I had Monday off from work and with little planned for that particular evening I was inspired to take on a new culinary challenge.
While at my parents' for dinner on Sunday evening, I opened up my mother's copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and resolved to make something from the bible of all cookbooks. Time to branch out.
"Oh, what have I gotten myself into?" I thought. There was so much text and no pictures.
"You mean I have to imagine what the end dish will look like?!" Now THAT is a novel thought in this day and age.
I flipped through the book's sections, wondering "Sauces....no....soups....not warm enough yet.....poultry....hmmmmmmm.....yes!!"
Then came the bounty of poultry choices.
Would it be a simple roast chicken? No, I recently cooked one with my mother and sister. It was time for a new twist on the old bird.
What about a roast squab chicken with chicken liver canapes and mushrooms? Ummmm, I must admit that I don't know what a 'squab' is and the word 'liver' gives me the chills.
And then I came across this -- Poulet en Cocotte Bonne Femme -- also known as Casserole-roasted Chicken with Bacon, Onions and Potatoes.
We love bacon, onions and you can't go wrong with potatoes. I could substitute a whole chicken with chicken thighs. Perfect! Problem solved. Challenge found.
It was as easy as can be and such a crowd pleaser. Think butter, salt, lots of sauteing and you're 90% of the way there. If you're having a dinner party with good friends, or your family has come to town, and you're in need of a hearty dish that pleases the masses, this is definitely it.
But regardless of the ease with which the meal came together, I still felt a great sense of accomplishment. There was something about taking on a Julia Child recipe for the first time and finding a dish fit for more than two.
Check out the recipe and see for yourself how straight forward it is.
(And I admit, you might need to unclog your arteries afterwards, but as a woman, I think all of that calcium is good for one's bones ;))