Sunday, July 17, 2011

Herbes Provencal Chicken & Stuffed Tomatoes

Where did the weekend go?! I swear just a minute ago it was Friday afternoon! Something possessed me to start some spring cleaning (yes, I know it is July already) and that quickly took over what was supposed to be a relatively relaxing weekend. We did manage to complete a pretty deep cleaning of the rooms on the top floor of the town house (our bedroom and bathroom, the guest room and bathroom, and my office) and amassed a pretty impressive pile of stuff to donate to Goodwill. Next week I will tackle the middle floor, which means the kitchen. I need to be ruthless about getting rid of some gadgets... we have so many little gizmos that we never use but that I remain attached to! Many of them were purchased specifically for a dinner club meal and I have fond memories of both the hunt for the item and of the meal it eventually produced.

I did make time today though to fire up the oven, despite the oppressive mid-Atlantic summer heat (thank goodness for our effective central air conditioner!) and cook up some delicious food. Richie discovered that the remaining peaches in the crisper drawer were quickly rotting when he reached in for one to top his oatmeal this morning, so I knew I needed to dispatch with those today. So far, I'd made peach crisp, peach buckle, peach cobbler - southern style, peach cobbler - Texas style (yes, there is a difference), and peach muffins. The only thing left to make was peach pie!

I followed the recipe in the Cook's Illustrated Baking Illustrated cookbook, all the way down to the lattice top - a first for me. I was pleased with the outcome, both aesthetically and in taste. I also froze another quart bag of peaches, so we will have some to enjoy come winter, but it was still sad to slice up the last of them for the year.

In the shuffle of spring cleaning, I found a little cookbook I had forgotten I had - Savoring the Herbal Flavors of Provence from the Madison Herb Society. I'm trying to make a point of cooking with more herbs, since our patio garden is growing so fabulously this year and this I was excited to discover that I was growing almost every herb the recipes called for. Since I'd already heated up the house with the oven for the pie, I figured I might as well continue the craziness and make a roast chicken with fresh thyme, lemons, shallots, and dried herbes provencal (from Penzey's Spices, of course). Along with the shallots, I tossed in some red potatoes. The sauce was a little more fancy than I usually do when making a simple Sunday roast chicken, but it was really tasty and worth the extra effort.

I also had some heirloom tomatoes from the most recent CSA and decided to try stuffed roasted tomatoes, utilizing some of the basil, parsley, more thyme, and a scallion (all from the patio garden). I didn't have the Gruyere cheese it called for, so I just substituted some shredded co-jack. Quite a different flavor profile, but my cheese palate is not very discriminating so I thought it was great.


Erin said...

We are in the midst of "Spring" cleaning ourselves. Doesn't it feel great to get rid of the clutter?
How you had time to make that gorgeous peach pie - I am impressed:)

Jaime said...

Baking is how I procrastinate! :)

Jess said...

Jaime, what's the difference between southern peach cobbler and Texas peach cobbler? You've piqued my interest! Also, your pie makes me really excited to have my oven back and I can't wait to bake something with all my freshly picked fruit.

Jaime said...

Southern peach cobbler has fruit on the bottom and a biscuit-like topping. Texas peach cobbler has a pancake-like dough and the fruit gets sprinkled on the top, though it sinks to the bottom while baking. Both are delicious!


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