The French Bistro: July/August Dinner

Enjoy the rustic charm of this multi-course meal. Add a silky Bordeaux or aperitif to kick off your dinner in style. Make sure to adjust portions for 8. Bon Appetit! 

Chicken provancale


APPETIZER: Artichoke Tapenade with Rosemary Oil
This recipe looks divine, especially the homemade rosemary oil. Serve with toasted baguette, crackers or flat bread. Here’s another link with photo images.

FIRST COURSEShaved Asparagus Salad with Aged Gouda and Hazelnuts
Yum… special ingredients make this dish shine. Make a little extra to serve 8 generous portions.

MAIN ENTREERoasted Chicken Provençal
George Zwicker recommends doubling the olive oil and vermouth. Remember to also double the recipe to serve 8.
SIDE#1: Wild Rice with Fennel (see recipe below)
The Wild Rice recipe is provided by Susan Adler’s mother’s best friend, who lived in Manchester, England. The recipe is tested and highly recommended.
SIDE#2: French green beans (steamed or sauteed)

DESSERT: Peach Crisp with Blueberries served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream
Diana recommends using  blueberries instead of raisins and doubling the fruit. Skip the ramekins if you don’t have them. Works great in a decorative dish or casserole, but add 5-10 minutes and put under broiler to crisp top.

Wild Rice with Fennel

Ingredients: 1 cup wild rice
1 fennel bulb with greens (bulb diced after removing core and tops minced)
2 cups chicken stock
2 cloves garlic, minced
7 T olive oil
1/2 cup currants (plumped by placing in a dish with 2T water and microwaving for 20 seconds)
1/2 cup pine nuts (toasted)
6 scallions, finely sliced
1 lemon, juice and zest
1 T capers, finely minced
handful of parsley, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Prep: Bring the stock and rice to a boil (add salt if the stock is not salted) and simmer until cooked (but NOT mushy) about 45 min to 1 hour.
Meanwhile, saute the fennel bulb for 2-3 minutes in 2 T olive oil. Add garlic and saute for one more minute. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl mix 5T olive oil, lemon juice and zest,fennel tops. parsley. capers, and green onions. When the rice is cooked, add it to the bowl while still warm, add the currants and mix well.

This can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. Serve at room temperature or warm and add the pine nuts just before serving.