It is always nice to hear that someone who makes stuff that you like, likes what you do too. When Ed Droste, founder of Brooklyn-based band Grizzly Bear, mentioned Lottie + Doof on his twitter feed I quickly heard from a bunch of loyal Grizzly Bear fans and I knew that Ed would be an excellent guest for L + D.
I’ve been a fan of Grizzly Bear since I first heard Horn of Plenty back in 2004. A mutual friend sent me the album and I was immediately drawn to the music. Several years later, Grizzly Bear has transformed from Ed’s solo project into one of the most compelling and popular bands making music today. The group has legions of very devoted followers who are attracted to the foursome’s moody and seductive music. Grizzly Bear fans had been eagerly anticipating the band’s third studio album, Veckatimest, which was released yesterday. The album does not disappoint, and critics have been heaping well-deserved praise upon the group.
Ed shares my love of good food and eating (he also shares my dislike of hard boiled eggs- read on!). He was nice enough to take time out of his busy schedule to share his recipe for Chicken Salad with us. It seemed like the perfect picnic food and so I made some on a sunny spring day in Chicago and we took it to the park for a picnic. It is delicious. Simple, elegant and something that will become a regular feature at summertime picnics. Ed was very insistent that there needed to be a lot of tarragon in this dish. Bunches of tarragon. He is right, it really takes it to a good place. The complete recipe and Ed’s answers to the food quiz follow.
Check out the Two Weeks video here .
Grizzly Bear can be found online at: grizzly-bear.net 
Ed Droste + Lottie + Doof Food Quiz
Sweet or salty?
Salty, although I love sweets too, but I often have terrible sugar crashes which make me hesitant to pig out on sweets.
Chocolate or vanilla?
Vanilla. I know it’s really “vanilla” to pick Vanilla but I just like it better. Chocolate can be too rich for me.
Hot or mild?
SPICY AS FUCK. BLOW YOUR BRAINS OUT SPICE. I realized in the past year I’m a spice addict and that it releases all these endorphins. I carry sriracha with me like a metro card. Have to spice everything! (best hangover cure is Pho with about 2 cups of sriracha)
What won’t you eat?
Eggs. It’s really a shame because it basically means breakfast and brunch are usually “out” for me despite me loving the act of “brunching”….The problem is I think Eggs smell like sewage and I can’t imagine a more disgusting thing that watching someone eat a hard boiled egg.
Most memorable meal?
This is impossible. It’s like picking a favorite album or something, it’s an unfair question!!!
Favorite object in your kitchen?
I’m really soothed by nice cutting boards. Not sure why, I just find them immensely satisfying and I’ve started collecting them which is pretty pointless and space occupying.
What are you scared of in the kitchen?
Mildly scared of our insanely old antique stove (that came with apartment but is too cute to give up). It’s unreliable, impossible to use if you need exact temperatures and sometimes just leaks gas. Hmmm…probably should replace it I guess.
Do you prefer to cook alone or with others?
Oh 100 percent with others. My favorite meals are the ones that take forever that you go through all the steps with a little cooking posse. Not that I can’t get down on some solo adventures, but it’s so much more fun to share the experience with others.
What country would you move to for the food?
Japan, France, Italy. The obvious choices.
If you were to come back as a fruit or vegetable, what would you be?
I think I’d prefer to be a fruit. (Go figure)
What are some favorite albums to play while cooking?
Beach House is the best cooking music ever.
What’s for dinner?
Not sure tonight as I’m driving to visit my family for my great aunt’s 90th birthday so it’s whatever my mom decides to cook. Have a hunch she might surprise us with Lobster Newburg but I’m not sure.
- 4 split chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
- Good-quality olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4-5 ribs celery, sliced into 1/4-inch slices
- 30-40 green seedless grapes, sliced in half (I used red grapes because I couldn’t find good green)
- 4-5 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/3 cup good mayonnaise
Preheat oven to 375° F. Place chicken breasts, skin side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Rub chicken with a few tablespoons olive oil and season with generous amounts of salt and pepper. Roast for 35-40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Set aside until it is cool enough to handle.
Remove skin and bones, and discard. Reserve a couple of tablespoons of pan drippings. Chop chicken into bite-sized pieces and place in medium bowl. Add reserved pan juices, celery, grapes, tarragon, lemon juice and mayo and stir to combine. Add salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper to taste. Ed loves this served while still warm but it is also delicious cold.
Previous guest: Sophie Buhai of Vena Cava