Catalan Roasted Chicken with Cinnamon Thyme & Pears

Roasted Chicken w Cinnamon Thyme Pears plated with QuinoaWe’re not cooking Greek. This time it’s Spanish. Here’s my recipe for Catalan Roasted Chicken with onions, carrots, cinnamon, thyme, pears, orange juice and zest, raisins and dried cranberries. I adapted this recipe from one in Sur La Table’s** cooking class, “Date Night: Tapas Party. I served it with quinoa. There’s a printable recipe at the end of this post. Be sure to check it for coupons.

1 IngredientsIngredients: Chicken thighs, salt and pepper, olive oil, onion, carrots, cinnamon stick, thyme, chicken stock, garlic, pears, raisins, dried cranberries, orange juice & zest.

2 Searing the chicken

Chicken thighs seared until golden brown in olive oil and a little butter.

3 Chicken in oven dish

Golden brown chicken in ovenproof dish set aside. 1/4 cup of pan liquid reserved.

4 Onions carrots cook until soft

Onions, garlic and carrots cooked until soft.

5 Stock mixture over chicken

Stock added and mixture poured over chicken – ready for the oven.

6 Pears browning cut side down

Pears frying cut side down, until just slightly brown. Combined fruit mixture.

7 raisins cranberries zest juice & reserve liquid

Fruit mixture with juice, zest and reserved pan liquid and browned pears.
I used orange zest strips for a more rustic look or you can zest with a microplane.

8 Baked chicken after 20 minutes

Chicken after 20 minutes in 350° oven

9 Adding fruit to baked chicken

Pears and fruit mixture added

Roasted Chicken w Cinnamon Thyme Pears

Finished after baking another 15 minutes in 350° oven.

Catalan Roasted Chicken with Cinnamon Thyme & Pears
Prep time
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This Roasted Chicken with cinnamon, thyme & pears recipe is a Catalan specialty of poultry and fruit, traditionally served with duck.
Recipe type: Savory
Cuisine: Spanish / Catalan
Serves: 4
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 TBLS olive oil
  • 3 TSP butter
  • 1 medium onion, cut into fine slices
  • 2 mediums carrots, cut into ½ inch long slices or 2 cups mini carrots
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 TSP thyme
  • 1½ cups of chicken stock
  • 4 whole garlic cloves
  • 2 firm ripe pears, cored and quartered
  • ⅓ cup raisins
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 TBLS orange zest
  • 4 TBLS orange juice
  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper then set aside
  2. Place large heavy bottom saucepan over medium high heat
  3. Add olive oil to coat bottom of pan
  4. Add 2 TSP butter
  5. Sear chicken until golden brown about 5 minutes per side
  6. Place chicken in ovenproof dish and set aside
  7. Remove drippings/fat/oil from pan and reserve ¼ cup of pan liquid
  8. Set pan liquid aside
  9. Return pan to heat
  10. When pan is hot, add onions, garlic and carrots
  11. Season with salt and pepper
  12. Cook until soft about 5 minutes
  13. Add cinnamon stick, thyme and stock
  14. Increase heat and bring to a boil
  15. Pour the rest of the stock mixture over the chicken in ovenproof dish
  16. Bake covered for approximately 20 minutes
  17. While chicken is baking, combine raisins, dried cranberries, orange zest, juice and reserve liquid and set aside
  18. Add remaining olive oil and butter to pan until it just starts to simmer
  19. Add the pears, cut side down, until they start to brown
  20. Add fruit mixture to chicken
  21. Place browned pears, cut side up around the chicken
  22. Return to oven and bake uncovered until pears are tender, about 15 minutes

** ICYMI I work at Sur La Table Cooking School.

My 1st Cheese Souffle

Today I made my first Cheese Souffle. It was a recipe adapted from Julia Child’s by Sur la table. At the Cooking School** the students make small individual souffles.

Cheese Souffle

Here’s my baked souffle. It would have risen higher if I used a smaller baking dish.

Souffle step 1

It’s important to get all your ingredients ready before you start any of the cooking. Here is the melted butter before I added the flour, hot milk, seasonings and the prepared baking dish.

Souffle step 2

Separated eggs and cheese at the ready.

Souffle step 3

The finished béchamel slightly tinted by the paprika…

Souffle step 4

The whipped egg whites… should have kept whisking a bit longer for stiffer peaks.

Souffle step 5

The egg whites and cheese mixed into the béchamel

Souffle step 6

The mixture poured into the prepared baking dish ready for the oven. Unfortunately, too big of a dish.

