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The Old Hen B&B closed May 31, 2014. We recommend The Roaring River B&B 425.888.4834 and The Log Cabin B&B 425.533.8278 for your North Bend get-away. Please stay tuned for Deanna's cookbook plans. Here's to starting from scratch. Talking about The Old Hen online? Our hashtag is #theoldhen .

The Innkeeper Hits the Town to See Steamy Kitchen


Brownies aren’t the only thing I’ve been creating from scratch this year. It took us about six months of spinning in circles to turn our house into The Old Hen Bed & Breakfast. During this time, I designed everything from the B&B interior design, marketing, menu, brochures, and so much more… all from scratch too. Needless to say, I haven’t gotten out much this year!

I was finally able to sneak out this week to a foodie gathering in honor of Steamy Kitchen foodie blogger, Jaden Hair, for her new book, The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook: 101 Asian Recipes Simple Enough for Tonight’s Dinner.

When you get lost it’s an opportunity to meet someone new, a gas station attendant.

Of course, not until I was able to get myself adequately lost between I-90 and Queen Anne Hill and back to I-90 and again Queen Anne Hill did we actually find Bustle. I’m so glad that I had invited my mom because the saddest of situations becomes a giggle fest with her along for the ride and that makes every stupid turn more fun.

Bustle on Queen Anne

Via a detour through China Town, we found our way back to Bustle on Queen Anne, a hip new coffeehouse, loaded with French pastries, sandwiches, beer, wine and personality. I got to meet one of the owners, Jimmy Curran, who was a perfect host. Be sure to check out Bustle… just don’t get directions from me.


Mom was excited about the gift bags. We do love gift bags! We morph into Hoops and YoYo when we see them.

Once we chilled from our big adventurous drive out to Queen Anne, we chatted with some lovely people. This was our first offline foodie social though, so it was hard to resist saying LOL and BTW instead of actually laughing out loud or saying “by the way.” Help! I’ve become a social media geek and can’t get out!

Mingles and munchies! Jimmy from Bustle says a few words.

Best coffee ever and my own copy of Steamy Kitchen Cookbook, ready for Jaden’s signature.

With the hustle in the Bustle, I completely forgot to ask Jaden for a picture together, so until we meet again I have a stunt photo to insert here…

Jaden & Deanna

Yep, that’s us. Practically BFF’s with a little cropping and cutting. 🙂 Really, Jaden was fun and sweet as could be.

Bella Cupcake Courtue cupcake wrappers by Carrie Middlemiss

After the treats, a Q&A with Jaden and prizes, we ended the evening with a gift exchange. I was so excited to walk away with a new product that I’ve been wanting to try! Bella Cupcake Courtue cupcake wrappers. Check these pretties out!

Thanks ever so much…

You can buy your pretty little Bella Cupcake Couture cupcake wrappers here! Thank you, Carrie!

Also, a huge thank you to Jaden Hair for specifically choosing “sunny” Seattle to visit on her book tour and to Keren Brown from Frantic Foodie who put on the event. What a fun night!

Update: Jaden was on CBS, The Early Show on December 4, 2009.

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Taco Quiche Recipe

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who was dragged to brunch. Brunch was scary for the little girl because it meant two things.

One, it meant that two meal opportunities were condensed down to one meal opportunity. This was not a good thing for the little foodie blogger in the making.


Two, the main dish at brunch was always quiche – ew-y gooey, lukewarm, tasteless (except for the broccoli!) quiche. The very name sounded ew-y gooey.

Then one day the little girl grew up and decided she was going to invent a quiche that was firm, hot, and filled with flavor. This blog post is about one of the many flavorful quiches that she now makes.

Enter taco quiche. Ole’!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and get ready for a fiesta! Chop about 1/2 cup of yellow onion and toss into frying pan.

Add about 1/4 pound of ground beef and sizzle, sizzle, sizzle.

Drain grease and rinse well. Pat down with a clean paper towel to help remove as much excess juice as you can so that it doesn’t make your quiche ewy gooey.

Add your favorite taco seasoning in the amount the package says to add for 1/4 pound of beef (or just add 1/4 of a package of taco seasoning), but instead of adding water, try this trick…

Drain the olive juice from the can of sliced olives. Use about 1/4 cup.

