Sunday, January 3, 2016

No Baguette Left Behind

This weekend we had an amazing cheese fondue but didn't come close to using up the extra 2 baguette I'd purchased (no I'm not sure why I bought so many either). Yesterday the poor things were nearly rock hard. But waste not, want not so I figured out a way to use them up. 

First, I made an adaptation of the rotisserie chicken with croutons you'd find in Paris. Influenced by Ina Garten's recipe I threw in a hit of lemon and I think it came out even better than Ina's. Imagine that. 

I preheated the oven to 375 and cut a lemon into quarters almost but not all the way through. I spread the quarters and stuck the lemon on the point of my rarely used Staub vertical roasting pan. I then placed my salt and peppered 3.5 lb chicken over that and threw it into the oven. 

Meanwhile, I cut 3/4 of a baguette into 1" cubes. After the chicken had roasted for 45 minutes I tossed the baguette cubes in the bottom of the vertical roaster and turned them until they'd absorbed the accumulated pan juices then returned the chicken to the oven for 20-40 minutes more until it was done (165 degrees in the breast and juices running clear. The temp will rise to 170 as it rests). While the chicken rested, I squeezed the roasted lemon over the croutons and served the two together. Yum! Just like rotisserie chicken with croutons in Paris except without the rotisserie. And not in Paris. I wish I'd taken a picture. Next time. 

But we were still left with 3/4 of a rapidly fossilizing baguette.  So I also cut that into 1" cubes and tossed it with 9 eggs I'd scrambled with 1 cup milk, 1/8 cup sugar, a pinch of salt and good sprinkle of cinnamon. I put the soggy cubes into an 8x8" buttered baking dish, covered with plastic wrap and left it in the fridge overnight. This morning I pulled it out, sprinkled one half with a good handful of chocolate chips to please my teen audience (I'm not such a chocoholic) then tossed it into a preheated 350 degree oven. 45 minutes later we had this beautiful French Toast casserole. 

I served with a liberal douse of maple syrup it was a hit all around. Next time I'd put chocolate chips over the whole thing.  Yum and no baguette left behind. 

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