Taking culinary trips to France

November 22, 2006|By Laura Vozzella | Laura Vozzella,Sun reporter

Goose Fat & Garlic: Country Recipes From Southwest France

By Jeanne Strang

The Bistros, Brasseries, and Wine Bars of Paris

By Daniel Young

William Morrow / 2006 / $24.95

Having struggled with country French, I feared Parisian cuisine would completely elude me. But Daniel Young's book was perfectly accessible.

Recipes for even the most citified fare are straightforward. The ingredients are, by and large, available in ordinary American supermarkets.

The dishes don't all scream Paris. The Grilled Tuna With Tomato-Mango-Pineapple Salsa and the Veal Blanquette With Ginger and Lemon Grass seem to be more about fusion than France.

There are homier offerings, too, which you might expect from the informal eateries where Young collected his recipes. Among them: Roast Loin of Veal With Fresh Rosemary; Roast Whole Chicken With Cauliflower; and Warm Apple Tart.

A Pan-Fried Goat Cheese Salad With Hazelnut Vinaigrette achieved a happy medium, with a few fancy touches turning a simple salad into something special.

laura.vozzella@baltsun.com

Le Poulet Farci Toulousain (Chicken Stuffed With Sausage and Olives)

Serves 4

1 roasting chicken, 2 1/4 to 3 pounds, with its liver

1/2 pound Toulouse sausage (a lean pork sausage)

2 tablespoons goose or duck fat (divided use)

2 cloves garlic

3 1/2 ounces (about 20) pitted green olives

salt and pepper

1 medium onion, sliced

bouquet garni (a combination of herbs, such as parsley, thyme and bay leaf, tied together in a cheesecloth bag)

1/2 cup dry white wine

3 medium tomatoes, skinned and deseeded

Wipe the interior of the bird with a damp cloth.

Prepare the stuffing by first cutting the sausage into small pieces, then browning these in a tablespoonful of the fat. Chop the chicken liver and mince the garlic. Add them to the pan and continue the frying for a minute or two. Leave this mixture to cool before adding the olives, roughly chopped. Season lightly and mix all together.

Fill the chicken with this stuffing and sew up the opening. Truss the bird so it fits neatly into whatever large casserole or pan with close-fitting lid you have. Brown it on all sides in this pan in the remainder of the fat, add the onion, bouquet garni and seasoning and pour over the white wine. Reduce the heat to get a gentle simmer, cover and leave to cook for 45 minutes.

Chop the tomato flesh and add it to the pan for 10 minutes' further cooking but with the lid off. If there still seems too much sauce at the end of this time, transfer the chicken to a warm place and reduce the liquor by brisk boiling. Remove the bouquet garni and check the seasoning.

Pass the sauce around separately.

From "Goose Fat & Garlic"

Per serving: 515 calories, 39 grams protein, 35 grams fat, 10 grams saturated fat, 10 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 123 milligrams cholesterol, 668 milligrams sodium

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