Add the olive juice to the meat instead of water.


To prepare the quiche pan, just spray with cooking spray. By the way, never ever, ever use baking spray for savory dishes! It has a sweet taste that will ruin your savory meals. Save the baking spray for the sweet recipes. Gives me the shivers just thinking about using it on a savory dish!

Place your homemade pie crust in the pan. That is unless you cheated like I did. In that case, place your store bought pie crust in your pie plate. If you do make a homemade crust, check the sugar content. Again, this is a savory dish so you don’t want a sweet crust. When it comes to pre-made crusts, Pillsbury is a great brand to use as the off brands sometimes have too much sugar in them.

Preheat oven to 350F. Bake pie crust for 15-20 minutes until done.

Okay, meat is cooked, pie crust is baked. Time for the filling!  Place nine eggs in a medium bowl and beat well. Add salt & pepper to taste. I use this trick to help me decide how much to use… I shake the salt and grind the pepper about two times each per egg when I make quiche.

Now we add the milk. Wrong!

Now we add the half & half. Wrong!

If you’ve survived ewy gooey quiches like I have I am sure that you will put your foot down with me and declare heavy cream! Yeah for heavy cream! Just 1/8th of a cup will do.

Next add the olives that were left from the can we drained above and about 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese

Add 1/8 cup of taco seasoning.

Now for my favorite part! Cilantro! Chop a small handful and add. Mmmmm…. smells better than Tijuana!

Finally the grand finale – taco beef! Stir in well.

Pour quiche mixture into baked pie crust and place on a cookie sheet just in case it drips.

Bake for about one hour.

Serve hot with your favorite toppings like finely chiffonade lettuce, guacamole, sour cream, salsa and, of course, extra cheese, please!

And she and her blog readers lived happily ever after.

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Homecoming Dinner Party With Cheese Fondue Recipe

Dotter has dinner parties every year before all of the big high school shindigs.


This weekend we celebrated homecoming with a fondue party. Fondue is such a fun way to have dinner together since it takes longer to eat than most meals due to cooking your food at the table. It is easy to get your fondue forks mixed up and everyone gets to eat just what they like so it creates plenty of fun conversation! Here’s our homecoming fondue party…


Waiting for everyone to arrive.


One of the trickiest parts to high school dances, pinning on the boutonniere.


Our table full of goodies… cheese filled pasta. chicken, beef, sourdough bread, herbed chicken broth & olive oil and homemade cheese fondue.

Cheddar Cheese Fondue Recipe

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup hefferveisen beer
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 2-3 cloves minced or smashed fresh garlic
  • 1-2  teaspoons cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 pound block* sharp cheddar cheese, grated (or more, if desired)
  • Sea salt & pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Sprinkle in flour and stir & cook for a couple of minutes (don’t skip this step or your fondue will taste yucky – like flour). Add liquids while continuing to whisk. Add remaining ingredients and cook on low heat until cheese is completely melted. Place in fondue pot or in crock pot to keep warm. If heated too high, sauce can separate, so be sure to keep over low heat.

*Block cheese is best because it’s not coated in cornstarch & will melt much better than pre-grated cheese.

Measurements can vary for your own preference. Heat in electric fondue pot at about 300 degrees until smooth. Play with the temperature as needed to keep the right texture. This sauce is great served with pieces of sourdough bread.



These are the girls’ traditional garbage bag dress cover-ups. Ready to eat.


Dessert for dipping. Yummers.


Caramel sauce = true love.


Homemade smooth, shiny chocolate sauce with sprinkles, graham cracker crumbs, and walnuts. Sorry, we do not serve this for breakfast at the B & B… well, maybe if you requested it we could.


The annual stair step picture. So nice!


Please! No more pics.


And finally… this is dotter standing in front of her great grandmother’s mirror. She thought it would be neat to have her picture in front of it for homecoming this year. I agree.

I am so proud of her and incredibly sentimental. I love this girl!

