Chicken with Walnuts and Lemon, from the Dordogne

Chicken with Walnuts and Lemon, from the Dordogne

Recipe excerpt from:
Plat du Jour: French Dinners Made Easy
by Susan Herrmann Loomis

Serves 4 to 6
Equipment: large heavy skillet with a lid, tongs
Preparation Time: 10 minutes if the chicken is in pieces; 20 if not
Cooking Time: 40 minutes max
Difficulty Level: simple

This is a dish from a farm in the Dordogne, where the walnuts are sweet, fat, and buttery tasting, and they make a perfect complement to poultry. This is the kind of dish that you settle down to with comfort and anticipation, because it’s got all the right elements, from cloves of garlic bursting with their sweet flavor to the golden chicken and walnuts and the tang of lemon that lifts the dish out of the ordinary. Serve this with a lovely Chardonnay.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • One 3½- to 4-pound (1.8 to 2 kg) chicken, cut into 8 pieces (2 breast pieces, 2 wings with portion of breast attached, 2 legs, 2 thighs), giblets reserved
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1½ to 2 cups (375 to 500 ml) white wine, such as a sauvignon blanc
  • 12 garlic cloves
  • 1¼ cups (140 g) walnut halves or large pieces
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs for garnish
  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, brown the chicken pieces, seasoning them liberally with salt and pepper, until they are golden, about 5 minutes per side, using tongs to turn the chicken pieces.
  2. Add the lemon juice, ½ cup (125 ml) of the wine, and the garlic cloves to the skillet. Lower the heat to medium, cover, and cook until the chicken is nearly cooked through, about 15 minutes. Then stir the walnuts into the skillet, along with the giblets, cover, and continue to cook for about 8 minutes. Remove the cover from the skillet and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the pan juices have evaporated and the chicken, walnuts, and garlic are golden, 5 to 8 minutes. Be sure to watch the walnuts, for they tend to brown easily. If they are getting too brown at any point in the cooking, remove and return them to the pan just before serving.
  3. Transfer the chicken, garlic, and walnuts to a warmed serving platter and deglaze the skillet with the remaining wine, scraping the bottom to loosen any caramelized bits. Begin by adding the smaller amount of wine; if you need more, top it up with the remaining wine and cook until the sauce is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Then pour the sauce over the chicken, garnish with the parsley sprigs, and serve immediately.

Recipe from Plat Du Jour – French Dinners Made Easy by Susan Herrmann Loomis.  Used with permission.

Butternut Squash Stuffed with Apples and Cranberries

Butternut Squash Stuffed with Apples and Cranberries by Laura TheodoreRecipe excerpt from: Laura Theodore’s Vegan-Ease
by Laura Theodore
Jazzy Vegetarian

Makes 4 servings

In the northeast, late fall at the farm market brings many enticing kinds of squash. Butternut is one of my favorite varieties of winter squash to cook with because of its nutty sweetness. Stuffed with a savory and sweet blend of rice, spinach, apples, walnuts and cranberries, this cold weather seasonal dish makes a festive, nutritious and appealing entrée for any special meal.

  • 1 very large butternut squash, peeled
  • 2 cups cooked short-grain brown rice
  • 1½ cups lightly packed baby spinach
  • 1 medium apple, peeled, cored and diced
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose seasoning blend or Italian seasoning blend
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large casserole dish with unbleached parchment paper.

Cut 2- to 3-inches off the top of the squash. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and then cut each piece in half lengthwise to make 4 sections of squash, equal in size. Scrape out the seeds from each section.

Put the rice, spinach, apple, cranberries, walnuts, all-purpose seasoning, sea salt and ground cinnamon in a medium-sized bowl and stir to combine. Divide the stuffing mixture evenly, mounding it into the hollowed center in each of the four squash pieces, mounding it as you go (see note).

Put the squash quarters, stuffing side up, in the prepared casserole dish. Tent with foil and bake for 1 to 11⁄2 hours, or until the squash is very soft. For a crisp topping, remove the foil for the last 10 minutes of baking. Let cool 10 to 15 minutes and serve.

Chef’s Note: If you end up with extra stuffing, put it in a small, covered casserole and bake alongside the squash like a holiday stuffing. Makes a great side dish.

Amount per serving, based on 4 servings:  332 Calories; 6g Fat; 1g Saturated fat; 9g Protein; 35mg Sodium; 70g Total Carbohydrate; 17g Sugars; 11g Fiber

Photo Credit: David Kaplan

Recipe from Laura Theodore’s Vegan-Ease: An Easy Guide to Enjoying a Plant-Based Diet
©Laura Theodore 2015, 2020. Reprinted by permission.