Poule au Pot

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In the fifteenth century the Gascon-born French King, Louis IV, famously said in his coronation speech something along the lines of, “I want every peasant to have a chicken in their pot on Sundays”. Well, far be it from me to deny the wishes of an ex-sovereign, so today, I bring you this simple recipe that’s perfect for feeding the family, Sunday or otherwise.

Just like the pot-au-feu recipe I’ve shared previously, you can use the broth from the pot that remains at the end of cooking as an entrée and then serve the meat and veggies for the main.

What really brings this dish to life though is the sauce gribiche. The capers and cornichons give it a tang that complements the chicken so well!

 

Poule au Pot serve 6

Ingredients:

  • 3 litres chicken stock
  • 3 slices smoke bacon (2cm thick)
  • 2 onions, quartered
  • 3 celery stick, cut into short lengths
  • 2 turnips, peeled and quartered
  • 4 small leeks, trimmed, cleaned and cut into short lengths
  • 1 small head of garlic, cut in half horizontally
  • 5 bayleaves
  • 6 slices thick sourdough (2.5cm)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 free range chicken ( 2-2.5kg)

Method:

  1. Put the chicken stock, slices of bacon, vegetables, garlic, peppercorns and bay leaves into a large pot, bring to the boil and leave to simmer while you prepare the stuffing for the chicken.

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For the stuffing:

  • 50g chicken liver, chopped
  • 125g white breadcrumbs
  • 120g rindless thick slice smoked bacon, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 30 shallots, finely chopped
  • 20g chopped parsley
  • 3 medium eggs, beaten
  • ½ teaspoon salt

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For the vegetables:

  • 12 medium carotts
  • 12 small turnips, trimmed and sliced
  • 12 small potatoes, similar size and peeled
  • 12 small shallots, peeled
  • 6 small leeks, trimmed, cleaned and cut in 3-4 pieces

Method:

  1. Mix the chicken liver, breadcrumbs, bacon, garlic, shallots, parsley, eggs and salt together in a bowl.
  2. Season the inside of the chicken and spoon the mixture inside.
  3. Truss the chicken securely with cooking string.
  4. Add the chicken to the pot, making sure that it is submerged. Add I teaspoon of salt, bring back to the boil and cook for 30 minutes.
  5. Turn the chicken over top up with boiling water if necessary, but don’t dilute it too much and cook for a further 10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile preheat the oven at 150 degrees Celsius. Place the slices of bread onto a tray and leave them for 20 minutes to dry out in the oven, but not brown.
  7. Lift the chicken out of the pot, remove the first lot of vegetables and discard.
  8. Return the chicken to the pot, add all the vegetables and bring back to the boil, and simmer for 10 minutes and then the vegetables and chicken should be cooked.

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Sauce Gribiche:

  • 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 8 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon capers, chopped
  • 1 teaspoons cornichons, chopped
  • 1 hard boiled egg white, finely chopped
  • 1 hard boiled egg yolk, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon parsley, chopped.

Method:

  1. Whisk the mustard and vinegar together in a small bowl, then gradually whisk in the olive oil.
  2. Stir in the caper, cornichons, egg white, egg yolk, parsley and some salt and pepper to taste.

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Serving suggestion:

  1. To serve lift the chicken onto a board a cover with foil. Put the dried slice of bread at the bottom of a soup bowl, cover with stock and eat as a first course.
  2. Carve the chicken and cut the bacon. Place some vegetables, chicken, bacon and stuffing on a plate. Drizzle with some stock and serve with the sauce Gribiche.

I suggest you pair this classic dish with a “Close Planted” Pinot Noir 2012 from www.airoldifinewines.com.au

Watch the how to video below or visit my Youtube channel  here for more.

Bastille Day Main Course: Veal Paupiettes with a Cèpe sauce and Pilaf Rice

 

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Happy Bastille Day! This year for France’s national holiday I decided to mix cliché cuisine with lesser known French fare, and paupiette is one such dish. In a nutshell, Paupiette is meat beaten thin which is then wrapped around a stuffing which could include vegetables, fruit or sweetmeats. For today’s dish I used veal scaloppini and for the stuffing, a delicious pork mince flavoured with fresh herbs.

You’ll find paupiette all over France but most likely in northern regions like Normandy.

A favourite ingredient of mine is the cèpe mushroom and I relish any opportunity to include it in a dish, which I’ve managed in this recipe by including it as the sauce for the paupiettes.

Enjoy the main course and stay tuned for dessert!

