Je veux de la viande tendre !
Give me some Tender Meat!
When it comes to eating savory food, hearty plat uniques are what I prefer the best. I might be saying this about a lot of dishes thinking about it, but I assume this is bound to happen for anyone as attached to la bonne bouffe (good grub) as I am.
When I resumed my meat consumption a few years ago, instead of favoring lean meats, I developed a pretty clear tie to more fatty meats, as well as red meat versus white. I suppose that because my body was deprived from meat for over eight years, my internal biological clock rewired itself in response to it. “Give me some blood!” is what it cried for. Hence, I currently prefer to eat more fatty meats. Because they are juicier too, aren’t they?
Les plats uniques — Everything in One Dish
Plats uniques, commonly known as Plats complets, have a special place in my cooking. At home, my mum used to prepare this type of food a lot. Not only was it good, and much better réchauffé (reheated) the second day, but it was also a practical way for her to plan meals while she was working a full time job. To this day, despite the fact that she no longer works but enjoys a deserved retraite (retirement), she has not changed her cooking habits. Do I seem to complain? Not at all, I am absolutely in love with it. Between her canard à l’orange, couscous algérien, hachis parmentier, blanquette de veau, pot-au-feu, I do not know which one I can say is my favorite. Whenever I visit, the dilemna to choose only one is always as hard as ever. I want them all.
Brining Meat — Saumurage de la viande
Now that I enjoy meat again, I am yet much more pinailleuse (picky) about it. Above all, I will always rate a dish according to how tender the meat is. Over a year ago, I discovered the brining technique, which I started to use while preparing chicken. The results were instantaneous. In a few words, I would not go back. Fair enough, I might not always plan or have enough time to include this step while preparing my meat, but when I do, it becomes a must. Brining chicken really makes the meat much more tender.
Even if I am not an expert in understanding and knowing the many details involved into the brining process, my research led to some basic steps which I followed successfully. Plus, they are easy: mix water with salt and sugar, immerse your chicken in this broth, cover and place in the fridge before waiting for a few hours. And, the longer the better, with a minimum of 1 hour advised per lb of meat.
Lemon Chicken, Green Zebra Tomatoes and Black Olives — Poulet au citron avec tomates vertes et olives noires
This dish brings together a lot of flavors that I particularly like. Between the lemon, sage, black olives, the French beans and succulent Green Zebra tomatoes, it has to find a place on your table before it is no longer possible to find those wonderfully tasty tomatoes. There is absolutely no difficulty in making the dish. In many ways, it is as if it was making tout seul, on its own. Magic? How can it possibly be so easy?
Many more knowledgeable cooks than myself will tell me whether this is right, but while I am still ignorant as to why it is a successful dish, I just ignore it and enjoy.
- 4 chicken legs chicken (2 lbs)
- 3 oz black olives
- 1 lemon and a half
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp sage leaves, chopped
- 14 oz green beans
- 4 to 5 green Heirloom tomatoes (Green Zebra)
For the brine:
Count about 1 quart water for 1 lb of chicken.
- 2 quarts of cold water = 8 US cups
- 1/2 cup Kosher salt
- 3 Tbsp sea salt
- 4 Tbsp fine sugar
Brining the Chicken:
- Cut your chicken legs in 2 pieces each.
- Mix the water with the salt and sugar, and immerse the chicken in it.
- Cover and place in the fridge for a min of 2 hours.
The Lemon Chicken Recipe:
- Preheat the oven at 350 F.
- In a bowl, mix together the honey, juice of 1 lemon, olive oil and chopped sage leaves, and pour over the chicken.
- Place the chicken legs in an oven dish with the marinade. Add the quartered tomatoes and half of a lemon cut in slices.
- Add the olives. Place in the oven and cook for 1 hour.
- In the meantime, blanch the washed and cleaned French beans for 15 mns in boiling salted water, and rinse them under cold water. Keep them on the side.
- 10 min before the end of the chicken cooking time, add them in the dish.
I served this plat mijoté with plain polenta.
Hi Bea, how tasty this looks. I don’t care about fat or not, I luv meat. I will eat any meat at any time. Fatty meat is delicious. I wish I could have a tasting of your so simple and elegant dish. Wow!
Bea, you know exactly how to make my mouth water! This is the perfect plate, everything you need and want all in the one dish, its perfect.
Ah–so lovely. The colors are brilliant. And I like fatty meat too! If I’m going to eat it–I want it to be full of flavor and juicy!
I feel badly for the vegetarians out there that might “cringe” at all of the words pertaining to MEAT and how YUMMY it is. 😉 Me loves meat too!
Now Bea I’ve never heard of green zebra tomatoes. Will have to look into that to see if I can find seeds…
WAOW Bea!! Les photos sont magnifiques, il ne me reste plus qu’à imaginer le goût!!! Je suppose que c’était succulent!!! Peux-tu me dire quel appareil numérique tu utilises?
Les bons parfums méditérranéen envahissent déjà ma cuisine!
Des plats complets ainsi cuisinés, je suis toujours partante, quelle chance d’avoir une maman qui t’as ainsi appris les basics de la cuisine du terroir! moi, je suis totalement novice et là, je viens d’apprendre en te lisant l’utilité de la saumure,et tu penses bien,je me suis empressée de noter, toutes ces saveurs me donnent l’eau à la bouche de bon matin!
very nice! I’ve seen those tomatoes in magazines, but never knew what they were called, thanks for sharing!
trés appétissant ce poulet, il faut que je trouve des tomates vertes et j’essaie.
c’est très créatif, bravo !
Ca fait longtemps que je vois ces techniques de saumure sur les blogs anglo-saxons, surtout aux alentours de Thanksgiving, tu me donnes vraiment envie d’essayer.
scrumptious looking chicken bea! i simply love this one 🙂
The photos just get better and better, Bea. Thank you.
This looks sensational – the colours in your photographs are sensational, as is the arrangement and the food itself. Oo, that bit of chicken with the crispy skin is making me drool!
After my fiasco with chicken legs, I think I’ll be sticking with thighs for a while!
Mais pourquoi chez toi les plats sont si beaux et que chez moi, ça fait potée ?!!! Plus sérieusement, il est difficile de prendre une belle photo de plat mijoté, donc bravo ! Pour la recette, elle est top, je tremperais bien un bout de pain dans la sauce 😉
Meat rocks! I might have to give brining a go soon…
Hmmm, this is perfect reading for scrummy lunchtime fantasy!
Wow….this looks so delicious…I enjoy eating chicken and will try this! Happy Cooking
Very simple and nice. If you didn’t feel like brining then sub with preserved lemons.
your recipes are gorgeous … I love olive, tomatoe, olive oil and lemon combinations.
such vibrant colors! the lemon and the green beans look beautiful together
Thanks to all for your comments. I am glad you enjoyed the chicken recipe. I also hope you will give brining a try, as it really makes a difference. Make sure NOT to add more salt, as one thing I forgot to mention, the meat is then salted with the brine!
Mmmm yum… bring on those summer tomatoes! 😉
I made it. Used canned green beans, canned sliced olives, and canned whole tomatoes. It was still incredible. Plus des plats complete, s’il vous plait.
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mmm…this looks so good! i was looking for ideas for the luscious green zebra tomato i got in my CSA box. And this recipe uses my sage and haricots verts too!!! i’m going home to make this a tout de suite!
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Bea, I made this one tonight and it was so delicious! I am a brining convert from this day ; )
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Do you rinse off the brine before you put the chicken pieces in the other marinade? Thanks.
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