I’ve always wondered what exactly is French cuisine and what differentiates it from Italian cuisine as wine and cheese form a major part of both styles and both have a very rich and subtle pallet. After a little research, it turns out that during medieval times French cuisine was highly influenced by Italian cuisine and as centuries went by, it slowly got rid of its italian influence and developed its own unique style.
I wanted to try one of the classic french dishes called Poulet a L’estragon which is Chicken with Tarragon and White Wine sauce.
(Recipe taken from Nigella Kitchen)
Here is what you’ll need:
2 teaspoons garlic oil (or regular olive oil with 1tsp minced garlic)
2 fat scallions or 4 skinny ones, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon freeze-dried or fresh tarragon
2 chicken breast fillets, skinless and boneless
1/3 cup vermouth or white wine
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
Fresh white pepper, to grind over
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon, plus a pinch more for sprinkling
- Heat the garlic oil in a frying pan or Dutch oven that has a lid and in which the chicken breasts will fit pretty snugly. Add the scallions, stir, then sprinkle in the freeze-dried tarragon, stir again and cook them in the garlic oil for a minute, stirring some more as they cook.
- Put the chicken fillets into the pan, curved side down, and cook for 5 minutes, watching the scallions don’t burn. If they look like they’re beginning to, scrape them from the pan and let them sit on the chicken pieces.
- Turn over the breasts, and add the white wine (or vermouth). Let the wine bubble up, then add the salt. Put the lid on, turn the heat down low and leave it to simmer gently for 10 minutes. Check the chicken is cooked through by making a small cut into the thickest part and ensuring the juices run clear – if not, simmer for a few minutes longer and check again.
- Remove the chicken breasts to warmed plates. Bring the remaining liquid to a boil, add the cream and stir well, then sprinkle in the fresh tarragon, stir again and give a good grind of white pepper.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken breasts, and give a final scattering of tarragon to serve.
Needless to say, the recipe turned out to be pretty awesome, my husband couldn’t believe I made this at home.;) The beauty of this recipe is that it has the perfect balance of flavors with such minimal ingredients and each playing a subtle role in bringing out its richness. And as Nigella suggests, relish the remaining gravy by scooping out every last bit of it with some nice fresh French Loaf, I loved it. This is definitely one of those dishes which makes me feel that I can never have enough of it. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did..:)
If you are a person who simply HATES going to the gym, then this article is just for you. I am one such lazy bum who loves to eat and the thought of working out makes me sick. So I soon realized, I’d have to make some changes to my diet inorder to stay healthy.
As you all know by now, that my husband is VERY health conscious (which is not a bad thing..:P), but because of him my eating habits have improved a lot and I am very picky about the stuff that we buy from the supermarket. I thought of sharing what I have learnt with you. Here are a few things to note when you go to a grocery store:
- ALWAYS check the food label. People generally look only at calories and fats but sometimes ignore the sodium content. Most packaged food have very high sodium content to make it last longer. High sodium is very harmful for our health and can cause weight gain as it aids the body in water retention in addition to causing other health problems in the long run.
- Not all fats are bad. For example avocado and peanut butter are food items with high fat content, but their high nutrient value makes them good for your body. So don’t cross out items from your food list without completely knowing their health benefits.
- Another important thing to be noted is low fat doesn’t necessarily imply that it is healthy for you. Food companies use this as a selling strategy. So most low fat food items have high sugar content (specially observe on low-fat yogurts and other similar items). Low fat content is mostly compensated with either sugar or chemicals. Next time you go to a grocery store compare the labels of the low fat and the regular ones.
Me being such a big foodie, I’ve made some easy changes to my diet without essentially sacrificing anything that I absolutely love to eat.
- Everything in small quantities is good for you. If there is a food item which you know is not that healthy for you like pizzas or burgers or pork sausages, have them in very small quantities. If you don’t have the willpower to stop yourself from having more, then make sure to have the next meal light like only greens or soup, which is what I do..;).
- Keep a tab on your eating out habits. I try to eat out only on weekends when I let go of myself and fulfil my cravings but I compensate by having salads or other low calorie food during the week.
- If you are hungry at work or in between meals, eat fruits, cottage cheese, yogurt, nuts or just have a cup of soy milk which will fill you up without adding unnecessary calories.
- Switch items in your diet for healthier alternatives while satisfying your cravings at the same time.
- Pick chicken sausages with no pork casing.
- Choose thin crust and better still whole wheat while picking up pizza bases.
- Pastas are usually high in gluten content, even the whole wheat ones have it. There are other alternatives which taste equally good like brown rice or other whole grain pastas.
So guys, these are small changes which can make a big difference in your overall health.
So Eat Healthy, Stay Healthy and above all enjoy being Lazy..;).