6 Simple Secrets To Create A Flavorful French Farm-Style Chicken Dinner


Robust flavors, fresh produce and savory seasonings are the hallmark of authentic, country-style French cooking. There's no need to be intimidated by the fancy sauces and hard-to-pronounce ingredients often associated with French cuisine. Instead, entertain your family and friends with a roast chicken dinner made with the flair and finesse that's found beyond fancy Parisian restaurants.

SECRET 1:  Poulet Rouge – Specialty Free-Range Chicken

Raised from breeds that originated in the French countryside, poulet rouge has more intense flavor than the commercially raised chicken you'll find in the grocery store. Order the poulet rouge in advance allowing ample time for delivery and a day to thaw the frozen bird before your dinner party.

Officially, the pronunciation is poo-LAY roozh, but don't worry if you don't have the accent just right. The rich flavor and succulent texture of the meat speaks for itself.

This type of grain-fed chicken is allowed to roam freely in large outdoor pens. And it takes twice as long to reach full, mature size as the commercially raised chicken from your supermarket. Expect to pay more for this premium quality chicken than what you'd spend on ordinary chicken at the store. You can check out sites like http://www.joyce-farms.com to find this type of chicken.

SECRET 2:  Real Butter

Your classic dinner deserves the creamy texture and full flavor real butter brings to the meal's components:

  • Slather the poulet rouge in butter to roast it in the oven at 350-degrees Fahrenheit. The chicken's thin skin will be crispy and golden-brown when it's done.
  • Add a generous portion of butter to the hot pan drippings. Stir until melted for a rich sauce to lightly drizzle over the carved chicken.
  • Mix a small amount of butter – a teaspoon or less – with the hot vegetables to give them a glossy, visually attractive sheen.

SECRET 3:  Haricots Verts – Slender green beans

You can find these classic French green beans at many farmer's markets or at a specialty food market. Haricots verts are slender, meaty and have a delicate crunch. But if you can't find them, use fresh, whole green beans that are no thicker than a pencil. In a pinch, even frozen baby green beans will do.

Cook the little green beans quickly in boiling water for two to three minutes just before serving.

SECRET 4:  Thyme and Tarragon

These two herbs are traditional flavorings for French-inspired cooking. For your special chicken dinner:

  • Stuff fresh thyme and a lemon cut in half inside the poulet rouge before roasting. These seasonings will infuse the meat with delicate flavor and enhance the balance of the sauce you make from pan drippings.
  • Chop fresh tarragon leaves and toss them with the haricots verts or small green beans just before serving.
  • Decorate the serving plates with a sprig each of thyme and tarragon.

SECRET 5:  Scalloped Potatoes

In France, the dish is known as Gratin Dauphinois. But you may be more familiar with the American version – scalloped potatoes.

Prepare the dish from thin-sliced potatoes arranged in a well-buttered casserole pan. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Top with grated cheese and hot milk or cream.

During the last half hour the chicken is roasting, slip the casserole in the oven beside it. When you remove the chicken, turn the oven up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Within about 10 minutes a crispy, light-brown crust should form on the gratin and it's ready to serve.

SECRET 6:  A Sweet, Fresh Finish

Fresh berries, juicy peaches or chilled melon slices bring a light finishing touch to meal. The fruit's natural sweetness provides balance to savory flavors that proceeded it. Serve the fruit

  • in tart crust with a base of sweetened cream cheese,
  • accompanied by a sugar cookie,
  • or simply topped with a splash of fresh cream.

With top quality ingredients, fresh herbs and simple preparation techniques you can serve a delicious French farm-style dinner that family and friends will acclaim as fine, gourmet dining.


8 July 2015

Talking About Specialty Foods

Hello everyone, my name is Jorgio Aislen. I would love to share my knowledge about specialty foods on this site. I have traveled all around the world, sampling each region's ingredients on their own and prepared in exotic meals. I would like to talk about the various ways these foods are prepared and presented. I will also discuss the nutritional values of foods found in each region. I hope you will visit my site on a regular basis to increase your knowledge of specialty food ingredients. I will update often to keep everyone informed about this interesting subject. Please feel free to visit often.