a taste of France french onion soup, chicken herbs de Provence with potatoes and fennel, pot de creme
The perfect menu for a cold day when you want something warm and nourishing. I first learned these recipes in a cooking class called “The Taste of France” and then took ideas from the class to create flavors more to my liking. Keeping much of the recommended herbs, I just toned it down a bit to give the dishes more balanced flavors.
If roasting chicken makes you shutter then go out and buy a pre-made one and heat it up according to directions- you can even crisp up the skin by putting it under the broiler for 3-5 minutes. The amazing flavors of the fennel and potatoes can be produced without the chicken.
Pot de creme can be replaced with an apple Galette, summer fruit tart, chocolate mousse- just maybe add a homemade touch with some fresh whipped cream.
Having returned from a cooking class called ‘French Cooking at Home” at Sur La Table in San Francisco, I was reminded how delicious a hot, steamy dripping-with-cheese French onion soup tastes on a cold day. This recipe was adapted from the recipe Chef Michelle Harrison demonstrated to the class. I added more onions, removed the…
Roast chicken always perplexes me because I find the cooking temperature of a juicy, well done interior compared to the crispy, golden skin on the exterior a bit difficult to master. Making lots of mistakes has kept me away from roasting whole chickens and often just roasting pieces, such as the thighs and breasts. But…
The day before
Write down your menu, make list of what you need to prepare, and when you will prepare it. Get organized (in your head) with any serving plates or things you need for serving.
Make pot de cremes and cover well with cling film, refrigerate
Prepare onion soup and refrigerate Grate cheese and refrigerate
Three hours before
Prepare the chicken and vegetables, cover loosely
Make the toasts for top of onion soup
Set table- remember napkins, salt and pepper
Organize serving bowls, dishes and serving utensils in kitchen
Put water in a pitcher with lemon or cucumber or nothing and refrigerate
Take out dessert plates and spoons, set aside in kitchen ready for dessert
Whip fresh cream for pot de creme, grate chocolate in bowl and set aside
One before sitting down
Place onion soup ramekins on baking tray (without soup in them)- get cheese and toast out and ready
Put the chicken in the oven
Put on music, open wine, set out glasses for drinks before dinner, and any nibbles/appetizers
15 minutes before guests at table
Begin to warm the onion soup, then ladle out into ramekins, add toast and onions, broil
Check on the chicken- if cooked, place oven on warming temperature (170F)
Make rice- check on it before sitting down- remove from heat and cover to finish cooking during the first course- or cook before and put in an Instapot or crock pot on warm setting.
Light candles and put out water