Tag Archives: Good Housekeeping – All Colour Party Cookbook

Chicken Veronique


I remember that I have made this recipe for the first and only time in London, when we were waiting for a guest. This chicken Veronique seemed tasty, exquisite and elegant for a party. And it proved it was. I found it in “Good Housekeeping All Colour Party Cookbook” 1992. I really love this recipe. It is fit for a king and I would eat it often. If you really want to make an impression on somebody, try this out for a romantic dinner or not. And prepare your nose and your tongue for an indulgence. Because you’re worth it!

Chicken Veronique

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 50 g (2 oz) butter
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon (or 2 tsp dried tarragon)
  • finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, skinned and crushed
  • 1,5 kg (3 lb) chicken
  • 300 ml (1/2 pint) chicken stock (or water, but it won’t taste the same)
  • 150 ml (1/4 pint) dry white wine
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) double cream
  • 175 g (6 oz) green grapes, halved and seeded
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Method:

  • Soften the butter in a bowl with the tarragon, lemon rind, garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Put half the mixture in the cavity of the bird.
  • Truss the chicken with the thread or fine string. Spread the remainder of the mixture over the outside of the bird (especially the legs), then stand on a rack in a roasting tin. Pour the chicken stock under the rack.
  • Roast the chicken in the oven at 200°C/ 400°F, Gas Mark 6 for about 1 1/4 hours or until the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a skewer. Turn the bird and baste every 15 minutes or so during roasting.
  • Carve the chicken into neat portions, then arrange on a warmed serving platter, cover and keep warm.
  • Make the sauce. Blot off any excess fat from the roasting tin with absorbent  kitchen paper, then place the tin on top of the cooker. Pour the wine, then boil to reduce to about half the original volume, stirring and scraping the tin to dislodge sediment.
  • Stir in the cream and continue simmering and stirring until thick, smooth and glossy. Add the grapes and heat through, then taste and adjust seasoning.
  • Pour a little of the sauce over the chicken, arranging the grapes as attractively as possible on each portion. Serve immediately, with the remaining sauce and grapes handed separately in a sauceboat, accompanied by crisply cooked mange-touts or French beans and a simple dish of plain boiled rice. Don’t forget about a chilled dry white wine. 🙂

Bon appetite!

Rafinat


Sunt unele retete care pur si simplu ma entuziasmeaza numai ca scriu despre ele. Felul cum arata, mirosul, gustul sunt speciale, irezistibile si deosebite si imi dau o senzatie de incantare totala, de parca l-as fi apucat pe Dumnezeu de picior. Asa este si in cazul de fata. Sau poate vorbesc asa si pentru ca le-am tinut minte de bune ce au fost, sau poate am muncit mai mult la ele, sau poate incantarea celor din jur a fost altfel, nu stiu. Cert este ca am retete care imi raman mai pregnant in minte decat altele, si aceasta de acum e una dintre ele. Am cules-o dintr-o carte de bucate din care au mai fost si vor mai fi alte retete aici, pe blog: “Good Housekeeping All Colour Party Cookbook” 1992.

E o reteta frantuzeasca, rafinata, o delicatesa din care, cu siguranta, ceri inca o portie. Si merge fantastic cu vin alb. Daca ai dorinta sa intri in bucatarie sa te apuci sa gatesti asa ceva, nu iti va parea rau pentru nici un minut petrecut acolo. Si nici celor cu care vei imparti asa o masa demna de un rege. Soare, daca doresti! 😉 Cum de nu ar fi asa, din moment ce este acompaniata de un sos facut din smantana, struguri si vin alb. Asta e cireasa de pe tort.
Nu stiu povestea acestei retete, dar sa zicem ca cele care poarta numele de Veronica vor fi acum fericite, pentru ca exista o reteta care le poarta numele, si este un nume foarte frumos.

Pui Veronique

4 portii

Ingrediente:

  • 50 g unt la temperatura camerei (80-82 % grasime, nesarat daca gasesti)
  • 1 lingura tarhon proaspat, tocat marunt (sau 2 lingurite tarhon uscat – imi place foarte mult aceasta planta atat de frumos mirositoare)
  • coaja rasa de la o lamaie
  • 1 capatana de usturoi, zdrobit
  • 1,5 kg pui
  • 300 ml supa de pui (sau apa dar nu e acealsi lucru, nu recomand ca ii ia din savoare)
  • 150 ml vin alb sec
  • 150 ml smantana grasa
  • 175 struguri albi, taiati pe jumatate si fara seminte
  • sare
  • piper

Preparare:

