Roasted Chicken with Rhubarb and Tarragon

This rarely happens, but this is one of the recipes that I felt like turned out as nicely as the photo in the cookbook, so that makes my day, if nothing else!

I received the cookbook, Scandinavian Comfort Food from my sister and her family for my birthday last month and when I opened the cookbook, I opened it up to this recipe for roasted chicken with rhubarb and tarragon and immediately knew I was going to cook it.  And, with haste, because rhubarb was in season.  Literally, within four days of receiving the gift, I had made this chicken and it did not disappoint.

I had not previously done much cooking and not baking with rhubarb, to eat it in a way that was more savory and less sweets.  I enjoyed it so much and was glad to eat it throughout the week.  I couldn’t find fresh tarragon, so I used dried tarragon and chicken thighs, rather than a whole chicken.

Roasted Chicken with Rhubarb and Tarragon

Roasted Chicken with Rhubarb and Tarragon

1 organic or free-range chicken
2 shallots
3 garlic cloves, halved
10 tarragon sprigs
1 lb 2 oz rhubarb
1/2 c sugar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the chicken into 8 pieces, and the shallots into wedges.  Put the chicken pieces in an ovenproof dish with the shallot wedges, garlic, and tarragon.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the rhubarb into 3/4 in chunks and mix with the sugar in a bowl.  Take the chicken out after its 30 minutes of roasting and place the rhubarb around and under the chicken.  Put back in the oven and roast for another 20 minutes.  Check to see if the chicken is done and if not, roast 5-10 minutes more.

Raspberry Rhubarb Sorbet

With summer upon us, I think I am declaring this the summer of ice cream.  For a few years, I’ve had the attachment for my KitchenAid mixer that makes ice cream, but for a number of reasons I have not made much in terms of ice cream.  I’m ready for that to change.  So, when I came across this recipe on Pastry Affair, I knew I wanted to make it.  My love affair with rhubarb is well-documented here, here, here, here, and here.  So, the combination of raspberry and rhubarb in a sorbet that contains no dairy, sugar, and is pretty much real food-friendly was a no brainer.

Raspberry Rhubarb Sorbet.jpg

Raspberry Rhubarb Sorbet

12 oz rhubarb, chopped inch 1-inch sections
6 oz raspberries
1/2 c water
1 c honey
1 tsp vanilla

In a large saucepan, combine rhubarb, raspberries, water, and honey and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Lower the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the rhubarb is soft and translucent.  Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

Allow mixture to cool for 10-15 minutes before transferring to a blender or food processor.  Process until smooth.  Chill for 3-4 hours or until cold.

Freeze mixture in ice cream maker, following the manufacturer’s instructions.  Transfer sorbet to an airtight container and freeze for 4-6 hours before serving.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp

This is the last in a series that has been part of the dinner I made for my friends Megan and Tom.  Tom and I have the same job at different campuses, and as a result, we’ve been attending several of the same conferences this summer.  Our most recent adventure, last week, involved him bringing my suitcase to our conference in Indianapolis because I was jet setting back and forth across the country, attending a reunion in Colorado.  When Tom and I were in Indianapolis, we went over to New Day Craft Cider and Mead.  As we were tasting the delicious ciders (and slightly disagreeing on our favorites), he mentioned that rhubarb had not been an ingredient he had frequently tasted.  It’s not question I love the rhubarb, as evidenced by here, here, here, here, and here.  So, I knew that I needed to make something with rhubarb for dessert.  Looking at the Celebrating the Midwestern Table cookbook, I saw a recipe for Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp and knew it would be a great way to end our meal.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

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Pi Day

Have I mentioned how many small town festivals my small town has each year?  We often joke that if you are familiar with Star’s Hollow and Gilmore Girls, Mount Vernon could easily compete.  We are a couple of months away from Chalk the Walk, but yesterday we celebrated Pi Day.  You know, 3.1415…as seen here:

Well, across the world yesterday was Pi Day: March 14.  Our Community Development Group decided to celebrate through a fundraiser by asking folks to make pies and then the group sold them for donations.  Our grocery store even had a sale on milk to help support the sale, which happened in our grocery store parking lot.  I made a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, from the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cookbook.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie.jpg

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Rhubarb Mustard

I love rhubarb.  It’s absolutely one of my favorite things to eat.  It might be because in 5th grade my science experiment looked at how quickly salt water, sugar water, and regular water traveled up the veins in a celery stick and rhubarb looks a lot like celery.  But, probably not.  I probably just like rhubarb.  My usual go-to with rhubarb are Rhubarb Bars.  I’ve also made a Rhubarb Torte.  In fact, it’s a little bit interesting that for a vegetable with such a short season in the spring, I’ve blogged about this ingredient more than most.

