What I have noticed about French recipes is the endless steps. Take the meat out, reduce sauce, add back in this ingredient, separately brown in pan, reuse drippings, marinate over night, add back the browned bacon or onions or both, and hold in a container until time comes. The result is worth it of course but with a family, time is of the essence. I decided to add a few not so difficult starters.
- 3 Heads of Belgium Endive
- 1 handful of Sliced Walnut
- 1 ripe pear
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Olive Oil
Cut up Endive into long slivers, and a pear into thin slices, arrange at the bottom of your plate, and add toasted walnuts, a few minutes in the oven, to the top, splash with balsamic and olive oil. And you have a simple fall salad to salivate over. I don’t understand why in Canada we don’t substitute lettuce for Belgium Endive. It should catch on, so delicious and plays off the sweetness of the pear and the texture of the walnut.
- 1/2 lb bacon slices (reduced salt best saves blanching before hand)
- 20 pearl onions, peeled, or 1 large yellow onion, sliced
- 2 sliced carrots
- 3 lbs chicken thighs and legs, or a whole chicken or rooster excess fat trimmed, skin ON
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups red wine I’m not picky
- 2 bay leaves
- Several fresh thyme sprigs
- Several fresh parsley sprigs
- 1/2 lb button mushrooms, trimmed and roughly chopped
- 2 Tbsp butter
- Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Rooster in Wine is a famous dish throughout the world, tasting rich, and exquisite. The meat falls off the bone, and the little white onions, explode with flavor.
Cook bacon until crispy, and then remove from pan. Brown the chicken, and onions in the drippings, in a pan big enough to hold all the pieces with a lid, add the garlic and carrots when they are 1/2 way browned. And sprinkle with your salt and pepper. This is always the best time to add salt, brings out the flavor more than adding salt to the taste near the end.
(Here you can either add wine and herbs, and put in fridge over night to soak up the flavors or continue the recipe. The next day, remove the chicken, onions and carrots from the wine and save wine mixture, and carry-on with the recipe)
Add your chicken stock, and herbs along with your bacon, cover and simmer for 20-40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
Take out the chicken and onions to a holding container, remove the herbs, bay leaves, add your wine, your mushrooms and butter, and reduce by 1/2, until the liquid becomes thicker. Add back chicken, and your done.
Garnish with parsley and serve over pasta or potatoes.
Eva’s Tip – If you soak the chicken over night in the wine, with the herbs and carrots the browning may took longer.
If you can not find reduced salt bacon: to blanch, boil in water for a few minutes to reduce salt contend, pat dry and continue recipe.
- 8 large onions
- 1 litre chicken stock
- splash of sherry
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- French bread
- Provolone cheese
- Parmesan Cheese
This one is so easy. Why did I wait so long to try this? Cut up 8 large onions in rings, and sweat, on medium heat. Do not brown, add 1-liter beef broth, a splash of sherry, salt and pepper to taste and 1-tablespoon thyme, and cook for 30 minutes. Ladle into oven safe serving bowls, put in one slice of French bread and top with a slice of provolone cheese, and sprinkle with Parmesan. Put in pre-heated oven on broil until the cheese melts and slightly turns brown. That’s It!
#4 Basil Cream Chicken
- 1 lb chicken thighs
- 2 cups white wine
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
- 12 fresh sage leaves
- 12 fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
In a large pan place sage and onion, wine and broth, boil until fluids reduce, 10 minutes or so. Remove from heat and let cool. Place chicken in sauce in cooled marinate over night in the fridge. The next day, preheat the oven to 325 degrees, and place chicken without sauce for 35-45 minutes, until cooked through. Here you are supposed to strain the marinade, but I like to leave the onions in. Boil and reduce fluid by 1/3. Take 1/2 the cream and basil leaves and blend in a blender until smooth.Add to sauce with the other 1/2 of the cream. Reduce to low, and serve over chicken and pasta or rice when ready.
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 onion diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 liters chicken stock
- 1 polish sausage diced
- 1 potato large raw, peeled and diced
- 1 head cabbage
- salt and pepper to taste
Over medium heat warm your olive oil and add 1/2 flour, stirring constantly to make a roux. Do not over brown, as it changes the flavour. Set aside. In a soup pot, melt 2 tablespoons butter, and add in onions and carrots, saute until tender. Add broth, sausage, potato and cabbage i to the mix. Stir and simmer 20 minutes. Add roux, salt and pepper to the pot. Stir until smooth. The roux will thicken the stock nicely. Simmer 20 more minute. You can always add spices to add to the flavour. Fresh thyme and parsley are nice. Traditionally this is a blander dish. I have tried a hot pepper in and it tastes great.
I hope some of you enjoy making these recipes, and let me know how they go!