France

So we have left Great Britain and chunnelled  our way to France , the next step on Isobel’s culinary journey . And who better , to introduce oneself to the fine art of French Cuisine than the great man himself  ” George Auguste Escoffier .I will never tire of paying tribute to this man , who apart from being a masterful chef and prolific author , was also a visionary who was determined on improving the working conditions of chefs .

So after checking if mushrooms would be okay for my anti-fungi daughter . ( they were given the green light ) we commenced preparation for “Poulet Saute Chasseur ” , Recipe 3198 from Escoffier’s ” The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery ” .

A whole , free range chicken deboned and portioned  ( keep the carcase for stock )  Heat a large frying pan and sauté the seasoned the seasoned portions in butter and olive oil . When chicken is golden brown arrange in a braising pan and cover . In the same pan as the chicken was coloured , quickly cook mushrooms and  shallots ,  add white wine , reduce and then add some brown chicken or beef stock .Reduce some more ,  then add to pan some chopped tarragon . Pour over chicken  and cook in a 170 c oven for 20 to 30 mins . Finish off with some coarsely chopped parsley .

This was accompanied with ” Pommes Lyonnaise ” . Lyon is a place  in France famous for the onion and Paul Bocuse -one of the founders of Nouvelle Cuisine . Bocuse received a Legion d’ Honneur and the onion didn’t . Saute some slices or par cooked potatoes ( Kestrels are okay ) in  olive oil and butter until golden brown . Place in oven tray , then repeat with half the amount of sliced brown onion . When golden brown add to the potatoes and cook in the oven for 15 – 20 mins …more coarsely chopped parsley to finish  . I did notice after the meal , which was heartily devoured by the way , Isobel had put her mushrooms to the side of the plate …a fungi too far I suppose .

Dessert ..Crème caramel of course . A lovely golden toffee poured into some ramekins .7  Eggs and 200 gms sugar whisked together , 1/2 lt  milk and 1/2 lt cream heated with a little bit of grated fresh ginger (  secret ingredient ) . Strained onto the liquid and then poured into the ramekins . Sit in a water bath and cook at 170 C for 35 mins and leave in fridge for at least 3 hours .

Next stop …Italy .

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