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Julia Child’s Soufflé Au Chocolat (Chocolate Soufflé) Recipe


Meryl Streep as Julia Child in Julie & Julia by Sony Pictures

Almost two weeks ago I placed this blog post into your hands. You were asked to vote on the recipe that you’d like to see me make from Julia Child’s cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking and you chose SoufflĂ© Au Chocolat. In the meantime, I managed to completely screw up a recipe for blackberry cobbler. Seriously? Who messes up a cobbler? Deanna does. After I pulled out my self-help books and recited my affirmations out loud in front of the mirror, I dusted off my copy of Julia’s book of French torture and began the soufflĂ©.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Step 1:

7 ounces of semi-sweet or sweet baking chocolate

I used Hershey’s Special Dark since that is what I had in my pantry. French women everywhere are probably cringing right now.

1/3 cup strong coffee

Have I introduced you to my KitchenAid Coffee Grinder yet? I love it! It has adjustable stainless-steel cutting burrs for 15 different grind sizes but mostly I love the way it looks.

Small saucepan with cover set in a larger pan of almost simmering water

Place chocolate and coffee in the small pan, cover, and set in the larger pan of almost simmering water. Remove from heat and let the chocolate melt while you proceed with the recipe.

One square to spare for my honey!

I could just stop right now and be very happy. Why is it that if you spill one tiny drop of water in chocolate it becomes white and maybe even hardens but you poor coffee in it and it becomes shiny and smooth??

Step 2:

1/2 Tb softened butter

A 2 – 2 1/2 quart soufflĂ© dish or straight-sided baking dish 7 1/2 to 8 inches in diameter

Smear the inside of the dish with butter.

Surround with a collar of buttered aluminum foil (double thickness) to reach above the rim of the dish.


It took my sixteen-year-old daughter to come up with this contraption while I got the rest of the ingredients ready.

Step 3:

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

A 2-quart saucepan

A wire whip – I’m guessing a whisk will do

2-cup milk

3 Tb butter

Measure the flour into the saucepan.

Start whisking in the milk by dribbles – I do love the word dribbles. Well, maybe not when it comes to babies but other than that I do love the word dribbles.

…to make a perfectly smooth cream; rapidly whisk in the rest.

Hey! It worked! Coolio!

Add the butter, and stir over moderate heat until boiling; boil, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and beat 1 minute or so to cool slightly.

Step 4:

4 egg yolks (Be sure to save the egg whites. You will need them soon!)

1 Tb pure vanilla extract

One by one, whisk the egg yolks into the hot sauce

…then the smoothly melted chocolate

Let’s stop and take it in. Mmmmm…. swirly goodness and mercy!

…and finally the vanilla.

Step 5

6 egg whites

1/8 tsp salt

1/2 cup sugar

Beat the egg whites and salt in a separate bowl…

Okay, so I took pictures of each obvious transition stage while the egg whites were forming into a peak.

Stage one – Bubbles.

Stage two – Latte foam.

Stage three – Soft peaks.

… until soft peaks are formed. Then, by sprinkles, beat in the sugar and continue until shining peaks are formed. – I can only imagine how long this took before KitchenAid. Thank you, KitchenAid!

Stage four – Creamy goodness.

Stage five – Shiny, stiff peaks! If your eggs start to get watery, you have reached stage six and you need to completely start over.

Scrape the chocolate mixture into the side of the egg white bowl. – Now that’s what I call “culinary arts!”

…delicately fold them together. – This is when I finally got nervous, well, with all that work to get the eggs just right, I’d hate to loose the fluff! Julia never told me how much to stir so I took the brownies approach and decided not to over stir. In time travel, I would go back and stir just a little more.

Turn the soufflé mixture into the prepared mold and set on a rack in the lower level of the preheated oven. Turn oven down to 375 degrees.

Step 6:

Powdered sugar in a sieve or shaker

In 35-40 minutes, when soufflĂ© is well risen and the top has cracked, rapidly sprinkle the surface with powdered sugar; continue baking another 5 – 10 minutes. SoufflĂ© is still creamy at the center when a skewer plunged down through a surface crack comes out slightly coated.

It is fully done and will stand up well (if that is how you like it) when the skewer comes out clean. Serve at once.

Now, in my defense, the skewer did come out clean and the soufflĂ© certainly did seem to rise but…

…the moment I gently tugged on the foil to pull it out, this happened. I am starting to consider writing a blog about skydiving. I think it might be easier than this.

Here is what my piece of SoufflĂ© Au Chocolat looked like. I found it to be something short of a treat. It was light and goopy… and no, not gooey like perfectly baked brownies are. It is supposed to be this way in the middle but I just don’t like that kind of texture.

