Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Roast Chicken with Creme Fraiche and Herbs via A KITCHEN IN FRANCE - Recipe and Cookbook Review

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Day five of my dinner party review...

The party was part of a review of of "A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse " by Mimi Thorisson.... 6 Recipes from the book,  8 Friends and family...

First, my disclaimer... I received this book FREE! courtesy of BLOGGING FOR BOOKS.  I was sent the book in exchange for this review.  The book was theirs, but the opinions are mine.

I posted my first course for a dinner party for 8 of my family and friends; Her Onion Tart recipe... (LOVED IT!).

I served the tart as my Sandwich in a Soup and Sandwich course.  I made Mimi's
PUMPKIN SOUP as the soup course.

Next came my Appetizer course... Her title for the recipe is "Gambas Flambees with Pastis" which translates to Prawns (or Shrimp) Flamed with an Anise flavored Liquor.  Worked FANTASTIC, stunning presentation, easy, fast and no First Responders needed to help.

My next course was the "Main Course", this chicken plus the side dish I posted of a Butternut Squash Gratin.

The short version of my longer review of the book (see this post) is that  the book is astounding.  Stunningly beautiful photographs, wonderful descriptions of her family and life in the French countryside and of course wonderful recipes.  I made 6 dishes for my party and each came out as expected, and wonderful!

I served in courses, First course was to be a Soup and Sandwich.  I sort of fudged the sandwich and served the Onion Tart as the sandwich.  The pumpkin soup was served with the tart.  The flaming Shrimp was served as an appetizer and we are now into the main course with a side dish... here's the Meat Course!

The chicken tasted fantastic.  Reminded me of the best taste of Buttermilk Fried Chicken without the coating... Just about as moist a chicken as you could imagine.

I did have a logistics problem... I used an instant read meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature.  The chickens I had took almost an hour 45 minutes to cook.  Much longer than the 1 hour suggested in the recipe.  The delay affected the timing of the meal.  Remember, I was serving in courses so there was about a 30 minute delay between the appetizer course and this Main meat course.  Which was plenty of time to refill wine glasses and even break out a bit of Sambuca (the flaming agent from the previous course).  But, next time I make this dish I will add a bit more cooking time.  Possibly the extra coating of the thick cream added time to the process.

But the dish was a big success.  White meat just as tender and juicy as the dark.  And the dark meat was even more filled with flavor than usual.

A near perfect roasted chicken recipe!

OK... Here's what I did...

Roast Chicken with
Creme Fraiche and Herbs

  • 2-1/2 Cups Creme Fraiche
  • 8 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Medium Shallot, Thinly Sliced
  • A large Bunch of Fresh Parsley Leaves, removed and Chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Herbes de Provance
  • Fine Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Whole Chickens, about 3 pounds each
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the Creme Fraiche, Garlic, Parsley, Herbes de Provance, Salt and Pepper. Spoon a quarter of the mixture inside the cavity of the chicken. Truss the chicken securely with kitchen twine. Rub the remaining cream in a thick layer all over the chickens, making sure to rub inside the thighs and wings. Sprinkle Course Sea Salt over the chickens and put them in a roasting pan.
  3. Roast the chicken until golden brown or the internal meat thermometer registers 165 degree at several spots, most importantly in the thickest part of the meat. The juices should run clear, not pink when you prick the thigh with a knife... About 1 hour.
  4. Let the chickens rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Here's my Menu for the night...

Pumpkin Soup
With an Onion Tart

Gambas Flambees
With Pastis

Roast Chicken With
Creme Fraiche and Herbs
Served with a
Butternut Squash

PLUS and AMAZING Spectacular
Chocolate Meringue Swirl

As I said, Each of the 6 recipes I tried from the book worked and worked spectacularly.  I have been doing a lot of non-challenging catering dishes lately.  It was fun and exciting to whip these dishes up and serve this menu to my friends.  All well received, all went as best as I could have imagined and I could not recommend this book highly enough.

Beautiful enough to be a table top book, inspiring enough to get lost in on a rainy Sunday afternoon...

And wonderful accessible workable recipes!

And one last disclaimer...
"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."  But the review and opinions are 100% accurate and mine!

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