And, today, I write about rhubarb again.
Over the fourth of July, I met up with a couple of friends at a new-ish restaurant in Solon, Iowa, which is also a brewery.  We headed to Big Grove Brewery.  I’m slowly making my way through their craft beer list and food.  While we were there, we ate dinner and with our charcuterie plate came some Rhubarb Mustard.  It was pretty tasty.

With my love of rhubarb, I set out for a way to make this at home.  So, I started looking on google for a recipe for rhubarb mustard and found this recipe on Mason Jars to Muffin Tins.  It’s a modified recipe from a Gourmet magazine recipe, and while I didn’t try the original, this tasted about how I wanted it to taste.  I’m looking forward to serving it next week when I have some folks over as a thank you for helping with a photo shoot a couple weeks ago.
I think it would be kind of good with the grilled cheese I was making all last week, but then again, I love honey mustard and use it almost all of the time.

So, without further ado, here’s the recipe:

Rhubarb Mustard better


 

Rhubarb Mustard Begin
Rhubarb Mustard

¾ cup yellow mustard seeds
½ c brown mustard seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
3 ½ c rhubarb, cut into ½ inch pieces
½ c sugar
½ c honey
¼ c brown sugar
1 ¾ c cider vinegar
½ tsp kosher salt

Grind the mustard and fenugreek into a fine powder.  Similar to the folks at Mason Jars to Muffin Tins, I use a coffee grinder that is used for grinding spices.  I also reserved 2 Tbsp of each kind of mustard seeds to help make it a more coarse mustard.  Put everything into a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the rhubarb is soft and unrecognizable.  It will get a little stringy and then help facilitate that by helping to mash it.  If you’d like a more smooth mustard, you can use an immersion blender to make a smooth mixture.  Add in extra mustard seeds.  Pour mustard into hot sterilized jars, seal, and process 15 minutes in a boiling water bath.


 

I can’t wait to take this home to share with my family in a few days.  In fact, I hear the cans popping behind me as they cool right now.

Rhubarb Bars

I love spring vegetables.  Maybe it’s just from living in the northern parts of the United States and having frozen and canned vegetables all winter long… When spring arrives and the first few signs of vegetables sprout through the ground, I get excited to start using them in my cooking.  As I clear out the last few vegetables from winter in the freezer, I start to put together my spring dessert recipes as well.  And, with summer, it’s nice to brighten up the work day, reward friends who help me move, and use some fresh vegetables.At my parents home growing up, we almost always had rhubarb readily available.  If you’ve seen it out in the wild, or in someone’s garden, you know that it looks somewhat similar to swiss chard.  However, this vegetable has poisonous leaves.  The stalks, though, when cooked have an amazing color and flavor.  At the Fisher’s Club, Alice makes World-Famous Rhubarb Pie, as you’ve maybe heard referenced on Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion shows.  In my house, we’ve often made rhubarb jam or rhubarb bars.

Well, to bring some sweet treats into work, I decided to make Rhubarb Bars for my colleagues.

I generally start the filling before I mix the crust.  To do so, you need to chop the rhubarb:

This is what it looks like when the filling starts cooking on the stove:

Rhubarb BarsRhubarb Bars
Filling:
4 c chopped rhubarb
1 ½ c sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
¼ c water
Cook filling until fibers break down and sauce thickens to a jelly or jam consistency.  Add 1 tsp vanilla. 

Crust:
1 ½ c oatmeal
1 c margarine
1 c brown sugar
½ tsp soda
1 ½ c flour

Mix together all ingredients in crust until crumbly.  Put ¾ of the crust into a 9×13 pan.  Pour rhubarb mixture over the crust.  Sprinkle remaining crumbs over filling and bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes.