onion and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes or until softened but not colored. Add the rice and stir to coat all the grains with butter. Fry lightly until rice begins to turn translucent around edges.

Add 1/3 of the reserved stock and bring to a boil, then simmer, uncovered, until the stock is absorbed.

Stirring, gradually add more stock and the wine until it has all been absorbed and the rice is cooked; this will take about 20 minutes.

Toss in about half a cup of grated Parmesan along with a half cup of cream. Stir over low heat to create a creamy consistency. Serve immediately.

Asparagus and Crab with Hollandaise

  • Asparagus
  • Lump crab meat
  • Butter
  • Garlic
  • Lemon
  • Hollandaise
Cut asparagus into 1" to 2" inch lengths, discarding the tough white ends. Steam until tender.

Flake the crab meat. Saute in butter, garlic, and lemon.

Toss asparagus with crab. Top with:


  • 3 egg yolks, per 2 Tablespoons lemon juice and 1/2c butter
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Salt & White Pepper to taste
Place egg yolks, seasonings, and lemon juice in blender. Melt butter in saucepan. With blender on low, slowly add hot melted butter until emulsified.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Seared Foie Gras with Warm Quince, Apple Compote and Pomegranate Gastrique

I prepared this recipe as a test for a special Google Chefs cookbook, soon to be released. It was my first time preparing foie gras, and it turned out utterly scrumptious. Matt & Amanda were good sports about being my guinea pigs. It works as a perfect fall appetizer.

6 2-ounce slices fresh foie gras
2 large Fuji apples
2 large quince
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons sugar
½ cup apple cider
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
¼ cup Calvados
½ t ground ginger
3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
2 cups pomegranate juice
1/2 cup honey

Prepare the foie gras
  1. Allow it to sit for twenty minutes at room temperature and gently separate the liver into two lobes. Start with the smaller transverse vein on each lobe and work towards the main vein running vertically through the liver. Remove any stray bloody spots.
  2. Lay lobes on cutting board, round side up. Heat a knife with warm water (make sure the knife is very sharp). Dry the knife after cutting each slice. Start at the narrow end, and cut at an angle. Cut half or three-quarter inch thick slices, 2-3 inches across. If in doubt, make them thicker rather than thinner. Thinner slices can quickly dissolve into nothingness when sautéing.
  3. Season the foie gras with salt and freshly ground pepper and keep cool until time to serve.
Prepare the compote
  1. Peel, core, and dice the apples and quince into ½ inch dice.
  2. In a sauté pan, melt the butter over low heat.
  3. Add the sugar and raise the heat to medium and caramelize the sugar (3-4 minutes).
  4. Add the fruit and cook for 12 minutes until the apples are soft and slightly browned.
  5. Add the cider, Calvados, and lemon juice. Simmer until the liquid reduces, but does not evaporate.
  6. Season with salt and ginger to taste.
Prepare the reduction
  • In a sauce pan, combine the pomegranate juice and honey. Bring to a boil and reduce until the mixture reaches a syrupy consistency.

  1. Sear the foie gras over high heat in a dry pan about 2 minutes per side until well caramelized.
  2. Place the warm compote in the center of a plate. Rest the foie gras on top.
  3. Drizzle the pomegranate syrup around each serving and garnish with the pomegranate seeds.
Notes: You can buy Foie gras at any specialty butcher shop.

Serves 6-8

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Grilled Beef Tenderloin Roast

My friend Amanda wanted to grill something for her husband’s birthday. She decided on doing a nice beef tenderloin (Filet Mignon) roast, so I wrote up this recipe for her. This is a fantastic way to serve grilled filet mignon to a lot of guests without having to spend all your time grilling individual steaks.

With this recipe you’ll only spend about ½ hr at the grill, and you can do the grilling up to 2 or 3 hrs ahead. The roast actually gets better after sitting for a while. Finish grilling just before your guests arrive, then relax and enjoy a glass of wine with them before serving.

You’ll need:

  • 1 Big-ass beef tenderloin (ours was about 5lbs)
  • Crushed Garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • Sea (or Kosher) Salt (do not use Iodized Salt)
  • Pepper
  • Cotton cooking twine
  • Instant-read thermometer
  • 1 daily edition of the San Francisco Chronicle (steal it from a neighbor who hasn't picked theirs up yet if you don't subscribe)
  • 6 - 8 sprigs of rosemary as long as the roast
If you're planning to serve this roast at say, 7pm, proceed as follows:

ASAP: Go buy the roast.

