Kitchen Therapy


Chicken with Peppers

I made this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe last week!
I was so impressed with myself!
(I usually complete the recipes on the day they are due!)
And boy was I glad I did this one early!
Today, Friday, is the last day of school for Term 3 in New South Wales, Australia.
The kids now have two weeks off, before going back for one last term of school for 2012.

We live across the road from the school…


I took this photo of the school from our driveway.

So after hanging out on the oval for a while after school, all the boys head to our place!
Hot, sweaty and dirty from playing sports.
Thirsty and hungry.
They take over the house.
And there’s never less than 5 of them.


It’s become a Friday thing.
And to be honest… I enjoy it.
They leave a trail of grass, dirt and food scraps behind them, but it’s nothing a quick vacuum and mop can’t fix!

Today, being the last day of school, meant most of us mum’s also stayed back at the school, chatting while the kids played. So if I didn’t complete this recipe last week, I would have written it off today and missed out.

And what a shame that would have been!

This dish was delicious!

The whole family loved it!


I will definitely be making this again… and again… and again…

It’s not often a dish comes along that we all love.

I am looking forward to reading what the rest of the French Fridays with Dorie group thought of this one!


















Easy Roast Chicken for Lazy People

This week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe was Cinnamon-Crunch Chicken.

I seemed to fixate on the word “crunch”.
It sent me down a weird and wonderful path of word association.
Crunchy, crispy, golden, succulent, seasoned, roasted chicken.
I couldn’t get this image out of mind.

I craved it.
I wanted it.
I could taste it!

Speculoos became my scape goat.
I had no idea what they were.
Or LU Cinnamon Sugar Spice Biscuits or LU Bastogne.

How was I supposed to find them when I didn’t even know what they looked like?!
My argument felt incredibly persuasive.

It was decided!
I would find another chicken recipe from Dorie that would satisfy my cravings.
I was scanning for the word roasted…
Then I saw it…
Roast Chicken for Les Paresseux.
I read the first line in Dorie’s introduction of the recipe, “les paresseux are lazy people, and this is a recipe for them”.
I was on a winner!

Some weeks I want to get lost in the complexity of a recipe.
That’s what lead me to make Movida’s Chorizo Bomba and the Sweet and Salty Layer Cake from Baked.

But the last few week’s I’ve spent the little free time I’ve had, sewing costumes for my 11 year old’s school concert.
I need to make it clear here, I don’t usually sew and my contribution was small compared to what other’s were doing.
But I found myself spending any free time I had doing this.

The kids had a great time while we sewed..

But it was really starting to wear me out!

So all I wanted was to make something easy, familiar and comforting!
And this recipe hit the spot.

I seasoned the chicken inside and out. (Dorie suggests salt and pepper however I used Vegeta, it’s a vegetable stock powder that Yugoslav’s seem to love and use in everything! So throwing in a bit of my own tradition in this recipe, I rubbed it all over the bird!)
I then shoved a head of garlic cut in half, a sprig of rosemary, thyme and oregano inside the cavity.
Placed the chicken on top of a couple slices of bread that I placed in the middle of the oiled roasting dish.
Around the chicken I threw the other half of the garlic head, another sprig of rosemary, thyme and oregano and a few lugs of oil along with 2/3 cup of water.

In the oven it went for 45 minutes at 450 degrees F.

Dorie suggests you add potatoes, carrots and shallots at the end of this time.
I went with our favourite mix of potatoes, pumpkin, red capsicums and spanish onions.

Another 45 minutes and it was done!

And oh my goodness, it was so tasty!

It was exactly what I had envisaged and what I was craving!
It was also incredibly easy to make and I even got to start reading my latest neuropsych book with the free time I had!

The French Fridays with Dorie group made Roast Chicken for Les Paresseux before I joined the group, so I was glad to catch up on a recipe I had missed! A recipe I will definitely make again and again!

And I can’t wait to check out what the group thought of the Cinnamon-Crunch Chicken!



Chicken B’stilla

I love cookbooks! I love to read them, take in the photos and then stack them lovingly on the bookshelf, full of good intentions to return soon and often!

But if I’m to be honest, I don’t return soon enough or often enough. And if I’m to be really honest, when I decide to make something from one of my beloved books, it’s usually something I am comfortable with. You know… we all have our comfort zones. Our grooves… Okay! Our ruts! I admit it! As much as I like to think I’m open minded and expose myself to new experiences, my initial reaction is “play it safe!”

Now that’s no way to live life!

And that’s why I joined French Fridays With Dorie. I knew myself enough to know that I would follow through on a commitment and I would cook recipes that I would normally dismiss.
Recipes like this one!

A “sweetly spiced” chicken pie which has “as it does in Morocco, a dusting of cinnamon sugar over the crust.” Ummm… no thank you!

But I made a commitment…

So I found myself marinating the chicken in onions and spices.


Boiling and simmering ’till “falling-off-the-bone tender.” Then whisking, reducing and thickening some more.


Spooning into stacked and buttered filo sheets.


Then topping with some more stacked and buttered filo sheets before tucking the edges in “as though you were making a bed.”


Baking ’till golden brown and serving warm.


Yes, I skipped the dusting of cinnamon sugar on the top (what can I say?! I really wanted the kids and husband to eat it!).
I also skipped the almonds (my daughter is allergic).

The final result… everyone loved it! Even my 3 year old!

The only issue we had was that it was so rich and flavourful we couldn’t eat too much of it so I had to make sure we had other bits and pieces to fill up on.

Best of all… feeling amazingly good about myself for stepping out of my comfort zone!

Thanks French Fridays With Dorie!