Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mastering the art of French Cooking - Recipe One

I guess I am late jumping on the bandwagon. I still haven't seen the movie,but I decided to start a journey into french cooking.  I probably never would have, had it not been for Susan and the 4 recipes she has posted on her blog. The last one, this one, did it for me and I decided I had to go and get the cookbook and give it a go. Tonight I decided to try "Poulet en Cocotte Bonne Femme", or "Casserole-roasted Chicken with Bacon, Onions, and Potatoes". Mine also had steamed broccoli though Julia suggests serving broiled tomatoes for the color. I didn't have any tomatoes so I decided on broccoli, for the color.  :)

There were several steps for this recipe, but none of them were difficult. Besides the herbs, there were only 4 other ingredients. Chicken, small white onions, bacon and potatoes. (Not counting the broccoli because it wasn't in the recipe!) You fry up the bacon, then brown the chicken in the same pot you cooked the bacon in. Boil the onions, bring potatoes to a boil then drain them and add them to the pot.Put the chicken back in the pot, add the onions to the pot, put some herbs in, cover the whole pot with a lid and bake it in the oven for about an hour and a half, or less. Pretty simple stuff, at least for me.

The aroma of this dish baking was incredible. My husband came into the house and commented that something smelled really good. I told him it was a french dish, and he looked a bit apprehensive, but he's the kind of guy who will at least try anything I put on the table. He may suggest I never put it on the table again, but he will at least try it. Good man.

The only thing I did different, besides add broccoli, was the last 5 minutes of baking I cranked the heat up to 375 degrees, took the lid off and took the foil off the chicken and let it bake like that. I honestly don't think it did much, but that's what I did.
The chicken was moist, tender, fall off the bone delicious. The potatoes were tender and full of flavor from the bacon and onions. I had my doubts about the potatoes because you don't cook them before adding them to the pot. You just bring the water to a boil and drain them, roll them around in some hot butter and push them to the side of the pot to make room for the chicken. But, they turned out fabulous. Even the pearl onions were delicious. My husband's comment, after pushing away from the table, fat and sassy, was "That was really good, Babe, but I don't know how french it was". Men! Gotta' love 'em!
If you would like to try this dish yourself, Susan has it posted on her blog. I would post it here too, but since she already has it up on her blog I am taking the easy way out and just linking to it here. :)


  1. Hi Susan, You're chicken sounds and looks delicious. I haven't seen the movie either, although I saw M. Streep on a French talk show the other night, and she positively charmed their socks off. If you're interested I have a pretty good collection of quick easy chicken recipes from France. I'm off to check out Susan 2's blog. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Susan---your Poulet looks amazing! Great job! Are you going to cook all the recipes from the book? Looks fantastic. You should see the film if you have an opportunity---it inspired me to get back to blogging! Look forward to your next one!


Please let me know what you think. I love to hear from other bakers.