Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Ethics of Organic

Coles stock organic produce, they have for a while now. I'm counting on simple economics: buy more from them, create more demand and there will be more supply, driving the price down. Is that ethical? Is that local and sustainable? It's capitalism. It somehow feels wrong combining both those words together: organic and capitalism. I'm not sure how I feel about it, but when it comes down to the dollars, the organic stuff is cheaper there than other places I've seen. I'm happy to be proven wrong.

So I had organic zucchini to use up...but how?

I was leafing through my new French cookbook. Insert a guy holding a baguette and wearing a moustache, here. I can't help it, he's also mocking me in his heavy French accent in my head. So all that's happening and I'm trying to find a recipe which does not use creme fraiche or lots of cheese, or 10 tonnes of butter or more creme fraiche. I get inspired by a few ingredients: namely lemon and the combination of tarragon and chicken which I've been wanting to try for a while. Throw in the zucchini and I make up the following dish.

Lemon & Tarragon Chicken with Organic Zucchini
10 mins prep time, 30-35 mins cooking, serves 4

olive oil
small knob butter
plain white flour for dusting
3 chicken fillets cut into chunks
dried tarragon
fresh parsley, chopped,
½ lemon zest (carved off using a peeler) and juice
2 small organic zucchini, thickly sliced
¼ cup dry white wine
¼ cup water
2 small cloves garlic, crushed with the flat side of the knife and torn into chunky pieces
freshly ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  1. Lightly dust the chicken pieces in flour and set aside.
  2. Place the olive oil and butter in a pan and swish until butter is melted.
  3. Add the chicken pieces and slightly brown on both sides.
  4. Add freshly ground sea salt and black pepper, tarragon, lemon zest, lemon juice, white wine and water to the pan, stir.
  5. Cook on low heat with a lid for approx. 20 mins until chicken is juicy and tender.
  6. Stir in the garlic pieces and parsley. Place the zucchini pieces on top and replace the lid, cooking for a further 5 mins on very low heat, just enough to steam the zucchini. Turn heat off and ready to serve.
 I served this puppy up on stacked polenta, which I boiled, let set, cut into squares and fried.

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