Monday, 11 February 2013

Who Pickles Onions?

I made Chicken Marengo a few days ago for dinner guests.  One of the things that the recipe I use (it's in my head and a combination of recipes I have read over the years) has is shallots.  It's not easy to buy them so I use pickling onions instead.  Not, I have to say, that I know what the difference is.  One of the jobs that I really find very tedious (and a true labour of necessity or love) is peeling pickling onions.  Why would anyone want to do that when they can be bought in a bottle already pickled?  It's a nail-destroying and eye-watering task.  However it's necessary for my Chicken Marengo: or rather for Emperor Napoleon's Chicken Marengo for it was for him that it was first devised.

 

20 comments:

  1. Shallots are flat on one side....makes no difference drop them in boiling water and the skin falls off quick sticks.

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  2. My parents, possibly (in answer to the question in today's headline).
    I know my Dad grows onions on my parents' allotment, and I also know that my Mum uses various methods of conserving fruit and vegetables, although I don't think she has pickled onions yet.

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    1. Your Mum and Dad sound really eco-friendly. I love pickled onions but the work involved in skinning them far outweighs the benefits. I'd rather just but them already pickled.

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  3. I must say you did a fine job of peeling your onions. They look great and ready for the task of making your Chicken Marengo fit for Napoleon!

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    1. They taste really good, Jill, when they are baked with the chicken and all the other ingredients.

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  4. That must have been one hell of a great tasting Chicken Marengo, especially after all the love and tears and nail bits that went into it.
    Like Adrian said, that's the best way to peel pickling onions.

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    1. I think Chicken Marengo is a good, tasty meal and, particularly when feeding a between 8 and 12 people, it's also relatively straightforward.

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  5. Not me! (In answer to the question.)

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  6. I must try picking onions, they don't have them here and I miss them.

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    1. No pickled onions in California? Gosh I am surprised Cat.

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    2. Not in the stores, maybe a specialty importer, for $8 for a small jar :-(

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  7. Found this for future notice...

    NOTE: Peeling pickling onions is fiddly and time consuming. To speed up the process top and tail the onions, then place the onions in a large heatproof bowl and pour over boiling water to cover. Leave to cool, and once the water is cool, hey presto, the skins will just rub away. Drain and pat the onions dry. Do not leave in the water once cool or the onions will start to go mushy.

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    1. Thanks Cat. Next time I make Chicken Marengo I'll know.

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  8. Who Pickles Onions? Onion picklers?

    (Handy tip from Cat!)

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  9. I have read, but haven't proved, that chewing gum stops you from crying when you're cutting up onions.

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  10. I have read, but haven't proved, that chewing gum stops you from crying when you're cutting up onions.

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