A few years ago I made a seven course dinner for Philip’s birthday. This was my first adventures in French food and also the beginning of my love of cooking. That party I realized for the first time that the dinner table really is a place of community and amazing conversation. From that night on I kind of decided that I was going to be all or nothing when it came to cooking…
Philip laughs at me because I used to hate cooking but now I find the kitchen to be therapeutic. I’m trying new recipes left and right these days and there constantly is flour in my hair and I am loving it. I eventually want to cook through Julia Child’s cook book but for now I will do a couple French dinners a month.
One thing I love about French food is it sounds so elegant and complicated but truth be told most of the French recipes I have tried so far are doable for an intermediate cook. For the first couple of times that I make a new recipe I follow it to the letter; that is due to my OCDness. 🙂
For this chicken dish, Poulet Vallee d’Auge, I served alongside it French bread (recipe found HERE) and a creamed garlic potato. For dessert we had a chocolate tartlet that I will blog later.
The chicken is incredibly tender and full of flavor! I bought an entire chicken that had been pre-quartered and this was a nice step to have done for me. I have a chef’s knife that is sharp enough to quarter a chicken but it does take a little while to do and I like having some of the steps done for me.
Creamed potatoes are one of my favorite side dishes to make, cause duh potatoes are delicious. A little trick I learned a while back, to give the potatoes a fuller flavor, is to boil the potatoes in chicken stock instead of water. I then cream them with butter, additional chicken stock, minced garlic, milk, and plenty of salt and pepper. I tend to add the last ingredients until I get the consistency that I desire… one of the few times I don’t measure but instead go on taste and texture alone.