It has been a long afternoon. I’m going to take it easy with a cup of hot green tea after I re-read my affirmations. I hope you will meet me back here again soon when we will be blogging Top Ramen.

I will rise when my soufflé falls.

I will rise when my soufflé falls.

I will rise when my soufflé falls.

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Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon (Beef Stew in Red Wine with Bacon, Onions, and Mushrooms) Recipe

I am so excited for today! Today we are giving away our first prize at The Old Hen Blog and we’re making the most highlighted recipe in the movie Julie & Julia, Boeuf Bourguignon. If that isn’t enough, you also get to vote on what I will make next from Julia’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.


Amy Adams as Julie Powell in Julie & Julia by Sony Pictures.

Here we go with the polite rebel’s version of Boeuf Bourguignon!

Step 1: A 6 oz. chunk of baconI didn’t realize that Julia meant an actual “chunk” of bacon until I dove into making the dish so I just used what I had purchased for the recipe. It wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t rebel against her at least once during the recipe, right?

I was kind of glad, actually, because I didn’t have to remove the rind and cut the bacon into lardons – whatever those are!

Simmer bacon for 10 minutes in 1  1/2 quarts of water. Drain and dry. – I thought it said 1  1/2 cups of water. See my little measuring cup in the above picture? What a dork! This is why I do not work in the field of nuclear waste.

Step 2: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. – Cool, I don’t think I have ever had my oven up that high for a recipe.

Step 3:

A 9 – 10-inch fireproof casserole 3 inches deep

1 Tb olive oil or cooking oil

A slotted spoon

3 lbs lean stewing beef cut into 2-inch cubes

SautĂ© the bacon in the oil over moderate heat for 2-3 minutes to brown lightly. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon. Set casserole – I believe that she meant the bacon here – aside. Reheat the fat until it is almost smoking.

Dry beef in paper towels; it will not brown if it is damp. SautĂ© it, a few pieces at a time – Again, oops; I tossed in the whole cow! – in the hot oil and bacon fat until browned on all sides. Add it to the bacon. – Okay, just in case you are lost, the browned bacon and the browned beef are now set aside in a bowl and the smokin’ fat is still in the casserole pot.

Step 4:

1 sliced carrot

1 sliced onion

In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Pour out the sautéing fat.

Step 5:

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 Tb flour

Return the beef and bacon to the casserole (with carrots and onions) and toss with the salt & pepper. Then sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly with the flour. Set casserole uncovered in middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes. Toss the meat and return to oven for 4 minutes more. (This browns the flour and covers the meat with a light crust.) Remove the casserole, and turn oven down to 325 degrees. – Geez, this is definitely NOT my mother’s stew!

Step 6: Since you knew there couldn’t be just 5 steps in one of Julia’s recipes!

3 cups of a full-bodied young red wine or Chianti

2 to 3 cups brown beef bouillon

1 Tb tomato paste

2 cloves mashed garlic

1/2 tsp thyme

A crumbled bay leaf – This recipe cooks long enough that a dried bay leaf will work just fine.

The blanched bacon rind – Yeah, not so much. That seems to have come up missing, don’t you know?

Stir in the wine… I always feel so fancy when I add alcohol to these French dishes. Maybe that is why Julia wore pearls.

…and enough stock or bouillon so that the meat is barely covered.

Add the tomato paste, garlic herbs, and bacon rind – Enough with the rind. I’ve felt guilty since step one!

Then cover the casserole and set in the lower third of preheated oven. Regulate heat so liquid simmers very slowly for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. The meat is done when fork pierces it easily. – Confession time… I used my fast reading skills and ended up placing the casserole on the same rack as before (too high according to Julia), didn’t catch the part about covering it and went and took a nap while hoping that the stew would find it’s perfect simmering temp all on its own. I returned to a mighty fine casserole with less juice than it should have but otherwise just fine. I feel better now that I have that off my chest!

The garlic cloves are the pieces that you remove from the entire garlic bulb. 