My 1st Cheese Souffle
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Julia Child's cheese souffle recipe adapted by Sur la table.
Recipe type: savory
Cuisine: French
Serves: 4
  • 2 tbs finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2½ tbs butter
  • 3 tbs flour
  • 1 cup hot milk
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • pinch of white pepper
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 cup coarsely grated Swiss cheese
  1. Preheat over to 400 degrees F
  2. Set rack on the lower ⅓ level
  3. Measure out all ingredients
  4. Butter a 7½ inch diameter x 3 inch deep baking dish
  5. Roll the grated cheese in the buttered baking dish
  6. Melt butter in 2½ quart saucepan
  7. Stir in flour until smooth about 2 minutes
  8. Let cool for a moment
  9. Pour in hot milk
  10. Whisk vigorously to blend
  11. Return pan to heat
  12. Stir with wooden spoon
  13. Boil slowly for 3 minutes until sauce is very thick
  14. Whisk in seasonings
  15. Remove from heat
  16. Whisk in 4 egg yolks one at a time
  17. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites to stiff peaks
  18. Scoop a quarter of the egg whites into the sauce
  19. Stir them in with a wooden spoon
  20. Add some of the remaining egg whites
  21. Rapidly but delicately fold egg whites in with a spatula alternating egg whites with some of the grated cheese until all are incorporated
  22. Turn the oven down to 375 degrees F
  23. Put mixture into prepared baking dish
  24. Bake until the souffle has puffed 2 to 3 inches and the top has browned
  25. Bring to table as soon as it is done

You can see in this how-to video, Jacques Pepin and Julia Child making a souffle.  There are some commercials in the middle but keep watching. It’s much easier with 2 people/4 hands. Pepin is such a Master. I now know I used too big of a baking dish and didn’t have stiff enough egg white peaks. Next time I will also use a “collar”. I need some copper pans. All in all, not bad for a Greek Gal’s first try at a French Cheese Souffle.

** ICYMI I work at Sur la table Cooking School.

Tuna Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes and Basil

Tuna Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes and Basil

This is a recipe I adapted from Sur la table’s Tuna Tabbouleh with Tomato and Basil. I used quinoa instead of bulgur, left out the shredded carrot and used tuna packed in water instead of tuna packed in olive oil. Having tested their recipe at work**, I can vouch that both are delicious and very easy to make. I doubled the recipe in the photo above. It keeps nicely in the fridge and travels well for lunch or as a dish to bring to a pot-luck. Enjoy! And as always, let me know if you make it and if you liked it.

Tuna Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes and Basil
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Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Serves: 4
  • 1 cup of Quinoa
  • 2 cups of water
  • 6 scallions, white portion only
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and cut into ¼ inch dice
  • ¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped basil
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 [6 oz] can of tuna
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 2 lemons juiced
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a small saucepan combine quinoa and water
  2. Bring to a boil
  3. Reduce heat to low
  4. Cook covered approx. 10-15 minutes or until water has been absorbed
  5. Set quinoa aside to cool
  6. In a separate bowl, combine tuna, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper
  7. Once quinoa is cool, add scallions, cucumber, parsley, basil and cherry tomatoes
  8. Mix the tuna mixture gently into the quinoa mixture
  9. Season with salt and pepper

** ICYMI I work at Sur la table Cooking School.

Food of the Greek Isles

I assisted Chef Nicholas Cornfield last night at a Sur la Table cooking class called “Greek Foods of the Greek Isles“.* The menu included recipes for:

  • Phyllo Cups with Tomatoes, Feta and Oregano
  • Flaming Prawns with Ouzo
  • Tomato Roasted Summer Vegetables with Dill
  • and Caramelized Figs in Port and Orange Sauce Phyllo Cups

A photo of a couple of the Phyllo Cups above. The recipe was easy to assemble and serve. These would make great hors devours  for a cocktail party.

Summer roasted veggies

The Roasted Summer Vegetables with Dill includes:

      • Eggplant
      • Onions
      • Garlic
      • Tomatoes
      • Potatoes
      • Zucchini
      • Peppers
      • Parsley

This vegetable dish is very similar to my Baked Veggies – Tourlou Tava. That post includes a how-to video. Now I would saute the onions and garlic, roast the peppers before hand and also add fresh herbs as well.

Prawns with OuzoAbove, the Flaming Prawns with Ouzo plated on top of the Roasted Summer Vegetables.

Caramelized Figs

Finally for dessert, the Caramelized Figs in Port and Orange Sauce plated with the sauce reduction and served with Greek yogurt. (You could also substitute the yogurt with ice cream.) This is such a delicious dessert. I’ve taken the liberty to add the recipe below. Fresh figs are in season right now. These were purchased from Whole Foods Market.

Caramelized Figs with Port and Orange Sauce
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Caramelized Figs with Port and Orange Sauce served with Greek yogurt
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 pints fresh figs (about a dozen) halved lengthwise
  • ½ cup tawny port wine
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh orange juice
  1. In a shallow dish, stir together the sugar and salt
  2. Press the cut side of each fig into the sugar and salt mixture to coat
  3. Heat a large skillet over high heat
  4. Add figs, cut side down
  5. Cook until sugar and juices caramelize, approximately 3 or 4 minutes
  6. Remove skillet from heat
  7. Add port
  8. Return skillet to heat
  9. Cook to reduce the syrup, approximately 30 seconds
  10. Scrap up any caramelized bits on the bottom of the pan
  11. Remove from heat again
  12. Add butter and orange juice
  13. Gently swirl pan to combine
  14. Cool at room temperature or serve warm

Kali orexi! Come take a class at Sur la Table. Ping me for details or visit their site.

*Disclosure – I am employed by Sur la Table. I am an Assistant in the Cooking School.
All these photos were taken during last night’s class.