Chicken with Lemon and Tarragon


Yield: Serves 6-8


2 lemons
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 (3 1/2-lb) chicken,  rinsed and patted dry
1 head garlic, left unpeeled and halved horizontally
1/4 cup honey( if you want)
1 tablespoon olive oil


Put oven rack in middle position and preheat to 425°F.

Finely grate enough zest from 1 lemon to measure 1 tablespoon, then squeeze enough juice from same lemon to measure 2 tablespoons. Stir together butter, tarragon, zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper.

Put chicken, breast side up, in a small roasting pan. Starting from neck, work your fingers gently between skin and flesh of breast to loosen skin all the way to thighs without tearing. Put one fourth of tarragon butter under skin of each breast, then rub skin from outside to spread evenly.

Starting from large cavity, loosen skin on both sides of cavity with a paring knife (to provide access to thighs), then work your fingers gently between skin and flesh of thighs and drumsticks. Divide remaining tarragon butter among thighs and drumsticks, rubbing skin from outside to spread evenly. Season cavity and skin with salt and pepper, then halve remaining lemon and put inside cavity along with garlic.

Whisk together honey, lemon juice, oil, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Roast chicken 30 minutes, then brush pan juices and half of honey mixture over chicken and roast 10 minutes more. Brush chicken again with pan juices and remaining honey mixture and continue to roast until thermometer inserted in fleshy part of a thigh (do not touch bone) registers 170°F, about 20 minutes more.

Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let stand 10 to 15 minutes before carving. Skim fat from pan juices and serve juices with chicken. Enjoy.

Butheina Alnounou

Cauliflower Soup


1 head cauliflower

1 potato (large)

1 onion

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 cups chicken stock

salt and pepper to season 


Clean and cut the cauliflower into 1-2 inch pieces. Scrub the potato and cut into one inch cubes. Peel and slice the onion into quarters. Toss the vegetables with the olive oil; season with salt and pepper.  Roast in a 425 degree F oven for 45 minutes, occasionally stirring the vegetables to turn them over. 

Combine with the chicken stock in a large saucepan and puree with an immersion blender. Or, use a blender to puree the soup. Top with meat and green onions if you'd like. Enjoy.


Butheina Alnounou

Browned Butter Cardamom Tea Cookies


•           1 cup butter

•           ¾ cup sugar

•           1 egg yolk

•           1 tablespoon vanilla

•           ½ teaspoon ground cardamom

•           2 cups all-purpose flour

•           1 cup powdered sugar


1.         Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat, constantly stirring until butter just starts to turn golden brown and gets foamy and bubbly – about 4 minutes. Immediately remove from heat, transfer to a bowl and cool in refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

2.         Pre-heat oven to 350°F.

3.         Combine cooled browned butter and sugar and beat at medium speed until smooth.

4.         Add egg yolk, vanilla and cardamom, and continue beating until combined.

5.         On low speed, gradually add flour until mixture is no longer crumbly and forms a dough.

6.         Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies puff and start to turn light golden brown, and small cracks form on the surface.

7.         Immediately remove from cookie sheets. Cool 1 minute. Roll cookies in powdered sugar while warm and again when completely cooled. Store between sheets of waxed paper in loosely covered container.

     Butheina Alnounou

Beef Curry with Chickpeas


Serves 4

Curry tastes better once it’s stood for a while, so make this lovely sweet curry the day before to allow the flavors to develop nicely. If you like a bit more of a kick, increase the curry powder to taste.


1.5kg stewing beef, cubed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper.
80ml flour
60ml oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
15ml medium curry powder
300ml beef stock
1 tin (410g) Chopped Peeled Tomatoes
30ml chutney
250g butternut, cubed
1 tin (410g) boiled Chickpeas, drained
150g baby potatoes, cooked


Season the meat with salt and pepper and roll each piece in the flour. Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the meat until golden brown. Remove from the saucepan. Heat the remaining oil and fry the onion, garlic, curry powder and boiled potato for several minutes. Add the meat to the saucepan and add the stock, chopped tomatoes and chutney. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for an hour-and-a-half. Add the butter and simmer until done. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for several more minutes. Season to taste and serve with rice.

Butheina Alnounou


Baked Chicken Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 50 minutes


  • 3 to 4 lb chicken, cut into 8 parts (2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 legs, 2 wings) excluding the back
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup of chicken stock for the gravy


1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Rinse chicken pieces in water and pat dry with paper towels. Coat the bottom of a roasting pan with olive oil. Rub some olive oil over all of the chicken pieces in the roasting pan. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken pieces with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Arrange the pieces skin-side up in the roasting pan so the largest pieces are in the center (the breasts) and there is a little room between pieces so they aren't crowded in the pan.

2 Cook for 30 minutes at 400°F. Then lower the heat to 350°F and cook for 10-30 minutes more (approximately 14 to 15 minutes per pound total cooking time) until juices run clear (not pink) when poked with a sharp knife or the internal temperature of the chicken breasts is 165°F and the thighs 170°. If your chicken pieces aren't browning to your satisfaction, you can put them under the broiler for the last 5 minutes of cooking, until browned sufficiently.

3 Remove roasting pan from oven. Remove chicken from roasting pan to a serving plate.  Tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

4 To make gravy for the chicken, take the roasting pan with its drippings and place on a medium setting on the stovetop. Use a metal spatula to scrape up the drippings stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add a half of chicken stock to the pan to help deglaze the drippings from the pan.
Pour the stock and dripping mixture into a small saucepan and heat on medium high to reduce to desired thickness.

*While the chicken pieces are baking, if you bought a whole chicken that was then cut into pieces, you may have the back, the neck, and some gizzard pieces to use for making chicken stock. You can chop up the back a little, put it and the neck and gizzards (not the liver) into a small saucepan, barely cover with water, bring to a simmer, cook while the chicken is cooking. When the chicken in the oven is done cooking, use the stock from simmering the extra pieces to make the gravy.

Serve with steamed rice, mashed potatoes, or Egyptian rice.

Yield: Serves 4.