So here is where things get tricky. I am sure there is a reason for all of this somewhere in the depths of Julia’s soul but I have not found the reasoning behind all of the casserole shifting ballyhoo yet…

Step 7:

18-24 small white onions, brown-braised in stock, page 483 – With all due respect, I am not flippin’ another page of this cookbook just for a stew, even if it is fancy enough to make me want to wear my pearls. Omg! I think these onions she is talking about are called pearl onions! They might possibly be the cutest little veggie in the world. What a coincidence. I’m still not turning to page 483.

1 lb quartered fresh mushrooms

P.S. I just used the same onions as I used earlier in the recipe. I didn’t have any pearl onions around.

(While beef is cooking) prepare the onions and mushrooms. I just browned them in some butter. Set them aside until needed.

When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve (strainer?) set over a saucepan. – BTW, save the sauce! – Wash out casserole – what?? – and – get this – return the beef and bacon to it. – My back hurts from spending so long bending over while perplexed re-reading this over and over again. – Distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms over the meat.

Skim the fat off the sauce. Simmer sauce for a minute or two, skimming off additional fat as it arises. – What fat? I see none! – You should have about 1 1/2 cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. Taste carefully for seasoning. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables. – I’m pretty sure all of this was just so we could work out our arm muscles. This is the REAL reason that French women don’t get fat.

So… with that all said, you could have just added the onions and mushrooms to the casserole and stirred them in!

Boeuf Bourguignon!

Minus the casserole tossing at the end of the recipe, this was worth every bit of the seven steps to get here. Bon appétit!

Vote on the next Julia Child’s recipe! Voting ends 08.30.09.

Julia Child’s Pommes Normande En Belle Vue (Applesauce Caramel Mold) recipe

Julia Child’s Chicken Broiled with Mustard, Herbs, and Bread Crumbs (Broiled Chicken) recipe

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Julia Child’s Pommes Normande En Belle Vue (Applesauce Caramel Mold) Recipe

It sounds like a swollen eyeball when I try to pronounce it… Pommes Normande En Belle Vue. I think it might be simple enough to make though, so I am diving into Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking yet again. This time I am attempting dessert. Julia says that it is easier than Apple Charlotte so I feel confident. What’s Apple Charlotte?


Meryl Streep as Julia Child in Julie & Julia by Sony Pictures

Step 1:

4 lbs. crisp cooking or eating apples

A heavy bottomed enamel pan about 10 inches in diameter

Peel and core the apples – This is going to be a long journey!

Slice them roughly into 1/8-inch pieces. You should have about 10 cups. – One down, about 19 apples to go.

Place them in pan; cover and cook over very low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.  – I do love a glass lid. Must be linked to the picture book thing.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees – But if your attempt at making swollen eyeballs goes anything like mine, you will not have to worry about preheating your oven for at least another 1/2 an hour.

Step 2:

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

The grated peel of 1 lemon – Don’t go down into the white.

1/2 cup granulated sugar

What’s a poor little, bald lemon to do?

Add the cinnamon and sugar. – Smells great!

Now to add this to the apples and raise the heat so the apples boil for 5 minutes or until apples are a thick pur’ee which hold its shape with a spoon You should have about 4 cups of applesauce. – Wait. I am an all American girl with no servants. This cookbook was supposed to be created just for me and I am so lost. The applesauce that I know has no apple pieces in it. Doesn’t pur’ee mean no chewing necessary? After reading the instructions five more times, I forge forward with apple chunks and hope for the best.

I do love cutting along the butter measurement marks on the wrapper!

Step 3:

1/4 cup rum, cognac, or excellent apple brandy – To the liquor store for some rum. 

4 Tb. butter – Julia is the original Paula Deen.

4 eggs

1 egg white

Remove apples from heat and stir in rum, then butter.

One by one, beat in the eggs – Great, now I have Michael Jackson’s song, “Beat It”  in my head. I have been listening to his music too much lately.

Then the egg white. –  Can anyone explain this one leftover egg yolk to me? Now I have one egg yolk and one bald lemon in my fridge.

Step 4:

A 6-cup fireproof, cylindrical mold lined with caramel – Oh boy, a field trip to page 584! Fireproof? Should I be concerned?


2/3 cup granulated sugar or crushed sugar lumps

1/2 cup water

A small, heavy saucepan (with cover)

Boil without stirring until syrup is thick and turns light nutty brown (keep peeking).

Remove from heat before desired color is reached because syrup will continue to darken.

No brainer.

