Quinoa salad with chicken and cranberries

I feel very nostalgic lately. Thinking of people I knew long ago, missing friends and family. I long for smells of my past…Christmas time in my mother’s kitchen, the early mornings on the farm of our friends, the African animals, the African bush, pancakes with cinnamon sugar wrapped in greased paper at church fairs, tomato and onion salad with a sugar vinegar sauce.

The salads I grew up with, were simple and straightforward. A salad was a cold dish, eaten with warm meats. Today we have small salads, large salads, cold salads, warm salads, even soupy ones. Fancy or simple, with sauces or with “vinaigrettes” and “croutons” and toppings. They are served in salad bowls and on spoons, towered on plates or layered in glasses. they are served at the beginning of a meal or at the end with cheese… or without cheese. I think my mom would’ve appreciated this little salad. She was an adventurous woman.

quinoasalad-10-27-2008-6-37-29-pm

quinoa-salad

…which rule?…

breaking-the-rules

Oven baked lemon chicken with herbs

With our weather being somewhat cooler and the rain pouring down constantly, our bones are in need of some warmer nourishment. The grey skies whispered lemon chicken. So we had the old classic, lemon chicken with herbs. An ever popular meal, so easily done in the oven and sliced at the table, which leaves you with ample time to indulge in that book you just glance at every time you speed past it.

Oven baked lemon chicken with herbs

Do I need to give the recipe?

  • Take a chicken, clean it. Flee into your garden and cut herbs to heart’s delight…tarragon is a must. Lemon cut into chunks is a must. As is some butter, salt and pepper and two or three shallots. Then just stuff the chicken with all ingredients, rub with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Bake in a 180 deg. C oven for about an hour or until you have clear juices running when piercing the chicken into the thick flesh of the thigh next to the bone, normally the part which takes the longest to cook. Turn the chicken over and drizzle often with the pan juices.
  • In the meantime prepare some vegetables. I used green asparagus, of which I snapped the ends off and some cherry tomatoes. Clean and dry them.
  • When the chicken is done, remove from the pan and cover with foil on a serving platter. Skim off the excess fat from the pan.
  • Arrange the asparagus in the pan and roast at 200 deg. c until nicely caramelized. Add the tomatoes 10 minutes before the asparagus is done and roast until the tomatoes start shrinking.
  • Serve on the platter alongside the chicken, drizzle with the pan juices and serve the rest of the sauce on the side.

*for more about herbs and it’s uses, see “In my herb garden”

…the more you pick, the better I grow…

This is an entry for WHB, whith this week’s host being Wandering chopsticks.