First, cut the silverskin off of the loin. Silverskin is a connective tissue that shrinks when cooked and will turn your roast into a ball if you don't remove it. It looks like fat, only tougher. Slide a knife under the silverskin, then pull up on the skin as you slide the knife down, removing the entire strip of silverskin as close to the meat as possible.

Fold the skinny end of the roast under so that your roast is an even thickness from end to end. Tie it up with cotton twine at 1" intervals (winding it around works fine).

Lay the roast on a sheet of wax paper or cling film. Rub the crushed garlic over the roast, then drizzle with olive oil all over and sprinkle liberally with salt & pepper. Pull the wax paper/cling film around the roast and wrap tightly. Let the roast sit out on the counter--you want it to be at room temp when you start grilling).

Heat up the grill to super hot by leaving all burners on high for about 10 minutes. Your grill will probably reach about 500f degrees.

When the grill is ready, unwrap the roast and bring it out. Place the roast on the grill and turn the heat down to low. Close the lid. After 5 minutes, turn the roast and brown another side. After 10 more minutes, brown the next side. Turn twice again, at 10 minute intervals, until the entire roast is nicely browned.

Insert an instant-read thermometer. You should now be somewhere between 110 - 120f degrees. If you are, then you're done. If you're over, well that's ok, we'll live. If you're under, turn and leave the roast another 5 minutes and check again.

Open up your Chronicle and pull out several full-size sheets of paper (one complete section usually works nicely). Lay your sprigs of rosemary across one corner where you’ll place the roast. When your roast reaches the desired temperature, pull it off of the grill and lay it on the rosemary. Lay additional sprigs on top of the raost. Roll the paper over the roast one complete turn then fold in the ends. Continue rolling TIGHTLY to the end. If you like, you can wrap this in aluminium foil to avoid any drips on your counter. Leave this out on the counter now until you're ready to serve. It'll continue cooking slightly, and will actually keep warm for several hours. Let the roast rest like this for a MINIMUM of 30 minutes.

6:30 or 7pm or whenever you're ready to serve:
Bring out the roast, and remove the string. Slice into 1" thick cuts, and plate. Serve it with some really yummy dijon mustard.

Note: the roast will be nice and pink in color all the way to the edge, but with a consistency and flavor closer to medium rare. If you have a guest who prefers their steak a little more well done you can finish their portion by grilling both sides back on the bbq.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Filet Mignon Roast and Potato-Leek Gratin with a Southern Comfort Mushroom Cream Sauc

For the Potato-Leek Gratin:

  • 1 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, thinly sliced (I used fingerlings, for coin-sized rounds)
  • 2 large leeks, white part & pale green parts, thinly sliced
  • 1/4c flour
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp ea butter and EVOO
  • 1c ea white wine and chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup ea heavy cream

For the mushrooms:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 12 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/3c Southern Comfort
  • Salt and White Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup heavy cream, warmed

For the Filet Mingon:

  • 1 1/2 to 3lb Filet Mignon Roast
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tbsp EVOO
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • S&P

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the potatoes, leeks, and olive oil in a mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with flour and gently toss to mix well. Transfer to a 9 by 9-inch baking dish and pat gently to form an even layer. Pour cream over mixture. Melt together the butter and EVOO. Add wine and stock, and bring to a simmer. Reduce by half, and then slowly pour over dish. Do not mix. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 1 ½ hours or until the potatoes are tender. Let cool completely, cover with plastic wrap, and chill. When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cut the potatoes into 4 even sections. Using a metal spatula, transfer the squares to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the tops are browned.

To prepare the mushrooms, melt the butter in a saucepan and sauté the mushrooms over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes or until lightly golden. Add the Southern Comfort, season with salt and white pepper, and stir well. Simmer to reduce liquids by half. Stir in the cream and keep warm.

To prepare the filet, tie with cooking twine, folding the small flap end under to create an even thickness. Combine Worcestershire Sauce, Dijon Mustard, EVOO and crushed garlic, and liberally coat the roast. Sear on all sides in a cast iron skillet, then transfer to a 500f degree oven to finish. Insert thermometer, and remove roast from oven when center reaches 120f degrees. Tightly wrap roast in several layers of newspapers and let sit for at least 30 minutes.