Yeah! A boil! time to look at the next step in the recipe.

What’s that smell?? Yum, the guests are gonna love the smell of burnt caramel!

Second try… I can do this.

Sweet success! Okay, what’s the next step?

What the…?

Lookin’ good right about now.

Okay, think, Deanna, if cold makes it crystallize, then surely heat will make it syrupy again!

Ha ha!

Or not. I was never a great babysitter either.

Third try… just one pan left, a frying pan. I sure hope this works.

I’m sure that you have moved on to the next foodie blog by now but here it is.

My caramel syrup… a little under done but I’m not taking any chances.

Let’s see, where were we?

Back to step 4:

Swoosh the caramel around in the pan… those are my words, in case you couldn’t tell that wasn’t Julia talkin’.

Turn apple mixture into caramel-lined mold. – Looks like mac & cheese, doesn’t it? I should have just made mac & cheese.

Cover with saucepan or kettle. pour boiling water around the outside of the mold to come up to the level of the apple mixture. Place on lower third of preheated oven.

Regulate oven heat to maintain water almost at the simmer. the dessert is done in 1 to 1 1/2 hours, when it begins to shrink from the sides of the mold and the top, all except for a small area in the very center is set.

Blah, blah, blah.

Still tempting… I chose this recipe because it looked easy!

Step 5:

I did it!

To serve warm, remove the mold from the saucepan and allow the dessert to cool for 20 minutes. Then reverse it onto the serving dish.

Step 6:

I’ll bet you’re thinking that I finally broke down and had some rum. Not so much. I don’t even think it is necessary to drink it because I’m pretty sure that I’ll be drunk by the time I finish a piece of this dessert.

4 Tb. rum

Simmer the rum in the mold to dissolve any remaining caramel. and strain over the dessert.

2 cups lightly whipped cream flavored with powdered sugar and rum

Why not? The rumors have already started anyhow.

Surround the dessert with the whipped cream or sauce… – or rum.

Can I be honest with you? No, I mean really honest. This recipe is just apple crisp with rum instead of crisp. I don’t know about you but if I am going to go to all this trouble, I would like to have some crisp with my apple pur’ee.

Tomorrow’s breakfast?  One egg yolk and cereal with rum instead of milk and some fresh lemon juice.

Did you hear about the give-away?

You can enter by leaving a comment under my Julia Child’s Broiled Chicken blog post here.

If you have already entered the cookbook give-away under the Broiled Chicken recipe, please feel free to leave your comments about egg yolks, bald lemons or rum here below this blog post.

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Julia Child’s Broiled Chicken (Chicken with Mustard, Herbs & Bread Crumbs) Recipe

Julia Child’s cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, can be very intimidating even for the servantless American cook. I found this out when I flipped through all 684 pages while standing in Barnes and Noble. Silly me figured that if Julie Powell could complete the whole book then surely I could make a few recipes!


Meryl Streep as Julia Child in Julie & Julia by Sony Pictures in theaters now.

If you have read Julie Powell’s blog, The Julie/Julia Project, you know that she swears quite a lot as she plows through the project. I must admit that as I looked for even one recipe I felt that I could try I wanted to do the same. I had to put the book down for five days before I could even come back to it. I am a picture book girl when it comes to learning. Textbooks drive me bonkers. That said, here is my picture book version of Julia Child’s Broiled Chicken a.k.a. Chicken Broiled with Mustard, Herbs, and Bread Crumbs on page 265 in her book Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume 1.

Step 1:

Two ready-to-cook, 2 1/2-lb. broilers, halved or quartered – Uh, let’s see, I have 5 chicken breasts

A saucepan containing 6 Tb melted butter and 2 Tb oil – Missed the mixing them together part but made do

A pastry brush – Yeah! I did something right

A broiling pan minus rack


Check. Julia’s first instruction was to dry chicken thoroughly, paint it with butter & oil and put the chicken skin side down.

Then lightly salt. I forgot to breathe, but I made it through step one.

Place oven on broil and put pan about 5-6 inches from broiling element.

While the chicken broiled for 10 minutes on side one, I went on to step two and placed 6 tablespoons of mustard of the strong Dijon type into a bowl – Okay, all I had was French’s but I wasn’t in the mood to go to the store again.

