Wednesday, October 13, 2021

C'est La Vie French Cooking?


Let's face it, sometimes french cooking can be as complex as understanding the french language itself. Nate Collier from Le Creuset, stopped by Tonia's Kitchen to talk about the motivation behind the book, and how they want to help fledgling chefs become better. Nate told Tonia the book aims to help foodies understand french cooking, and make it more relatable. One recipe, the classic Coq Au Vin, in this book, is a little more modern, with ingredients like sparkling win (instead of red) and dill.  This, he says, makes for a lighter, fresher tasting french chicken dish. Bon Appetite!

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 cups chopped bacon
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • two 4 1/2-pound chickens, each cut into 8 pieces
  • 5 tablespoons brandy
  • A few sprigs of fresh dill, rosemary and parsnips
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 bottle sparkling win
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, to garnish

  • For the glazed shallots and mushrooms

    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 12 ounces shallots
    • 12 ounces button mushrooms, cleaned
    For the burre manie?

    • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour


    For the 5 qt. Oval Dutch Oven
    Serves 6 - 8


    Heat the oil in the Dutch oven over medium heat on the stovetop. Add the bacon and onion and cook, stirring, until both are softened and then remove, draining well.

    Fry the chicken in batches until all the pieces are evenly browned, then return them all to the pan with the bacon and onion. Remove the Dutch oven from the heat and add the brandy. Carefully ignite, standing well back until the flames subside, then return the pan to the heat.

    Preheat the oven to 275°F. Tie all the herbs into a bundle with fine string and add this to the Dutch oven with the garlic, tomato paste, lemon juice, sugar and sparkling wine. Cover with the lid and cook in the oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours until the chicken is very tender.

    Glazed shallots and mushrooms:

    About 30 minutes before the chicken finishes cooking, melt the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and fry for 10 to 15 minutes until they are golden brown and soft; transfer to a plate. Add the mushrooms to the pan and toss so they are just cooked and colored.

    Buerre manie:

    Blend the butter and flour together in a small bowl. Remove a few pieces of the cooked chicken from the Dutch oven to make room to stir in the beurre manie. Add this in small amounts, stirring after each addition so that the sauce remains smooth.

    When all the beurre manie? has been incorporated, return the chicken together with the shallots and mushrooms. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle the top generously with the parsley and serve from the Dutch oven.