Chattanooga cook wonders: Does Million Dollar Chicken live up to its name?

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Good morning, companions (a word that means, literally, "with bread.") But we have no bread today. We would, however like a recipe for quick yeast bread. This is the request of Euela Laubenheim.

S.P. of St. Elmo is looking for a recipe for "Million Dollar Chicken. I read about it, and I want to try the recipe, but I am wondering if it really lives up to its name, so please send the recipe if you recommend it."

Tarragon turned up in another recipe today, and so we ask, on behalf of at least two readers, where one can find fresh tarragon locally.


Today we share a great cross-country idea. Why not assemble the expert recipes of your family's patriarch or matriarch? And then, why not keep adding, as the family spreads and grows, new culinary favorites to the collection, from the spreading branches of your family tree? Here is one example.

One big happy family — four households at current count — preserved the recipes of their late, beloved matriarch in a web album. They are still cooking Genie's recipes 13 years later, and surely always will. But now the daughter and two sons are making their own kitchen accomplishments. One of them, in fact, is a culinary school graduate. Today they share with you some of the newer recipes that now become part of the story. "We can guarantee we have tested them all," the firstborn son confirmed. This is the Hendrix family's record of food laced always with love.

Fish Fillets With Olives and Oregano

4 (1 1/4-inch-thick, 6 ounces each) pieces white-fleshed skinless fish fillets, such as halibut

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 very thin lemon slices

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/3 cup pitted brine-cured green olives such as picholine, halved lengthwise (2 ounces)

1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano or 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled

Put oven rack in upper third of oven and heat oven to 450 degrees F.

Pat fish dry, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sear fillets, skinned sides down, until browned well, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer, seared sides up, to a shallow ceramic or glass baking dish (reserve skillet), then top each fillet with a slice of lemon.

Add wine to skillet, and bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits. Boil 30 seconds, then pour around fish. Scatter olives around fish, and bake, uncovered, until fish is just cooked through, 8 to 12 minutes.

Transfer fish to a platter, then whisk lemon juice, oregano and remaining 2 tablespoons oil into cooking liquid in baking dish. Season sauce with salt and pepper, and spoon over fish.

Makes 4 main-course servings.

READ MORE: Pan-roasted cod swims in tomatoes, panko and Parmesan)

Provençal Stuffed Tomatoes

The tomatoes can be stuffed several hours ahead of time and refrigerated. Bake as directed to serve. The bacon adds wonderful flavor, but for those who prefer, it can be omitted without problem.

4 ripe medium tomatoes

1/4 cup olive oil

1/3 cup onion, diced

2 teaspoons garlic, minced

1/2 cup diced mushrooms, plus 10 slices

1/4 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper

3 tablespoons fresh basil, thyme or tarragon, chopped

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus ¼ cup for topping

2 slices bacon, cooked, drained, and crumbled

6 tablespoons breadcrumbs, dry or fresh

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Wash and dry tomatoes. Cut in half through the middle, and remove seeds. Lightly salt the tomatoes, and drain upside down on paper towels while preparing stuffing.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a sauté pan. Add the onions and garlic, and sauté 2 to 3 minutes. Add the diced mushrooms and measured salt and pepper, and sauté until the mushrooms are soft and golden, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool.

Combine the mushroom mixture with the basil, 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, bacon and breadcrumbs. Taste for salt and pepper.

Divide the stuffing between the tomato halves. Top each with a mushroom slice and some of the remaining Parmesan cheese.

Place tomatoes in a 9- by 13-inch baking pan. Spoon remaining olive oil over the tops of the tomatoes. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until filling is crisp and golden. Serve hot. Makes 5 to 8 servings.

(READ MORE: Dive into fresh, ripe tomatoes with these recipes)

Thai Chicken Soup

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

4 tablespoons shallots, minced

1 stalk lemongrass, minced, or split in half, outer 2 leaves removed

Red cayenne pepper to taste

2 green chilies, finely chopped (or whole, or a jalapeño cut into strips, seeds removed)

1 to 2 teaspoons lime peel

1 (3-inch) piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

3 cups chicken stock or water

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, boiled and shredded

1 to 2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 can lite coconut milk

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1/4 cup fish sauce

1/8 cup fresh lime juice

6 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

Cooked brown rice for serving

In medium-size pot, heat oil, then stir-fry the garlic, shallots, lemongrass, cayenne pepper, green chilies, lime peel and ginger for 2 minutes. Add stock or water, and bring to a boil. Toss chicken in cornstarch, and add. Cook 2 minutes. Add coconut milk, mushrooms, fish sauce and lime juice, and simmer for 2 more minutes. Garnish with cilantro, and serve with brown rice.


Here's a hint from Mary Coffey, a longtime foodie who is now a slimmer and healthier version of herself. "I love rice, and cauliflower rice is a good substitute, but I have found that if you mix 1/3 real rice (I prefer jasmine) with 2/3 cauliflower rice, you get the real rice taste without the calories and carbs."

We'll be back to your letters next week, so please write.


— Quick yeast bread

— Million Dollar Chicken

— Sources of fresh tarragon


Fare Exchange is a longtime meeting place for people who love to cook and love to eat. We welcome both your recipes and your requests. Be sure to include precise instructions for every recipe you send, and know we cannot test the recipes printed here.

— Mailing address: Jane Henegar, 913 Mount Olive Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750

— Email:

  photo  Jane Henegar