To serve: Unwrap and slice roast into equal sized portions approximately 1 1/2 inches thick. Place a potato and leek square on plate, top with a slice of filet mignon, then drizzle mushroom sauce over meat.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Virgin Cocktails

Ok, yes, I would have thought this would be sacrilege too. But I actually had a lot of fun playing bartender and mixing up these drinks for my daughter's 14th birthday.

Arnold Palmer
Iced tea and lemonade served over ice

Baby Bellini
Peach juice with grenadine and a splash of soda

Bloody Shame
Spicy V8 served over ice with celery stick

Coconut Kiss
Creamy cherry and coconut

Frozen Daiquiri
Strawberries pureed with pineapple juice and ice

Apple, orange, and cranberry juice poured over ice with a splash of grenadine, garnished with an orange slice and a cherry

Gentle Sea Breeze
Cranberry and pineapple juice shaken with ice, poured over crushed ice and served with a sprig of mint

Hannah Montana
Orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice shaken with ice, then poured into a glass with a splash of grenadine, topped up with ginger ale, and garnish with a cherry.

Innocent Passion
Passion fruit, cranberry, lemon soda served over ice with a cherry

Magic Island
Apple and grapefruit juice with coconut cream

Mock Champagne
A blend of fruit juice and ginger ale

Grapefruit juice shaken with lemon, lime and grenadine served over ice

Poco Mojito
Lime and mint masticated with simple syrup, served over ice with soda

Pomme Noir
Apple juice and cola

Safe Sex on the Beach
Cranberry and grapefruit juice with peach nectar, served over ice and garnished with a cherry

Ugly Virgin
Mandarin juice, grapefruit juice and lemonade

Virgin Mary
Tomato and cranberry juice, spiced up with lemon, Worcestershire, Tabasco, salt and pepper, served over ice and garnished with celery

Virgins in Manhattan
Cranberry and orange juice, with a good splash of cherry and lemon served over ice

Orange juice with lemon and grenadine, shaken, poured over ice and topped off with ginger ale

White Sangria
White grape and pink grapefruit juice with a splash of lime and soda, garnished with pink grapefruit slices

More complete recipes for all of the above can be found here

Friday, August 24, 2007

Cherry Smoked, Milk and Vanilla Braised Beef Short Ribs

LTNP (long time no post)! We held an amazing six-course Biodynamic Wine Dinner recently. Here was my favorite bit:

Cherry Smoked, Milk and Vanilla Braised Beef Short Ribs

With Thyme Jus, Clove Oil, Shaved Bittersweet Chocolate

This recipe consists of four steps:

  1. Smoke the ribs
  2. Braise ribs -- they'd be good if you stopped here, but I went a step further:
  3. Prepare Thyme Jus and Clove Oil
  4. Assemble
This recipe is for six. One Severino's two-bone rib was great for my big brother, but a bit much for my sister-in-law and me.

This recipe is not a quick fix for a Tuesday night! Smoking the ribs takes about 3 hours, and braising about the same. Those are, of course, do-ahead steps. For those of us who do not lead a life of luxury with plenty of time on our hands the smoking could be done two days ahead, the braising the day before, and then everything could be reheated and assembled just before serving.

1. Smoke the ribs

6 ea beef short ribs, 2-bone

Hot-smoke at approximately180º for 3 hours with cherry wood and the reserved thyme stems (from the Thyme Jus, below). Cool, and then hard-sear.

2. Braise the ribs

1 ½ qt veal stock
1 gal whole milk
3 ea vanilla beans, split and scraped
1 sachet (1 bu thyme, 1 bu sage, ½ cup black peppercorns, 2 sticks cinnamon, 2 bay leaves, 1 T juniper berries)
2 C sangiovese

Preheat an oven to 375 º. In a heavy-bottom, non-reactive braising pan, bring the milk, veal stock, and the sachet to a light simmer. Add the short ribs and the vanilla beans (shells and all), bone side down, cover tightly and bring the temperature of the liquid back up to a simmer. Place the short ribs in your pre-heated oven and cook for approximately 2 hours or until nearly falling off the bone. Drop the temperature to 225º, uncover and continue cooking (basting every 15 minutes) for another hour or so. When finished, carefully remove the short ribs and let cool to room temperature. Discard the sachet, reserving the leftover liquid—which should be the consistency of a thick cream sauce—if it's too thin, begin reducing the liquid until it reaches the desired consistency.

