Chef, author and TV personality Julia Child loved French food and she made it popular in the same way J.K. Rowling author of the Harry Potter books, made reading and literature popular. Child brought French cooking to everyday Americans through both her cook books and her television shows - yesterday would have been her 105th birthday. I’m especially fond of a movie called Julie & Julia. It parallels the lives of the main character Julie, a food blogger, and Julia when she was learning to cook and writing Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
French cuisine has always been considered an art form. Some of the first collections of French recipes go back to the 14th century and were heavily influenced by other countries. In the 17th century, chefs spearheaded a movement to develop France’s own indigenous cuisine. That cuisine was largely influenced by the availability of great wine and cheese, as well as other regional delicacies.
In the 20th century, Auguste Esscoffier codified French cuisine as the new haute cuisine (literally translated as ‘high cooking’). Haute cuisine was considered too difficult for many home cooks but it omitted many peasant and regional dishes. Luckily for us, things are changing!
Because of a renewed interest in the French classics (cuisine that is), modern chefs are breathing new life into these once forgotten dishes. One example of this is Poulet au vinaigre de vin (Chicken in a red wine vinegar) where Master French Chef Paul Bocuse has lightened up the dish with some simple substitutions while maintaining the classic flavors. He has reduced the butter, substituted fresh tomatoes for tomato paste and uses rice wine vinegar instead of red wine vinegar.
This dish is not only visually appealing and tasty, but it’s also quick to prepare. How about serving a classic French dish this Thursday night, or enjoying it for a weekend dinner. Live, Laugh, Love and Eat Well.
Courtesy of Food and Wine and Chef Paul Bocuse
In a large, deep skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in the olive oil. Add the garlic. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the skillet. Cook over moderately high heat until lightly browned all over, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the vinegar and tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer over moderately low heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter and keep warm.
Boil the sauce over moderately high heat until slightly thickened, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Peel the garlic cloves and mash them into the sauce. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and stir in the parsley; season with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve.