From the Stacks

When he was a college student in Texas, Billy Cox and his friends cooked just about every recipe from The Frugal Gourmet-On our Immigrant Ancestors: Recipes you should have gotten from your grandmother, by Jeff Smith. “I probably spent more time cooking than I did in class,” he said sheepishly.

Cox visited SoFAB’s John & Bonnie Boyd Hospitality & Culinary Library on Friday to look through his old favorite cookbook, which he found via the New Orleans Public Library online catalog. “I searched for the title on NOPL’s website and the result indicated the book was part of the SoFAB collection. I had no idea this SoFAB library existed,” said Cox. After jotting down the recipe for Basque Chicken and Rice (see below), Cox perused the 1996 edition of The New American Chef by the Culinary Institute of America; next he looked through the shelves containing our new Chef Paul Prudhomme collection. “This place is amazing!” said Cox, a recent transplant from Jacksonville, Florida. “I will definitely be back!”

Thanks for sharing your memories, Billy!

 Basque Chicken and Rice

Serves 8 as a rice dish

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1  3-pound chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped small
  • ½ medium green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped small
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 cups Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat a deep stove-top casserole and add the oil and chicken. Brown the pieces well and then remove to a platter. Leave the oil in the pan. Add to the pan the garlic, yellow onion, and green pepper. Saute until the onion is clear and then deglaze the pan with ¼ cup water. Return the chicken to the pot and add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, cover the pot, and turn down to a simmer. Cook for 25 minutes, or until the rice is just tender.

Smith, Jeff. The Frugal Gourmet-On our Immigrant Ancestors: Recipes you should have gotten from your grandmother. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc Copyright 1990.