Author of Lion Heart & Alessio: The Victory Ride Series

Goût de France: Brining Recipe

Brining Chicken

How many times have you roasted a chicken that came out dry? Too many times for me and I’ve finally found the answer to my madness—Brining! Brining is a method of bathing your bird in a salt solution to retain the juices in the meat. During the brining process, the salt dissolves proteins in muscle fibers and the meat absorbs the liquid, yielding a juicier bird.

Brining is key to a juicy flavorful bird every time, and the process is super easy. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be kicking yourself for not trying it sooner. It’s actually so good that you won’t even need gravy.

Once you’ve conquered brining, follow my recipe for Roasted Dijon Chicken with Fingerling Potatoes and Gravy. Bon Appetit!

Chicken Brining Ingredients

1 (4 -5 lb.) Whole chicken
1 gallon warm water
½ cup sea salt
½ cup sugar
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 sprigs thyme

Chicken Brining Directions

Add the warm water to a large container or pot. Mix in the salt, sugar, soy sauce, EVOO, garlic, and thyme until salt and sugar have dissolved. Then place the chicken into the brine and cover. Refrigerate whole chicken for 24 hours.

If you’re using the brine for chicken breasts or boned pieces, less time is required for the marinade—they only need to be refrigerated about 4 hours.

Related Links:

Roasted Dijon Chicken with Fingerling Potatoes and Gravy

Goût de France: Thanks, Mom!

Click here to check out Megan’s educational adventure book for kids ages 8-12!

Goût de France: Fig Preserves

Fig Preserves

One of the great things about living in Hawaii is our abundance of fruit trees year round. And in my opinion, there’s nothing more satisfying than picking and eating fresh produce from my own yard. I especially love and appreciate the fig trees. Not only did fig leaves clothe Adam and Eve in their time of need, but figs are also one of the oldest and sweetest fruits known to man—and nutritious to boot!

Fig Preserves, Hawaiian Fig Tree

We have figs coming out our ears every Fall and if I’m quick enough I can snag a bunch before the chickens devour them. My husband grew up eating his grandmother’s fig preserves and challenged me to start making them as good as Granny’s from our own bounty.

Before meeting my southern born husband, I’d never even seen a fresh fig let alone eat one, and had no idea what I was missing. So for the past few years I’ve been canning, selling, and eating them.

Fig Preserves

I recommend serving my Fig Preserves over goat cheese with crackers or in my Goat Cheese, Fig, and Prosciutto Galette. I also like using them in spiced bread recipes, but my hubby’s fave is drizzling them over warm biscuits like Granny used to make.

So if you can get your hands on some fresh plump figs, my Fig Preserve recipe is a sure thing. Bon Appetit!

Fig Preserves Ingredients

4 cups fresh stemmed and washed figs, chopped
2 cups sugar
¾-1 cup water
1 pinch salt

Fig Preserves Instructions

Remove stems from figs and wash thoroughly in water. Dry off with a clean towel and then chop figs into quarters.

Fig Preserves Ingredients

Add all ingredients to a large saucepan and bring to a boil until it reaches a thick, jam-like consistency.

Fig Preserves

It should take about ½ hour to reduce down to half and become a rich brown color. Make sure to stir often to prevent burning.

Fig Preserves

Spoon into prewashed, hot sterilized jars and follow canning instructions or if you’re using new canning jars, there’s usually canning directions on the box. For more info on canning tips click here. My recipe makes five 8 oz. jars.

Related Links

Goût de France: Goat Cheese, Fig, and Prosciutto Galette

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Goût de France: Thanks, Mom!

Click here to check out Megan’s educational adventure book for kids ages 8-12!

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