Thursday, July 30, 2009

More of Julia...In the Kitchen

A quick follow up to yesterday's post on Julia Child. This month's issue of Bon Appetit magazine did a feature article titled "Happy Birthday, Julia!" to correspond with next Friday's film opening. To celebrate her birthday, the mag features a full night's menu from her classic cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Below is just a tasting of what's on the menu.

Pissaaladiere Nicoise

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 pounds onions, very finely chopped (about 5 3/4 cups)
  • 1 medium herb bouquet (4 fresh parsley sprigs, 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, and 1/2 bay leaf, tied in cheesecloth)
  • 2 unpeeled garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 partially cooked Pâte Brisée Tart Crust, cooled
  • 8 anchovy fillets
  • 16 oil-cured black olives, pitted


  • Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, herb bouquet, garlic cloves, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sauté 30 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking until onions are very tender and golden brown, stirring often, about 30 minutes longer. Remove from heat. Discard herb bouquet and garlic. Stir in 1/8 teaspoon pepper and cloves. Adjust seasoning. Cool slightly.
  • Position rack in top third of oven; preheat to 400°F. Spread onions in cooled crust. Arrange anchovies over in fan-shaped design. Scatter olives over. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Bake until pissaladière is heated through, about 15 minutes. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 hours ahead. Rewarm in 350°F oven about 10 minutes before serving.
  • Gently run small knife around s ides of pastry to loosen; carefully remove pan sides. Transfer pissaladière to platter.

Poulet Saute aux Herbes de Provence (chicken saute with herbs de Provence)

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 3- to 3 1/2-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces, rinsed, patted dry
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or savory
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, ground in spice mill or with mortar and pestle
  • 3 unpeeled garlic cloves
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine or 1/2 cup dry white vermouth
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon dry white wine or dry white vermouth
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons butter, cut into 1-inch cubes (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, fresh fennel fronds, or fresh parsley (optional)



  • Melt butter in large wide pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches, if necessary, add chicken pieces and cook only until golden, turning occasionally, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer chicken breast pieces to plate. Sprinkle remaining chicken pieces in pot with half each of thyme, basil, and fennel seeds, then salt and pepper. Add garlic to pot. Cover pot; reduce heat to medium and cook 8 to 9 minutes. Sprinkle chicken breasts with remaining thyme, basil, and fennel seeds, then salt and pepper. Return breast pieces to pot; baste chicken with butter in pot. Cover and cook until chicken is cooked through, turning and basting occasionally, about 15 minutes. Transfer to hot platter; cover.
  • Remove peel from garlic cloves; mash garlic with spoon or fork in same pot. Add 2/3 cup wine to juices in pot; boil until liquid is reduced to 3/4 cup, occasionally scraping bottom of pan, about 8 minutes. Pour reduced pan juices into measuring cup and reserve for sauce.


  • (For more detailed instructions, see our tip on emulsifying eggs.) Off heat, whisk egg yolks in heavy small saucepan until beginning to thicken. Whisk in lemon juice and 1 tablespoon wine. Gradually whisk reserved pan juices into eggs, 1 teaspoon at a time. Set sauce over very low heat and whisk constantly until warm and slightly thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. If desired, whisk in butter, 1 piece at a time. Remove from heat. Stir in herbs, if desired. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve.

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