Pass the croissants, s'il vous plaît ...............
I love to travel. It’s so interesting and exciting to see new sights, taste specialty foods of the region and make memories.
Be it foreign or domestic travel, I’m ready to pack a light bag and go. That brings me to the title of this post, Patricia Wells’ Tribute.
I have checked several of her cookbooks out of the library and “travel” through the bustling market places of southern France by flipping through The Provence Cookbook.
She brings it to life for me with photos and narratives of local merchants, complete with addresses and recommendations of where to purchase fresh cheeses, olives, vegetables and the like.
Patricia Wells has penned over eight books but I am focusing on this particular cookbook. This is more than a collection of regional recipes from Provence. To quote from the jacket cover,
“Patricia offers readers and intimate guide to the culinary treasures of sun-drenched landscape and dishes that will transport you and your guests with every flavorful bite.”
As an armchair traveler I am a person who tends to go on “missions,” that’s what my husband says and who observes me more than my partner in crime? Right. But I recognize that and I DO in fact focus on a particular topic or venue, and right now – it’s France . I read novels about France, travel guides, cookbooks, memoirs…I harass my friends to tell me all about their travels when they visit France.
(Do ya hear me Madame Langthorne??! Wink, wink…nudge, nudge…I want details!)
I hope you enjoy a sampling of her recipes from this cookbook. I’m salivating over our first recipe and so…let’s get to it!
Roasted Chicken Stuffed with Rice and Figs
Poulet Roti Farci au Riz et aux Figues
2 medium onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
Sea salt to taste
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups cooked rice
10 small, fresh figs, trimmed and quartered lengthwise
1 chicken, about 5 pounds, with giblets, cleaned and chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Preheat oven to 425 F
In skillet, combine onions, salt and olive oil. Sweat – cook, covered, over low heat until browned. Add figs and rice, stir to blend. Cook about 3 minutes.
Generously season the cavity of the chicken with salt and pepper. Place giblets in the cavity. Stuff with rice and fig mixture. Rub the skin of the chicken with butter, season with salt and pepper.
Place the chicken on it’s side on the roasting rack. Pour a ½ cup of water into the bottom of the pan to create a sauce for later. Place in the center of the oven and roast, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Turn the chicken on the other side and roast 20 minutes more. Turn the chicken breast side up and roast 20 minutes more. By this time the skin should be a deep golden color.
Reduce heat to 375 F and turn chicken breast side down, at an angle if possible. (this heightens the flavor by allowing the juices to flow down through the breast meat.) Roast until the juices run clear when you piece a thigh with a skewer, about 15 minutes more.
Remove from oven, transfer to a platter and place and cover loosely with foil.
Served with a Bordeaux Supérieur and flaky croissants.......
This fig and rice stuffing was outta-this-world amazing. The roasted figs are just so hard to describe. The word Delicious seems to slight them... Definitely the star of the show...not that the chicken wasn't top notch...but this stuffing ....mmmmm
Also served with a lightly sauteed vegetable mixture of tender yellow squash, mushrooms, scallions and red peppers........
Next up will be a few recipes perfect for a light luncheon.