Saturday, September 28, 2013

Poulet Saute aux Herbes de Provence - Julia Child - 50 Most Influential Women in Food

Every Friday for the next 50 weeks, a small group of kindred spirit will be exploring recipes developed by the fifty most influential women in the food world. The women were selected by the online arm of Gourmet and, to no one's surprise, Julia Child appears at the top of the list. She is legend. Her books and cooking shows brought French cooking to the American kitchen and changed the way we prepare and think about the food we eat. I count myself among those whose cooking was forever changed by her influence. I found her program, The French Chef, in 1969 while flipping through television channels.We were living in Chicago at the time and I was caring for my baby girl who was born prematurely and had a host of medical problems that needed the kind of attention only a mother can provide. Needless to say, I didn't get out a lot. I was not a young mother and had worked for years. Julia helped me deal with a classic case of cabin fever and convinced me that, if I tried, I could cook as well as she did. I love a challenge, so rather than start with something simple like a soup, my first effort was her multi-step recipe for Beef Wellington. Using her instructions, I was able to duplicate the dish and my cooking took a quantum leap. My challenge became finding recipes that were economically feasible for family meals. Chicken was a logical place to start and I slowly worked my way through all of her recipes for it. In 1969 chicken was 33 cents a pound. If you were willing to joint the bird, it could be had for the outrageous sum of 29 cents a pound. I dissembled lots of chicken back then and one of my favorite recipes was Julia's, Poulet Saute aux Herbs de Provence. It sounds fancy, but, in reality, it was nothing more than chicken sauteed in a mix of butter and herbs. The TKO came at the end of cooking, when pan juices were used to make a B

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