When I toss a few branches of bay leaves on the fire to scent the house I realize how lucky we are to live in this climate.
Well, that and the lack of snow. After growing up in Minnesota I can be content if I never shovel snow again.
We have a laurel / bay tree that is taller than our house. It sends shoots up from the base which I trim twice a year. Those are often the nicest leaves, but even after replenishing my supply I still through huge branches on the burn pile. In the fall I save a few for adding to the fireplace.
I remember when I was young adding half of a bay leaf to a sauce or soup. They were expensive.
Now I use them by the handful, both fresh and dried. With the tree so close it’s easy to run out and cut a fresh branch.
Now I can actually taste them.
Chicken with Onions, Bay and Thyme
Total time: 35 minutes
- 2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 tsp thyme
- 2 bay leaves (laurel)
- 1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) chicken broth
- 1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) white wine
- 1 tbs tomato paste
- 1 tbs cornstarch (maizena, corn flour) dissolved in 2 tbs chicken stock
- Sauté onion in oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat, about 5 minutes.
- When onion starts to brown add garlic and sauté 1 minute longer.
- Move onion and garlic to the sides of the pan, add chicken breasts, and sauté until lightly browned, about 7 minutes.
- Stir in thyme, bay leaf, wine, stock and tomato paste.
- Cover, reduce heat and simmer until chicken is done, about 15 minutes.
- Dissolve cornstarch in chicken stock.
- Uncover skillet, increase heat and remove bay leaves.
- Remove chicken to small platter.
- Add cornstarch to onions and stir until sauce is thickened.
- Spoon onions around chicken and serve.
We met some friends for lunch last weekend in the little village of Saint Avit Sénieur.
It has a massive church right in the center.
Naturally, we had to go inside.
This is the second church on this site, built at the end of the 11th century. The first church, built in the 600’s, was destroyed in the 10th century.
Stuff around here is old…..
One of the reasons such a large church was built is that the site is on the Camino de Santiago, or the Pilgrimage Route of St. James.
The village is very pretty and typical of the Dordogne region with all of the lovely pale yellow stone;
These 2 photos pretty well encompass the entire village.
Except for the restaurant just on the left where we had a wonderful lunch.
There’s always a restaurant…. This is France!
I love playing tourist in my own area – and we get to do it again with another visitor this weekend.
Who knows what we might discover….