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Chicken with Walnuts and Lemon Recipe

Today, we attended an amazing cookbook event hosted by Melissa’s Produce for author Susan Hermann Loomis- Plat du Jour: French Dinners Made Easy. The tutorial started with something I have always wanted to learn how to do – cut apart a whole chicken.

One of the recipes that we learned how to make was Chicken with Walnuts and Lemon. It looked so delicious that I could not wait to get online at to order all the produce to make it for my children next week. The author was so gracious as to share the recipe with us to give to all of you to make at home. Enjoy!!

Chicken with Walnuts and Lemon

Chicken with Walnuts and Lemon, from the Dordogne

EQUIPMENT: large heavy skillet with a lid, tongs
PREPARATION TIME: 10 minutes if the chicken is in pieces; 20 if not
COOKING TIME: 40 minutes max

This is a dish from a farm in the Dordogne, where the walnuts are sweet, fat, and buttery tasting, and they make a perfect complement to poultry. This is the kind of dish that you settle down to with comfort and anticipation, because it’s got all the right elements, from cloves of garlic bursting with their sweet flavor to the golden chicken and walnuts and the tang of lemon that lifts the dish out of the ordinary. Serve this with a lovely Chardonnay.

2 tablespoons olive oil
One 3½- to 4-pound (1.8 to 2 kg) chicken, cut into 8 pieces (2 breast pieces, 2 wings with portion of breast attached, 2 legs, 2 thighs), giblets reserved
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1½ to 2 cups (375 to 500 ml) white wine, such as a sauvignon blanc
12 garlic cloves
1¼ cups (140 g) walnut halves or large pieces
Fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs for garnish

1. Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, brown the chicken pieces, seasoning them liberally with salt and pepper, until they are golden, about 5 minutes per side, using tongs to turn the chicken pieces.

2. Add the lemon juice, ½ cup (125 ml) of the wine, and the garlic cloves to the skillet. Lower the heat to medium, cover, and cook until the chicken is nearly cooked through, about 15 minutes. Then stir the walnuts into the skillet, along with the giblets, cover, and continue to cook for about 8 minutes. Remove the cover from the skillet and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the pan juices have evaporated and the chicken, walnuts, and garlic are golden, 5 to 8 minutes. Be sure to watch the walnuts, for they tend to brown easily. If they are getting too brown at any point in the cooking, remove and return them to the pan just before serving.

3. Transfer the chicken, garlic, and walnuts to a warmed serving platter and deglaze the skillet with the remaining wine, scraping the bottom to loosen any caramelized bits. Begin by adding the smaller amount of wine; if you need more, top it up with the remaining wine and cook until the sauce is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Then pour the sauce over the chicken, garnish with the parsley sprigs, and serve immediately.

About Susan Herrmann Loomis

Susan Herrmann Loomis is a France-based, award-winning author with fourteen books to her credit, a professionally trained chef, and a cooking school proprietor.

Included among her titles are THE GREAT AMERICAN SEAFOOD COOKBOOK, FARMHOUSE COOKBOOK, CLAMBAKES AND FISH FRIES, FRENCH FARMHOUSE COOKBOOK, ITALIAN FARMHOUSE COOKBOOK, (all Workman Publishing, Inc.) and ON RUE TATIN (Broadway Books. 2001) a narrative about her life in France, with recipes which won the IACP best literary food book for 2002, TARTE TATIN (Harper Collins UK, 2003), the sequel, COOKING AT HOME ON RUE TATIN, (William Morrow, May 2005) and NUTS IN THE KITCHEN (William Morrow 2010), IN A FRENCH KITCHEN (Penguin, 2015). FRENCH GRILL (Countryman, 2019); PLAT DU JOUR (Countryman, 2020). All are available online.

Loomis has contributed to many newspapers and magazines including the NEW YORK TIMES, LA TIMES, BOSTON GLOBE, COOKING LIGHT, CULTURE. Loomis has participated in many television and radio shows, including Good Morning America (ABC), Home Matters, Epicurious/Discovery, The Splendid Table with Lynn Rosetto [email protected](MPR); A Food Talk with Arthur [email protected] (WOR); A Good Food Hour with Evan [email protected] (KSRO).

Loomis, who has lived in France for more than thirty years, teaches cooking and the history of French gastronomy in Paris and in the U.S. and is now a principal in , an ethical, entertaining and cultural food platform.

About Plat du Jour: French Dinners Made Easy

If you have been on the hunt for a French cookbook that can be proudly perched alongside your beloved copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, you are in luck. Susan Herrmann Loomis’s newest book, Plat du Jour: French Dinners Made Easy [The Countryman Press; January 12, 2021; Hardcover; $30.00], fuses the most traditional of French cuisine with innovative dishes that feature fresh pairing ideas.

Susan has written fourteen books about food, many of them from France where she has made her home for more than thirty years. With a Grand Diplome in cooking from La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine, a degree in journalism, and a profound passion for the people and traditions that go into all foods, particularly French, she has created Plat du Jour. Based on years of living in a small French town, research conducted on farms throughout France, and the daily joy of eating in a country where food is not just sustenance but the very fabric of life, Susan has assembled the finest, most comforting dishes of France together in this one, lovely volume.

Plat du Jour is anchored by the French formule, with the plat du jour always being “offered as part of a formule that includes a first course or dessert.” After relocating to France from the Pacific Northwest decades ago, Susan fell in love with French food, culture, and, of course, the French dining experience. Her encyclopedic knowledge of French cuisine and her passion for teaching led to her cooking school, On Rue Tatin, out of Paris and Normandy, which offers group cooking classes, market visits, and lectures, all centered around her expertise in French gastronomy. While Plat du Jour is an unashamed celebration of classical French technique and recipes, it’s also a lesson in menu planning and how to complement and enhance flavors throughout multiple courses.

Especially mouthwatering combinations include: Butter-Drizzled Seared Steak with Potato Gratin, Lamb Chops with Rosemary and Orange Syrup, and Fig and Hazelnut Bread with Cocoa Nibs. You would be remiss not to try Susan’s Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream or her Pear, Almond, and Nutmeg Crumble. In a season that has us longing for nightly comfort food, the winter will be made far more tolerable when your kitchen is introduced to Susan’s exquisitely crafted book. While Plat du Jour is filled with new and exciting Gallic flavors, Susan of course includes iconic and classic dishes like Bouillabaisse, Boeuf Bourguignon, and Tarte Tatin.

Luckily, delicious does not have to mean complicated. Plat du Jour lives up to its name and French dinners are made easy with a chapter devoted solely to basics recipes that provide the foundation of so many dishes, and a section dedicated to demystifying common French labels. Susan offers recipes for staples like Chicken Stock and Tender Tart Pastry, along with guidance on navigating French food labels such as AOP, IGP, and STG, each of which gives places food in its traditional context. Susan also distills her lifetime of cooking and teaching into helpful “astuces” or tips on ingredients and techniques. If you have found yourself stuck in a rut of monotonous repeats with too much reliance on the microwave, bring back your culinary joie de vivre with this beautiful, delectable book that is sure to inspire and charm. Bon Appetit!

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One Comment

  1. Thank you so much for this lovely call-oiut both for the book and for the presentation! I hope your family loves the chicken dish – let me know, please!

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