Add 3 Tb finely minced shallots or green onions – Don’t get too confident, Deanna, there is still plenty of time to screw this recipe up.

Thyme, basil, or tarragon – Pesto! Fresh basil, my favorite! I have lots of it too from my recent visit to Pike Place Market. Oh wait, I only get to use 1/2 tsp? Fine, I will throw in one teaspoon for good measure. I do love basil.

Time to turn the chicken over and broil ten minutes on the other side – What’s this? I was supposed to baste it every five minutes?? I can’t even make it through one recipe. How did Julie do this?

Back to the mustard sauce… 1/8 tsp pepper and pinch of cayenne pepper – Hmmm… I only have crushed red peppers. Better take a trip to google to see if some random stranger can tell me if this will work. A shout out to geistswoman who says, “They are the same but a different consistency” and eases my guilt. She is probably a six year old from Norway but I still feel better.

Oui la! According to geistswoman, we now have cayenne pepper!

After all of the ingredients were together, it was time to blend, adding half of the leftover butter & oil mixture a little at a time.

It is supposed to become a “mayonnaiselike cream.” My spell check doesn’t like the word “mayonnaiselike.” I’ll let you decide if you think that looks mayonnaiselike. I ponder my liking for the word “mayonnaiselike” but then again maybe I am just avoiding the next step of this arduous recipe. My brain is becoming mayonnaiselike.

By the way, side two of the chicken has been done for a while now and has been patiently waiting for me.

Step three: 4 cups fresh, white crumbs from homemade-type of bread (make the crumbs in an electric blender, 3 or four slices of bread at a time) – Sure, I don’t live anywhere near a bakery in France and we use wheat bread. Croutons it is!

I’m such a rebel.

Going back to step two: Paint the chicken pieces with the mustard mixture – I do like to paint, especially with mayonnaiselike mixtures!

Back to step three: Pour crumbs into (doesn’t she mean onto?) a big plate, then roll the chicken in the crumbs, patting them on so they will adhere – “…patting them on?” Oops, I forgot to do that part. That explains a lot.

Step four: Arrange chicken pieces skin-side down on the rack (Oh now we are using the rack? Dang, another mistake) in the broiling pan and dribble half the remaining basting fat (Must we say fat? Why not butter?) over them.  Brown slowly for 10 minutes.

Then turn and baste with the last half of the fat, and brown 10 minutes more on the other side – Really? This chicken has been in and out of the oven more times than my kids are in and out of the house on a hot summer day.

The chicken is done when the thickest part of the drumstick is tender, and, when the meat is pricked with a fork, the juices run clear yellow – Where is my new meat thermometer?  I don’t think I care to see clear yellow juices coming out of my dinner. Yep, 180 degrees and no clear yellow juices. I like that.

Step five: Transfer to a hot platter and serve – How about a cold plastic plate from Target?

I was too tired to make any side dishes. This is exactly what my family had for dinner. The chicken was delicious and moist and I am completely smitten yet frustrated with Julia Child. At the same time, I am incredibly impressed with Julie Powell and her blog… even without pictures! If my family is lucky, I may try a dessert next week… er, next year.

Now let’s have some fun!

It is only fitting for a give-away to reward you for enduring my Broiled Chicken fiasco. Enter to win a copy of Julia Child’s cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume 1Yes, just one copy to give away to one lucky winner. I am just a new baby blog after all.

Although the thought of giving away my own personal copy is tempting, this is not my copy. This is a brand new book just for the winner!

  • Just leave a comment on this post.
  • If you win, I will be sending you Julia Child’s hardback cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume 1
  • Leave your comment with a way for me to contact you if you win (either a blog link or email)
  • Deadline to enter is August 25, 2009 (recorded by the time stamp of your comment).
  • The winner will be announced sometime on August 26th on this post.

* One winner will be chosen using the Random.org integer generator.

And the winner of the Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking cookbook is:

Congratulations, Danielle, and may the force be with you!

Are you a gluten for punishment? Then check out these Julia Child’s recipe blog posts too:

Vote on the next Julia Child’s recipe! Voting ends 08.30.09.

Julia Child’s Pommes Normande En Belle Vue (Applesauce Caramel Mold) recipe

Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon (Beef Stew in Red Wine, with Bacon Onions, and Mushrooms) recipe

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