Reheat the short ribs in 400º oven for about 5 minutes when ready to serve.

The braising liquid here is fantastic, and could really stand on it's own. To serve, place a set of ribs over truffled mashed potatoes, and drizzle with the braising liquid. Or, continue with the preparation below as the ribs are braising...

3. Prepare the Thyme Jus and Clove Oil

Thyme Jus

3 C veal stock
1 bunch thyme, fresh picked, reserve the stems for smoking
½ ea shallot, finely julienned

Toast the thyme leaves very lightly on a medium heat in a heavy bottom sauce pan. Add the shallots and stir constantly for about one minute. Add the veal stock and bring to a very light simmer for about 20 min. Adjust seasoning with salt and pass through a chinois.

Clove oil:

2 T whole cloves, toasted
1 C grapeseed oil (or other neutral-tasting oil)

In a saucepan, toast the cloves until you begin to smell them quite heavily. Add the grapeseed oil and bring the temperature up to about 250º for 15 min. Transfer the contents to a blender and blend until the cloves appear fully decimated. Pass through a chinois and set aside.

4. Assembly

Place a small amount of the hot jus in a shallow bowl. Carefully place one of the two bone short ribs to the center of the bowl. Spoon a small amount of the braising sauce on top the meat; preventing it from dripping into the jus. Drizzle a little of the clove oil into the jus. Finish the whole dish with a little shaved bittersweet (about 75% cacao or higher) chocolate. Serve immediately.

We served this with a Mendocino Farms Redvine. Previous courses included Smoked Hamachi with a Ceago Sauvignon Blanc, a Lardo Carbonara with Grgich Hills Chardonnay, Pan-roasted Duck Breast with Mendocino Farms Syrah. We finished with a Hot Apple "Pie" served with an ice cream made from Humbolt Fog cheese, and a Bonny Doon Late Harvest Viognier. Tres yummy.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Crispy Duck Leg Confit with Potato, Fennel, and Leek Hash

In addition to the fantastic pork from TLC Ranch, Severinos Community Butcher also has some amazing duck. They've even gone to the trouble of confit so that I don't have to.

One lovely spring evening, I made a hash of fresh fennel, leeks, and diced potato served over a bed of peppercress with crispy duck leg confit and a few fresh tomatoes.

2 legs duck confit
2 medium potatoes, diced small
1/2 bulb fresh fennel, sliced thin
1 medium leek, sliced thin (only the white bits)
a couple handfulls of fresh peppercress
1 each, fresh gold and red tomatoes lightly tossed in herb vinaigrette*

You want as much of the duck fat from the confit as you can possibly get, so crisp those babies up first. Heat up a heavy-bottom pan and lay your confit legs in. Leave for a few minutes to crisp, then flip and crisp the other side. Remove from pan and keep warm.

While the confit legs are crisping, thinly slice the fennel and leeks, reserving some of the fennel greens. Wash the leeks thoroughly. Peel and dice the potatoes into small cubes. After removing the confit legs from the pan, add a bit of EVOO to evenly coat the bottom. Add the potatoes to the hot oil and fat and spread in a single layer. Sprinkle with kosher salt and don't touch them again until they get nice and crispy. Use a sharp spatula to release the crispy potatoes from the pan, then add the leeks and fennel. Toss and saute for a few minutes, until the fennel and leeks are limp and begin to brown. Deglaze the pan with a splash of white wine (just a bit, you don't want to lose the crispy).

Finely chop a few springs of the fennel greens. Cut the tomatoes into wedges and toss with the fennel in a light vinaigrette*.

Pile a handful of peppercress on the plate, top with the potato, fennel and leek hash and place a warm duck leg confit on top. Place the tomatoes around the plate, and serve.

Herb Vinaigrette

1 Tbsp EVOO
1 Tbsp White Wine
1 Tbsp Light vinegar (I use Rice Vinegar)
1 small clove garlic
1 tsp raw sugar
spring of fresh thyme, stems removed
spring of winter savory, stems removed
dash of kosher salt
dash of white pepper

Place in blender and blend on high for 30 seconds or so.