Serve 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 thin veal escalopes, about 150g each
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

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For the stuffing:

Ingredients:

  • 2 thick slices of crustless sourdough, about 50g and torn
  • 125 ml milk
  • 500g pork mince
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 100 g button mushroom, trimmed and finely chopped
  • ½ cup flat parsley, cleaned and finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper

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Method:

  1. Place the bread into a small bowl, cover with milk and leave for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile place the pork mince, garlic mushroom and parsley in a medium size bowl and season with salt and pepper, mix well until combine.
  3. Squeeze the excess milk out of the bread and add it to the mix, mix well until combine and set aside.
  4. Lay the escalopes on a chopping board, divide the stuffing into 4 equal portion and place it in the centre of each escalopes, make to leave about 2cm on the sides.
  5. Roll each escalopes to enclose the stuffing and form a log shape.
  6. Tie the paupiettes with cooking string to secure the stuffing and place in the fridge for one hour.

Cèpe Sauce:

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Ingredients:

  • 150 Cèpe mushroom
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carotts, brunoise ( finely chopped)
  • 2 tablespoon port
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 250 ml dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 500 ml chicken stock
  • salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Soak the mushroom in warm water to rehydrate them.
  2. Heat up a large casserole, I normally use a le Creuset, with some olive oil. Add the veal paupiettes and sear on all sides until golden brown, remove them from the casserole then set aside.
  3. For the sauce, reduce the heat to medium, then add a little bit of olive oil to the pan.
  4. Add the onion and carrot and stir well, scraping the bottom of the casserole. Add the mushroom and cook for a few minutes. Stir in the port, remove the casserole from the heat and carefully, using a long match or lighter light the port to burn off the alcohol ( this process is called Flambée).
  5. Return the casserole to the heat, sprinkle the flour, mix well and pour in the wine. Add the thyme, bay leaf and paupiettes and stir. Pour in the stock and bring to a simmer.
  6. Cover with the lid and cook for 30 minutes or until cooked through.
  7. Remove the string from the paupiettes and season to taste.

Pilaf Rice:

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups jasmine rice
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 150ml dry white wine
  • ½ bunch thyme, chopped
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrots, diced

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven at 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Heat up a deep baking tray with some olive oil. Add the chopped onion, carrot and cook for 2 minutes then add the thyme.
  3. Add the rice, mix well and cook for 3-4 minutes on medium heat.
  4. Pour in the wine, cook for a 1 minutes then add the stock. Season with salt and pepper, bring to the boil and then cover with a sheet of baking paper.
  5. Cook in the hot oven for ten minutes.

I suggest you serve the Veal Paupiettes with a side of Potato Purée, some fresh baguette and a glass of  Chateau Penin available from www.airoldifinewines.com.au

Watch the how to video below or visit my Youtube channel here

 

Christmas Eve Dinner “à la Française”: Part 2

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Pork Loin with an Almond, Sour Cherries, Pistachio stuffing and a Cherry sauce.

 

Ingredients for the stuffing:

  •  150g almond meal
  • 1 brown onion
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch sage
  • 1 small bunch rosemary
  • 150 g sour cherries
  • 100 g pistachios
  • 1 egg

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Method:

  1.  Preheat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius (392 F)
  2. Finely chop the onions, grate the garlic and finely chop the herbs.
  3. Heat up a medium saucepan with some olive oil on a medium heat. Cook the onion, garlic and herbs for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Leave to cool. Roughly chop the cherries and the pistachios and keep aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl mix together the cherries, pistachios, almond meal and the egg. Add the onion mix and stir well, season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Open up the pork loin so you a “flat” piece. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Place the stuffing in the middle and wrap the meat around it. Tie up the loin tightly (not too tight) with cooking string.
  6. Scar the skin using a sharp knife and rub the skin with a little olive oil and salt, this will give you a perfect crackling. Place the pork loin in a roasting tray and cook in the hot oven for 3 hours on the middle shelf of the oven. If you see the crackling is getting too dark, you can cover it with foil for the last part of the cooking.

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Ingredients for the sauce:1 brown onion

  • 1 brown onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 50 ml port
  • 400 g sour cherries (in juice)
  • 300 ml chicken stock
  • 350 ml cherry juice

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Method:

  1.  Finely dice the onion and grate the garlic.
  2. Heat up a medium size saucepan with olive oil and cook the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the port, half the cherries and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  4. Add the cherry juice, the stock and Reduce by half. To thickens the sauce mix a little bit of corn flour with water and mix it through the sauce until you reach the desired consistency. Then add the rest of the chopped cherries and check the seasoning.

I have chosen to serve a simple green salad freshly picked from garden and dressed with sherry vinegar and olive oil with this delicious Christmas dish.

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I recommend a Chateau “Le Bourdieu” Médoc 2010 available from http://www.airoldifinewines.com.au

Bon Appétit

Le Fermier