Sunday, June 24, 2012

Orange Tarragon Marmalade

i don't know about you, but i'm a big HUGE fan of  SWEET and SAVORY.
for instance, i miss the Rosco's Chicken and Waffles i used to get in L.A.  crunchy, well seasoned fried chicken and a fluffy, crisp golden waffle with a bottomless dispenser of sweet maple syrup to pour on every bite.  if you've never tried it or you think it's an odd combo, i suggest you investigate.  you'll become a believer in no time.  i'm not really after the waffles but the genius who decided that maple syrup and fried chicken would be good together should get a James Beard award.

i also miss dining out and seeing Duck a l'orange on a stuffy French menu...i guess i'm dating myself...i guess it's too old school.  but again...the sweet and savory.  that syrupy orange glaze dripping over the crispy skin of a perfectly cooked duck breast.  mmmm...delicious!

well,  with those two things locked in memory, i came up with this marmalade.
don't get me wrong here...this is outstanding on a fresh scone, crumpet, popover, muffin, pound cake or any old bread, but put in on some fried chicken or a ham and cheese fried egg biscuit and we have a WINNER!

heck...this stuff is good just on a spoon!

sounds like i'm tootin' my horn again...well i am on this one...

adapted from Ina Garten and Anna's Orange Marmalade

4 large seedless navel oranges
2 lemons
7 cups sugar
2 heaping Tbsp fresh grated ginger, grated on a cheese grater
2 large sprigs of fresh tarragon
1 heaping tsp dried tarragon tied in a cheesecloth pouch
2 cloves roasted garlic, pulverized to paste and mixed with orange water.

cut the oranges and lemons in half crosswise, then into very thin half moon slices.  discard any seeds.  place sliced fruit and their juices into stainless steel pot.  add 8 cups water and bring to a boil, stirring often.  remove from heat and stir in sugar until it dissolves.  cover pot and allow to stand overnight at room temperature.

the next day, add the sprigs of tarragon, the tarragon pouch, the ginger and the roasted garlic mixture and bring the mixture to a boil.  reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for about 2 hours. ***don't forget to put a small plate in the freezer for your plate test.  remove tarragon sprigs.  turn heat up to medium and boil gently, stirring often for another 30 minutes.  skim any foam that you can...don't get obsessed with the skimming.  it will not be a problem.  when almost to temp, throw in a few leaves of tarragon...more than just a few.  you want to see the tarragon in the marmalade.  cook the marmalade until it reaches 220 F degrees on a candy thermometer.  remove tarragon pouch.
do a plate test.  if it's firm, not's ready, it's done.  it should be a lovely golden orange color.  if it is runny, continue to cook until the plate test works for you or if it's too hard add more water, stir and bring back to temp.

pour the marmalade into clean, sterilized jars and continue with the canning procedure...or let come to room temp and refrigerate for use.

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