Bonjour! French bread is one of Frances’ greatest gifts to the world, at least in my option! What could be better that breaking into a warm crusty loaf of freshly baked French bread? When I lived in the South of France I spent many a happy morning in line for a fresh pastry and a loaf of warm French bread. Walking along the streets I would see everyone with smiles on their faces and their new loaves perched over their shoulders. Going to the bakery each day, when time allows, is part of their daily routine. It’s as natural to the French to go to the bakery each morning, as going for a coffee at Starbucks is to most of us. They often take their bread along to a little café to enjoy with their morning coffee or hot chocolate. I think that the best of both worlds. Great French bread and freshly brewed coffee. Ooh La La! French Bread or a Baguette, as it is called in France, is a thin long loaf of bread that is most commonly made form a basic lean dough. A standard baguette is about 2 to 2 1/3 inches around and is usually about 24 inches long; however some are as long as 39 inches. The dough is regulated by French law, but the shape can vary. It is usually distinguished by its length, crisp crust, and slits designed to allow and enable the proper expansion of gases. Baguettes are claimed to be a descendent of the pain viennois which was introduced toward the mid-19th century from Vienna, Austria. There are varying accounts as to the exact origins of the baguette. No matter how they came to actually be the loaves we know and love today, it is clear that they are not only a French staple, but loved throughout the world. Baguettes are great for sandwiches and are usually sliced in half and filled with veggies, cheeses, and meats. In today’s recipe I have stuffed them with a flavorful mild chicken curry that’s sure to please. If you are not a fan of curry just leave it out and perhaps add a few more herbs. French bread is also served for breakfast with jam or chocolate spread. Dunking your chocolate covered piece of baguette in a mug of hot chocolate is not only a delicious way to start your day it’s also a very French way of enjoying your baguette. I hope this has inspired you to get a up a little earlier and head off to your favorite bakery in search of a crispy fresh warm baguette and don’t forget the chocolate spread.
Everyone who has tasted this recipe says it’s the best chicken curry salad they have ever had! I’ll let you and your friends be the judge of that. This recipe also works really well with *crispy sautéed pieces of tofu. I love to serve it on French bread. Always use organic ingredients when possible!
- 3 Cups cooked chicken breast or thighs (cut in 1 inch cubes)
- ¼ to ½ Cup mayonnaise (to taste)(you can also use vegan mayo)
- 1 Tablespoon *Bragg Liquid Aminos
- ¼ Cup toasted walnuts (coarsely chopped)
- ½ Cup seedless grapes (cut in half)
- ¼ Cup dried currants and/or raisins
- 2 Tablespoons red onion (finely chopped)
- 2 Tablespoons green onion (finely chopped)
- 2 Tablespoons cilantro and/or parsley (finely chopped)
- 1 Tablespoon fresh mint (finely chopped)
- 2 Tablespoons agave or honey
- 1 Tablespoon mild curry powder (or spicier to taste)
- ¼ Teaspoon whole cumin seeds
- ½ Teaspoon sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- French baguettes or your favorite bread for sandwiches
- In a medium large bowl combine all ingredients except the cooked chicken and mix well. Add the chicken and gently mix well. Check to see if there is enough salt and pepper for your taste. You can serve immediately or chill overnight to let the flavors really come out. I like to serve it in a French baguette cut in half lengthwise with a little of the bread scooped out to form a little pocket or open face on toasted raisin nut bread. The chicken curry is also great served on ¼ inch cucumber rounds garnished with a sprig of cilantro as an appetizer.
*Tip: Freeze your tofu overnight or longer, thaw completely when ready to use and drain well on paper towels. Cut the tofu into about ¾ inch cubes and fry or sauté until crispy, and add a little Braggs. (Freezing the tofu gives it a great texture)They are also delicious as croutons served in soups and salads. *www.bragg.com
Visit Chef Kate’s website www.chefkatealiveandcooking.com and the Kora Organics Blog www.koraorganics.com (under Chef Kate) for more healthy organic recipes and articles.