Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Poulet in Every Pot

A few years ago, while on a visit to Paris, I complained to a French girlfriend that the poulet roti at the bio-marche in the 6e (Sundays only) cost an otrageous 20 euros ,,,for a singlechicken. I further remarked that I was paying between 12-15E at grocery stores and 9E at the secret gas station store at the Shell in the 7e.

She explained that things are now so expensive in France that her family can no longer afford to buy a poulet roti; that they make their own.

It had never crossed my mind to make my own roast chicken. They cost $6 or $7 in the US and are usually great straight from the supermarket, especially when still warm.

She gave me the recipe she likes and I began to experiment, first in the US and now back home in France, where the Auchan in Lyon (Dardilly to be exact) had ready cooked chickens for 7,90, about $12.

My friend's chicken is stuffed with tilleul leaves, which I can only find in France since nearby Nyons is the tilleul capital of France. I had brought some paks back to the US and filled the first chicken with wet leaves and a lemon cut in half; quite tasty.

Now back in France, I am testing a vareity of types of chicken as well as cooking methods. You can buy two normal chickies, smallish, on promo for 7E the pair. A bird with a pedigree will cost 8-10 E per.

Chicken No. 1 was stuffed with a double package of smoked lardon, a pat of real French better (alors) and glazed with olive oil (fruitee) and lemon juice. Cooked for one hour at 200C -- the leg joints were pink inside, merde. The bacon bits were sensational mixed with the chicken in its juice.

Today was Chicken No 2. Cooked inside a clay pot with potatoes for one hour and then without the lid for another half hour until golden. Stuffed this sucker with the rest of the laurier leaves I found in my cupboard (I soaked them first) and a fistful of garlic gloves. Topped the bird with a specialty salt flavored with wild mushrooms.

This made a very good lunch and will probably be finished off as dinner. There is only one problem.

It's good thing I am alone here at the Internet Cafe ... and will be home alone tonight.


  1. I absolutely love your blogs from Provence/France. You write so descriptively and in such a "real person on the ground" way that I can almost smell the roast chicken, see the markets, etc. You do the best thing anyone can do--you make me feel as if I am there with you! Thanks! Brenda Barnes Jones, Marietta, Georgia

  2. the whole concept for Born to Shop all those years ago was that if I was sitting at lunch with you this is what we'd talk about, since the lag time in book publication is so long, the blog lets me talk to you about everyday life. Thanks for reading!