French Herbed BBQ Ribs

Severino's Community Butcher bring the world's best pork to the Mountain View Farmer's Market (as well as a few other tasty meats). Last weekend, I picked up a rack of baby back ribs that had more flavor than anything I've ever tried before. Rather than ruining the flavor of the pork with a thick tomatoey BBQ sauce, I opted for a fresh spring herb dry rub. The result was fantastic, by Trisha's reckoning the best ribs she'd ever had.

For the Dry Rub:
  • 2 Tbsp Herbs de Provence (Or some mixture of thyme with rosemary, marjoram, basil, bay leaf and lavender)
  • 1 Tbsp raw sugar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika

Put herbs with salt into a mortar and grind until fine. Add the remaining ingredients.

Separate the rack into individual ribs. Put the ribs and the rub in a ziplock bag, seal, and shake to coat.

Spread out the ribs onto a shallow flat pan (I used my paella pan) and cook low & slow over indirect heat for a few hours, turning occassionally. I cooked my in the center of my 4-burner BBQ grill with only the outside burners on. Ribs are done when the meat pulls away from the end of the bone and the rub forms a nice crispy coating, about 3 hrs at 220f degrees.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Creole Seasoning

Move over Zatarain's, this creole seasoning will knock your socks off!

In a large stone mortar, combine the following ingredients:

• 2 tablespoons onion powder
• 2 tablespoons garlic powder
• 2 tablespoons dried oregano leaves
• 2 tablespoons dried sweet basil
• 1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
• 1 tablespoon black pepper
• 1 tablespoon white pepper
• 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
• 1 tablespoon celery seed
• 5 tablespoons sweet paprika (or, if using hot paprika, omit the cayenne)

Grind with pestle until very fine. Save in air-tight container.

Chicken Creole

  • 1/4 cup EVOO + Butter

  • 1 medium yellow onion, small dice

  • 1 medium red onion, small dice

  • 1 green bell pepper, small dice

  • 1 red bell pepper, small dice

  • 1 yellow bell pepper, small dice

  • 1 poblano chili, small dice

  • 2 ribs celery

  • 6 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 quarts chicken stock*

  • 24oz crushed tomatoes (if using fresh tomatoes, run them through a food mill)

  • 1 6-ounce cans tomato paste

  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons Creole seasoning**

  • 3 tablespoons Tiger Sauce (optional)

  • 6 cloves of roasted garlic

  • 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (Tabasco or Crystal)

  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 teaspoon salt (wait—if your Creole seasoning contains salt you will only add adjustments at the end)

  • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme (to taste—if your Creole seasoning has a lot of thyme in it, you may not need much)

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

  • 3 pounds chicken

  • Flakey biscuits (either make your own, or use Pillsbury packaged stuff)

*Making your own stock is also a great way to prepare the chicken. While it’s simmering, you can prepare the Creole sauce.

  • 1 Whole cut up fryer, including gizzards and neck pieces (you may omit the liver if you prefer)

  • 3 Carrots

  • 3 ribs celery, with tops

  • 1 onion

  • Fresh herbs: thyme, parsley, bay leaves, oregano, basil

  • Black peppercorns, cracked

Sear the chicken on all sides (you can fry the pieces in hot oil in a cast iron pan, or sear them on the BBQ grill). As the chicken sears, add it to a tall stock pot along with the carrots, celery, and onion. If you like, you can prepare the herbs in a Sachet d'épices along with the black pepper, otherwise just throw them all into the pot as well. Fill the pot with enough water to cover everything, and let simmer for at least an hour (but 4 hours would be better).

After at least an hour (but preferably 4 hours), strain the stock (reserving the chicken) into a contain and pop it into the fridge for an hour. The stock is going to contain a LOT of fat, which will be easy to skim off once it cools.

Discard the herbs and vegetables. Pull the chicken from the bone, discarding the skin and gristle.

Creole Sauce

Sweat the onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic in the EVOO/butter in a large covered pot until tender, about 15 minutes.

Add one quart of stock and all of the remaining ingredients except the chicken. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer the sauce for 30 minutes. You can prepare up to this step and keep up to a day in the fridge.

You’ll need to sear your chicken now if you did not prepare your own stock. You can use whole pieces with skin removed, or boneless chicken (thighs are recommended if you use boneless chicken). Add the chicken to the sauce, then top with uncooked biscuits. Cover and simmer an additional 45 minutes.

To serve, carefully scoop out a biscuit from the top and spoon the Chicken Creole around it. Garnish with fresh parsley.