Being of a certain age, the Rolling Stones are my equivalent to Baby Mozart, so sometimes I listen to their music and cook to calm down…dinner for six with Vickie Lester

John Pasche designed the "Tongue and Lip Design" logo in 1971 for The Rolling Stones. This is a tank top worn in performance on the Sticky Fingers tour.
John Pasche designed the “Tongue and Lip Design” logo in 1971 for The Rolling Stones. This is a tank top worn in performance on the Sticky Fingers tour.


Braised Chicken with Olives, Carrots, and Preserved Lemon:

1 chicken cut into pieces and 4 thighs

8 carrots

1 large onion

2 handfuls of Castlevetrano olives with pits

8 sundried tomatoes in olive oil

Enough chicken stock to cover the chicken (2 cups-ish)

Enough olive oil to barely coat the bottom of a braising pan (just a smidge or your chicken won’t brown)

1 quarter of a preserved lemon

A couple of fresh thyme sprigs

1 tsp. minced rosemary

1 tbs. cumin seed, ground with salt using a mortar and pestle

Optional garlic, 1-2 cloves

Salt and pepper to taste

Brown the chicken pieces in a cast iron, or heavy braising pot. Set aside on a platter, add a little more oil to the pot and toss in one chopped onion, the ground cumin seeds and salt, scrape up the brown bits of chicken stuck to the pan (the juice from the onion will release them and they will enrich the flavor). When the onions begin to become translucent add the roughly chopped carrots. Sautee for another minute then put the chicken back into the pot along with the olives, sun dried tomatoes, the preserved lemon (smashed with the back of spoon), garlic, thyme sprigs, rosemary and pepper. Cover with the chicken stock and simmer on low flame with the lid on for 45 minutes, remove the lid and simmer 45 minutes more until the chicken is very tender and almost falling (but not quite) off the bone, and the stock has reduced by a quarter. Serve on rice with a pear, avocado, romaine lettuce, pecan, and blue cheese/feta cheese salad.

Apple Berry Cherry Cinnamon Crumble

6 flavorful apples, like Honeycrisp, or Fuji, peel on, core removed, chopped into half inch bits.

1 to 2 cups of pitted tart pie cherries, or, one drained 14.5 oz. can of pitted pie cherries 😉

1/2 pint raspberries

1 big plum, peel on, pit removed, chopped into half inch bits

Juice of one lemon

2 tbs. corn starch

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 tsp. Ceylon cinnamon

Combine the fruit (it comes to about 2 quarts) in a big bowl with the lemon juice, corn starch, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Butter two pie pans liberally, now, in a separate bowl make the crumble/streusel topping.

1 stick of unsalted butter

1 cup flour

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/3 cup sliced almonds

1/4 cup instant oatmeal

1 tsp. cinnamon

Blend everything with your hands and squish between your fingers until it’s a nice crumbly texture. Place the fruit mixture in the two pie pans and top with the crumble. Bake for 40 minutes (until the topping is crisp and the fruit is bubbling) in a 375º oven. Some people serve it hot, some people serve it cooled, that’s completely up to you, it’s delicious either way, especially with a scoop of your favorite ice cream on top, like salted caramel, or vanilla bean, or…

Bon appétit, V






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  1. Heather in Arles
    November 21, 2015

    I worked on our little garden plot all day and am so good tired. Can I come over to your house for dinner please? This all sounds delicious. And the chicken recipe is quite similar to one that I love from The Provence Cookbook by Patricia Wells, a must-own if you do not already!
    Bon Weekend!

    • November 21, 2015

      Our door is always open! We are readying for El Niño…shoving roof tiles back into place…diverting gutters into rain barrels…and then there is the feast day…which I haven’t readied for at all 😉 .

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