We've all got Julia Child on the brain this month and we've noticed in the forums, we're not alone when it comes to needing a few new recipes to add to our repertoire! So, we did a little research and came up with this fun, fast and easy riffs on some Julia Child classics. Experiment and add a few things of your own. Remember, Julia's most famous ingredient was fearlessness (well, that and a lot of butter!) Bon Appetit! And keep the recipe swap going on the forums!

Coq au Vin (Chicken in wine)
Ingredients

  • ½ lb bacon slices
  • 20 pearl onions, peeled, or 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 chicken, 4 lb, cut into serving pieces, or 3 lbs chicken parts, all with skin ON
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups red wine (pinot noir, burgundy, or zinfandel)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Several fresh thyme sprigs
  • Several fresh parsley sprigs
  • ½ lb button mushrooms, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Method

  1. Blanch the bacon to remove some of its saltiness. Drop the bacon into a saucepan of cold water, covered by a couple of inches. Bring to a boil, simmer for 5 minutes, drain. Rinse in cold water, pat dry with paper towels. Cut the bacon into 1 inch by ¼ inch pieces.
  2. Brown bacon on medium high heat in a Dutch oven (or cast iron casserole pan) big enough to hold the chicken, about 10 minutes. Remove the cooked bacon, set aside. Keep the bacon fat in the pan. Add onions and chicken, skin side down. Brown the chicken well, on all sides, about 10 minutes. Halfway through the browning, add the garlic and sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. (Note: it is best to add salt while cooking, not just at the very end. It brings out the flavor of the chicken).
  3. Spoon off any excess fat. Add the chicken stock, wine, and herbs. Add back the bacon. Lower heat to simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, or until chicken is tender and cooked through. Remove chicken and onions to a separate platter. Remove the bay leaves, herb sprigs, garlic, and discard.
  4. Add mushrooms to the remaining liquid and turn the heat to high. Boil quickly and reduce the liquid by three fourths until it becomes thick and saucy. Lower the heat, stir in the butter. Return the chicken and onions to the pan to reheat and coat with sauce. Adjust seasoning. Garnish with parsley and serve alone, with potatoes or over egg noodles. Serves 4.

Poulet Poele a l'Estragon (Casserole-Roasted Chicken with Tarragon)
(We hear this is Meryl Streep's favorite Julia Child recipe)

Estimated roasting time: 1 hour and 10 to 20 minutes for a 3-pound bird.

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees?
  • 3-pound ready-to-cook roasting chicken
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh tarragon or 1/2 teaspoon of dried tarragon

Season the cavity of the chicken with salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of the butter. Insert the tarragon leaves, or sprinkle in dried tarragon. Truss the chicken. Dry it thoroughly and rub the skin with the rest of the butter.

  • A heavy fireproof casserole just large enough to hold the chicken on its back and on its side
  • 2 tablespoons butte
  • 1 tablespoon oil, more if needed

Set the casserole over moderately high heat with the butter and oil. When the butter foam has begun to subside, lay in the chicken, breast down. Brown for 2 to 3 minutes, regulating heat so butter is always very hot but not burning. Turn the chicken on another side, using 2 wooden spoons or a towel. Be sure not to break the chicken skin. Continue browning and turning the chicken until it is a nice golden color almost all over, particularly on the breast and legs. This will take 10 to 15 minutes. Add more oil if necessary to keep the bottom of the casserole filmed.

  • 3 tablespoons butter, if necessary
  • Remove the chicken. Pour out the browning fat if it has burned, and add fresh butter.
  • 1/2 cup sliced onions
  • 1/4 cup sliced carrots
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh tarragon or 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon

Cook the carrots and onions slowly in the casserole for 5 minutes without browning. Add the salt and tarragon.

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • A bulb baster
  • Aluminum foil
  • A tight-fitting cover for the casserole

Salt the chicken. Set it breast up over the vegetables and baste it with the butter in the casserole. Lay a piece of aluminum foil over the chicken, cover the casserole, and reheat it on top of the stove until you hear the chicken sizzling. Then place the casserole on a rack in the middle level of the preheated oven.

Roast for 1 hour and 10 to 20 minutes, regulating heat so chicken is always making quiet cooking noises. Baste once or twice with the butter and juices in the casserole. The chicken is done when its drumsticks move in their sockets, and when the last drops drained from its vent run clear yellow.

Remove the chicken to a serving platter and discard trussing strings.

Brown Tarragon Sauce

  • 2 cups brown chicken stock, or 1 cup canned beef bouillon and 1 cup canned chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch blended with 2 tablespoons Madeira or port
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced tarragon or parsley
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter

Add the stock or bouillon and broth to the casserole and simmer for 2 minutes, scraping up coagulated roasting juices. Then skim off all but a tablespoon of fat. Blend in the cornstarch mixture, simmer a minute, then raise heat and boil rapidly until sauce is lightly thickened. Taste carefully for seasoning, adding more tarragon if you feel it necessary. Strain into a warmed sauceboat. Stir in the herbs and the enrichment butter. Serves 4.

Spinach and Ricotta Omelet
(Julia Child, light & vegetarian – for both our heath-conscious and vegetarian friends)

Ingredients

  • 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 (1/4 cup) medium shallot, minced
  • 1 (6-ounce) package fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons bottled salsa
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation

  1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallot; cook until soft, stirring well. Add spinach; sauté until wilted (2 minutes), stirring well. Transfer to bowl; stir in ricotta and 3 tablespoons salsa.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in skillet over medium heat. Combine eggs, egg whites, and water in a bowl. Whisk until well-blended. Add salt and pepper; whisk 5 seconds.
  3. Pour egg mixture into skillet; cook 10 seconds or until edges are set. Pull in cooked edges using a spatula; tip pan and rotate until there is just a little uncooked egg in the middle (about 5 minutes).
  4. Add spinach mixture evenly to top of omelet; sprinkle with cheese. Cook 20 seconds; remove from heat. Run spatula around omelet edges. Fold omelet in half, and let slide onto serving platter. Serve immediately.

Watch Julia's infamous Omelet show, learn what type of pan works best and discover her technique for making omelets!

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