  • Freaca intr-un bol untul impreuna cu tarhonul, coaja rasa de lamaie, usturoiul, sarea si piperul. Pune jumatate din aceasta crema in interioul puiului.
  • Leaga picioarele puiului cu o sfoara si apoi fa-i un masaj peste tot pe dinafara, cu celalalta jumatate de crema, insistand pe copanele. Pune apoi puiul pe o tava de friptura cu gratar si dedesubt toarna supa de pui.
  • Lasa puiul la cuptor la 200°C/ 400°F, nr.  6 la cuptorul cu gaz pentru cca 1 1/4 ora. Intoarce puiul si pune cu o lingura  supa de pui peste el la fiecare cca 15 minute  in timpul coacerii.
  • Scoate apoi puiul, taie-l in portii egale si aranjeaza-le pe un platou cald. Acopera bine ca sa se mentina cald.
  • Acum treci la prepararea sosului. Indeparteaza cu o servetele grasimea de deasupra supei de pui, apoi pune tava pe aragaz. Toarna vinul si lasa sa fiarba toata compozitia pana se reduce cantitatea la jumatate. Amesteca din cand in cand.
  • Adauga smantana si continua sa fierbi si sa amesteci pana cand sosul se ingroasa, devine cremos si stralucitor. Adauga strugurii, lasa inca putin pe foc si pune dupa gust sare si piper. Acum parca iti vine sa mananci dar mai ai putintica rabdare.
  • Toarna acum putin sos peste puiul din tava calda, aranjeaza cat mai estetic strugurii si serveste imediat. Pentru mai mult sos, serveste-te din sosiera. Acompaniaza acest fel de mancare cu mange-touts sau pastai de fasole frantuzesti fierte, orez simplu fiert (as opta pentru basmati sau orez cu bob lung) si neaparat cu vin alb sec, rece. Petrecere frumoasa!

Si pofta buna!

Poires Belle Helene


In the Orthodox countries like mine, we celebrate Saints Constantin and his mother Elena on the 21st of May, so the persons named like that are phoned/or told “Happy name’s day!”. As I am Elena, I was told “Happy name’s day!” a lot yesterday, in fact, most of the day I spent it in the phone answering and talking. It is a traditional custom to do that, or to visit friends or relatives to wish them the same. I had visitors, of course, a couple of friends and I had a nice day. A big surprise expected me when all my colleagues from a previous job wished me in chorus on the phone “Happy name’s day!”. I could hear them crying. That was so nice of them and totally unexpected.

Because of this beautiful name I thought of a recipe that it bears it and I came with a very special one that I made in London for the first time, years ago.  I made it at home again, just once, for another special occasion and my mom had the chance to eat something fine, elegant, exquisite and delicious. And not just her.

I have found the recipe in “Good Housekeeping – All Colour Party Cookbook”, 1992 at the “Stunning Desserts” chapter. Stunning it is. But at home I was not entirely satisfied with what I had so I searched on the Internet and found another recipe and now I am presenting a  mix from both. In my humble opinion this is one of the best recipe I have eaten and the feeling can’t be described. When I talk about food, about the recipe I have tried I feel them again, with all that it comes along. A good food gives you something special, a happiness and a smile on your face. If I may say so, it is as satisfying as making love.

Poires Belle Helene

Ingredients:

  • 4 cooking pears (preferably Conference)
  • 50 g (2 oz) sugar
  • 900 ml (1 1/2 pints) water
  • lemon rind and lemon juice from a whole lemon
  • 150 g dark chocolate, broken into pieces (high quality and at least 70 % cocoa)
  • 3 tbsp orange-flavoured liqueur or Poire William liqueur
  • 1 or 2 scoops vanilla bean ice cream per person (optional)
  • a few almond cookies (thin and crisp, no matter what shape you choose, or more authentic “tuiles aux amandes”)
  • 200 ml double cream
  • vanilla sugar

Method:

  • Put the sugar, water, lemon rind and lemon juice in a deep pot and heat gently, without stirring, until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Peel the pears quickly (to prevent discoloration), leaving the stalks on. Cut out the cores from the bottom and level them so that the pears will stand upright.
  • Submerge the pears if possible in the pot and simmer with the lid on for 20 minutes on medium heat or until tender. Drain the pear, cover and keep the juice. Let them both cool down.
  • Make the chocolate sauce. Bring the pear juice to a boil in a small pot and allow it to evaporate until half of the volume is left. Discard the lemon rind from the syrup. Place the small pot in a bigger one, half full of water (“Bain Marie”) and place over medium heat without allowing the water to boil. Cut the chocolate into small pieces and melt it in the warm pear syrup, stirring until smooth and shiny. Add Poire William or orange-flavoured liqueur for a special twist. And yes, you can dip a finger to taste. ONCE. 😉
  • In another bowl, whip double cream with vanilla sugar to make crème Chantilly.
  • To assemble, place one pear in each dish, upright. Add 1 or 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream. Pour the chocolate sauce on the pear and ice cream. Add crème Chantilly. Stick 1 or 2 almonds thins in the ice cream.
  • Serve immediately. I know you can’t wait to taste. But wait: there is somebody missing. Yes, your loved ones.

Bon appetite!