French Fridays with Dorie: (not) salmon with basil tapenade | eat. live. travel. write.

French Fridays with Dorie: (not) salmon with basil tapenade

Uh huh, so yeah, this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe was a lovely sounding Salmon with Basil Tapenade (p 299). Lovely if you like salmon. Which I don’t. If I was at home I would have made this for Mr Neil but since I am not (and I was shopping for this on Monday – NEVER buy fish on Monday!) I decided that I would make a chicken version of this. I mean, the point of the recipe is not really salmon or no salmon, it’s about making a lovely little pocket in something and stuffing it with tapenade-y goodness.

The tapenade is mixed with some basil or mint (I used both) and lemon zest and juice.  A little of this mix is later added to some olive oil to make a kind of dressing for the salmon chicken.  Dorie cooks the salmon on the stove and finishes it in the oven but I coated my chicken with a little flour and pan fried it in butter to get that lovely golden colour.  I served it to friends accompanied by Julia Child’s ratatouille and next week’s Dorie recipe (also a bit of an “adapted” version!) – a lemony pilaf.  It was a perfect summer meal. Even if, you know, it’s not summery weather….

French Fridays with Dorie participants do not publish the recipes on our blogs, rather, we prefer if you purchase Around My French Table for yourselves (trust me, you definitely want this book!) which you can do here on Amazon or Amazon Canada. Or for free worldwide shipping, buy from The Book Depository. Go on, treat yourself – join us I have not missed a week since October 2010 and the recipes that I didn’t like I can count on one hand.

French Friday links:

Can’t join me in Paris this summer? How about “Un après midi à Paris” – a new class I will be teaching at Aprhrodite Cooks this coming October? Join me for a sweet afternoon learning the secrets to some classic French desserts: the elusive macaron, profiteroles, tarte au citron, madeleines and mendiants. We’ll be making “petit four” sizes of each in a hands on class and participants will leave with a box of the class’s creations. After the class you will receive recipes to help you recreate your Parisian treats at home. Refreshments of tea and coffee and infused waters enjoyed throughout the afternoon. Click to book your spot for this exciting new class on Saturday October 13th 2012.

I’m also thrilled to be teaching my first macaron class at Aphrodite Cooks in November – Macarons: Simple comme Bonjour! “Simple comme bonjour” means “as easy as A, B, C” and really, macarons are not as difficult as everyone makes them out to be. Spend the afternoon in a hands-on class, learning the secrets of this temperamental, yet exquisite French delicacy – you’ll leave with some of your creations and a new found confidence (and recipes!) to tackle the cookie with the bad reputation all by yourself at home! Refreshments and snacks will be served. Click to book your spot in this new macaron class on Saturday November 3rd 2012.

Read my latest articles on Food Network Canada: Spotlight on Paris markets, Seven must-visit destinations in Burgundy and Eating, drinking and learning at Ô Chateau, Paris.

Follow my French travels on Flickr this summer with my Summer 2012 set of photos – updated regularly!

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37 Responses to French Fridays with Dorie: (not) salmon with basil tapenade

  1. Cher July 20, 2012 at 05:46 #

    I missed the stuffing the fish part (and the cooking it on the stove too) – I went very rogue on next week’s lemon barley pilaf 🙂
    This looks lovely & your Parisian adventures sound scrumptious.

  2. Liz July 20, 2012 at 07:14 #

    Now I have something to do with my leftover tapenade…using chicken is such a great idea. And your plating is gorgeous!!! Merci!!!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite August 19, 2012 at 07:32 #

      Thanks Liz 🙂 It’s a great idea to stuff chicken – I’ll be doing it from now on a lot more often.

  3. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction July 20, 2012 at 08:27 #

    I’m with you on the non-salmon version of this dish… I think chicken is a lovely choice. Yum!

  4. Loly July 20, 2012 at 08:54 #

    I am new around your blog and I “LOVE” it 😀
    I am your happy new follower XD
    Thanks for sharing..


  5. Maria July 20, 2012 at 11:08 #

    Definitely a good choice to use chicken instead of salmon. It looks fantastic!

  6. Jenn July 20, 2012 at 12:11 #

    ha I had my mom read me this recipe out of her book over the phone so I could make it, i think we will this weekend! Love your adaption, I think we will do that too 🙂

    • Mr. Neil July 21, 2012 at 20:12 #

      Hey Jenn…hope you two are doing well! Must be “you three” soon. 🙂

      Just thinking of you as in a fortnight will be at our next wine region home in France…Southern Rhone this year.

      • Jenn July 23, 2012 at 08:35 #

        Thanks Neil – Yep we’ve been “three” for about a month and a half now – crazy but good 🙂 Oooh great region, hope you all have a fantastic time!!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite August 19, 2012 at 07:31 #

      It’s a great gluten free recipe!

  7. Rose July 20, 2012 at 16:06 #

    Sounds like a great substitution and looks delicious. And I hear ya on the weather, while my friends and family in the US are complaining about the heat wave, I am still using my scarf on a daily basis!

  8. Dessert By Candy July 20, 2012 at 17:56 #

    Great adaptation of the recipe. I think the tapenade plays a bigger role in the dish with the substitution of chicken since chicken is more a blank canvas. Unless of course you scored some flavourful chicken in France! I have a feeling you did. 🙂 I love following your tweets for all those adventure on the other side of the pond. Sounds like you’re having a great time. I’m a little green now. 🙂

  9. Julia {The Roasted Root} July 20, 2012 at 18:37 #

    Basil tapenade sounds great! I have a basil plant at home that’s growing out of control, so this is perfect. I love the different flavors with the chicken – what a wholesome and delicious recipe!

  10. Marina@ Picnic at Marina July 20, 2012 at 23:40 #

    Ow, what a great meal, love salmon! 🙂

  11. Lola July 21, 2012 at 01:44 #

    Chicken is a great substitution if you don’t like fish! Very clever!

  12. Nana July 21, 2012 at 09:26 #

    That is a great idea to use chicken with the tapenade. I sometimes think chicken needs a bit
    of flavoring, and this is perfect. Tricia and I both had good luck with the salmon, all of ours
    tasters enjoyed it.

  13. Ann Mah July 21, 2012 at 13:36 #

    Ooh, ooh! Cutting a little pocket for a delicious filling is my favorite way to cook chicken! I usually use feta cheese and spinach, but tapenade and herbs is a delightful variation.

  14. Mary Hirsch July 21, 2012 at 19:38 #

    Well, Mardi, there were several good ideas in those two paragraphs. Thanks. Your menu looks delicious. Lots of cooking for not being in your own kitchen. I subscribed to Food Network Canada. It’s a wonderful site and I have long-time Toronto friends so I like keeping up with that city. Hope you’re still enjoying your travels and experiences. And, yes, I’m still envious.

  15. Teresa July 22, 2012 at 03:13 #

    Nice variation. I love the sound of chicken stuffed with tapenade. I’m going to be doing a bit of a twist for next week’s recipe, since my partner can’t do barley.

  16. Maggie July 23, 2012 at 16:43 #

    I have lots of mango chatini left and I think I will stuff it in some chicken! Thanks for the idea Mardi! And you pics are lovely, as always!

  17. Maggie July 23, 2012 at 16:43 #


  18. Maya@Foodiva's Kitchen July 25, 2012 at 22:36 #

    Chicken instead of fish, what a lovely idea, Mardi! I’ve been totally off the FFWD bandwagon for weeks but I look forward to doing the lemony pilaf this week. I looked closely at yours, and it’s given me some ideas to use as an alternative to barley 🙂

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