For you newcomers, "chez nous" in French means "at our house", "in our home", "anything to do with US". Well, that's loosely translated, but you get the gist. Also, for you newcomers, I spent a large part of my childhood in France, and often wish I was still there. There are many 'french-isms' that find their way into my vocabulary and over the many years of living back in the States, I've learned to think-before-I-talk. . . that is, translate before I talk. Otherwise, I get weird looks, strange eyes, and outright questions. When I get the outright questions, then I have to answer them! That's the hardest part, frankly.
This week, the kids headed back to school and we moms headed back to routine as we know it. Carpooling, lunch-making, and scheduling every minute. Just knowing that this time of life is just blip on the screen of an entire lifetime helps us cheerfully fulfill our tasks. At least, that's what we console ourselves with when our 'self' tends to interfere with our progress! Perhaps I'm just speaking for myself, but I venture to say that I speak for many more than myself!
We also had a couple of family birthdays . . . my niece's was today and my cousin's baby's was Tuesday. (My cousin's baby's was her 5th, but from the sound of her blog post, I think I should still call her 'baby'.)
We spent our Saturday as many American families did today with sports and social activities. I was the only 'dud' in this household who stayed home most of the day and was just here. "Just Here" means I was doing laundry, cleaning, and deciding what to add to our nutritive value today! It certainly doesn't mean that I was sitting in the lawn chair, next the –non-existent—pool, eating bonbons, and having specialty drinks delivered to my chaise-longue! Oooh, la, la. . . that would be the life. . . Or would it?
It was a gorgeous here in the NW today and after many days in a row of saying, "I wish I had a chaise longue!" I decided to buy one! I didn't buy it today, but with the temperature hovering around 70, I could sure envision myself laying outside with a book and just soaking up some Vitamin D! I ended up helping Emma and was only overly warm while helping her move her furniture around. She has refinished some pieces and is trying to cram more into her tiny space. I think I've helped her understand that for more to enter, some must exit!
Dinner ended up being a new recipe, yet very simple. I hope you put this one in your "quick-to-fix", "after-sports", or "just-because-I-don't-want-to-cook-but-have-to" file. Our local market, of which there are four locations now, does a wonderful job with their Culinary Resource Center. I will add that I don't shop for everything at this store. . . it is cost-prohibitive! I will say that one thing I ALWAYS buy there are the cold cuts because they taste fresher and more appetizing than anywhere else. If you have to eat cold cuts, they should be the best! (and I must also say, that I am so reminded of my European heritage when I'm there. . . they wrap with care, they choose the best cuts, they let you sample. . . LOVE THEM there!)
So, last Sunday after church, when I stopped by before my afternoon nap (yeah, like that ACTUALLY happens!) to stock up for the first week of school and the ensuing sandwich-making, they were doing a demo of this Braised Chicken with Sausage and Tomatoes. Now that my kids are older, I tend to send them off to different parts of the store to pick up the 'usuals' since they know what I buy and how to compare costs. Aly comes back with her assigned purchases and a taste of this heavenly chicken dish and the recipe printed off on 3-hole punched paper! How convenient is that? It's especially convenient today since I found out that they are selling notebooks with dividers to hold those 3-hole-punched recipes!
This is what I made tonight. It was easy, it was tasty, and there were left-overs—always a plus in my book. (I more-than-doubled the recipe though so there were plenty of leftovers!) So I share this recipe with you in the hopes that you will like it too. It IS copyrighted through Town & Country Markets, WA, so if you share it, please give credit!
Braised Chicken with Sausage & Cherry Tomatoes
- Olive oil
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 links andouille sausage, cut into ½-inch thick slices
- ¾ pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 2 pts. Cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ c. dry white wine
- 3 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- ½ c. coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Lightly coat bottom of pan with olive oil. Working in batches if necessary, brown chicken and sausage. Set aside in a large bowl, Add mushrooms to pan and season lightly with salt (if brown bits on bottom of pan look like they will burn, add a few tablespoons of water and stir.) Saute until mushrooms release juices, then start to brown. Add wine and garlic. Bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of pan. Pour mushrooms and wine into bowl with chicken, Wipe pan with a paper towel and return to medium-high heat. Add a little more olive oil and half of tomatoes. Stir occasionally, just until tomato skins start to blister and brown. Add remaining tomatoes and chicken mixture. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Stir in parsley. Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve immediately with crusty bread.
- If you prefer chicken breasts to chicken thighs, then use chicken breasts!
- I used Andouille Sausage with Cajun seasoning made by Uli because I'm lucky that way, living in the NW and shopping at Central Market. Use what you can find locally. If you can't find anything close locally, simply find a heavily spiced sausage and don't tell anyone what you were REALLY hoping to use for the recipe. What would they know anyway?
- If you really can't fathom using wine even for cooking, use chicken broth. And God Bless You.
- If you mistake cilantro for flat-leaf parsley, PLEASE don't substitute. You'll know the mistake by the fragrance. Really.
- If you have no crusty bread, make rice or roasted potatoes, and call it day. God did the same after he made Man and we've survived, lo, these many years. . . and with blessings.
Enjoy. Once. Twice. And many times over.