Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Rites of Autumn

I have many rites of Autumn --
the Dundee cakes, the bulbs,  the pommanders and . . . 

One of the first things I planted in the herb garden at Linderhof
was crocus

Not just any crocus
saffron crocus

They're a fall blooming crocus and so give some color in mid Autumn to the herb garden
In fact, they are the color in the herb garden!

But their bloom is short-lived and so you must be quick!

To pluck the little strands from the center of each flower
It is, after all, the infamous saffron

I get maybe enough from my plants
to make one dish
I dry it first and usually
I make Ina Garten's bouillabaisse

It's a great way to use all those legs and thighs
that are so cheap at the market

And my precious saffron
Normally, I have just enough for this one recipe!


1 (4 to 5-pound) chicken, cut into 10 pieces (or just use pieces -- I like thighs and legs)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
Good olive oil
1 large head garlic, separated into cloves and peeled
1 teaspoon saffron threads
1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds (which also come from my garden)
1 (15 ounce) can tomato puree
1 1/2 cups good chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons Pernod
1 pound baby Yukon gold potatoes, halved
Rouille, for serving, recipe follows
Crusty French bread, for serving

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season it generously with salt, pepper, and the rosemary. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven and brown the chicken pieces in batches until nicely browned all over, about 5 to 7 minutes per batch. Transfer the browned chicken pieces to a plate and set aside. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the garlic, saffron, fennel seeds, tomato puree, chicken stock, white wine, Pernod, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper to the pot. Stir and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until the garlic is very tender, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Carefully pour the sauce into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Puree until smooth. Return the sauce to the Dutch oven and add the sliced potatoes and browned chicken pieces with their juices. Stir carefully.
Cover the pot and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and the chicken is done. Check the seasonings and serve hot in shallow bowls with big dollops of Rouille and slices of crusty bread.

4 large garlic cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
*1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup good olive oil

Place the garlic and salt on a cutting board and mince together. Transfer the mixture to a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the egg yolk, lemon juice, saffron, and red pepper flakes. Process until smooth. With the machine running, pour the olive oil in a thin, steady stream through the feed tube to make a thick mayonnaise emulsion. Transfer the rouille to a serving bowl and store it in the refrigerator until ready to serve. 


Pat said...

This crocus gives such a beautiful hue to an Autumn Garden.
I'll look for the bulbs at our local Garden Center!
Thanks for sharing!!!

Fox and Finch Antiques said...

Well, you taught me something today. I did not know that saffron was from that a crocus. Absolutely fascinating. I shall pay attention to them now!
Thank you and the recipe looks wonderful.

Running with a sharp pencil said...

Looks delicious---but I must ask- what is Pernod?