Sunday, July 15, 2018

Paris in July - cooking with Julia, weeping over Dunkirk

I recently started rereading Julia Child's My Life in France with Alex Prud'homme. One thing led to another and I rewatched Julie and Julia, with Meryl Streep as Julia Child, Stanley Tucci as husband Paul, and Jane Lynch as her sister, Dort.

Loved the Julia parts of the movie, ground my teeth through the Julie parts, but my husband and I ended up cracking open Mastering the Art of French Cooking for dinner last night.

Poulet Saute aux Herbes de Provence - Chicken Sauteed with Herbs and Garlic in an Egg Yolk and Butter Sauce...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Julia Child

1/4 pound butter
2-1/2 to 3 pounds cut-up frying chicken
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon ground fennel
Salt and pepper
3 cloves unpeeled garlic
2/3 cup dry white wine or 1/2 cup dry white vermouth
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon dry white wine or vermouth
2 tablespoons fresh minced basil, fennel fronds or parsley

1 ) Heat butter in a large skillet until it is foaming. Add chicken pieces and saute for 7 to 8 minutes, turning often. Do not let chicken color more than a deep golden yellow. Season with herbs and salt and pepper. Add garlic and cook, uncovered, for another 20 to 25 minutes, turning 2 to 3 times, or until chicken is tender and juices run clear. Remove chicken to a warm platter and tent with foil to keep warm.
2) Mash garlic cloves with the back of a spoon. Remove peel. Add wine and boil down until reduced by half.
3) Beat egg yolks in a separate small saucepan until thick and sticky. Beat in lemon juice and wine with a whisk. Add liquid remaining in saute pan, a half teaspoon at a time, until a creamy mayonnaise sauce begins to form. Beat over very low heat until warm and thickened.. Remove from heat. Add finishing herbs and adjust to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve immediately. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

It really was marvelous--we used only thighs and breasts, and since I am a dark meat fan, I preferred the thigh over the breast, but both were marvelous. Tender, savory, and just the right amount of lemony finish.

We had this with a rose, per Julia's suggestion, and accompaniments were potatoes sauteed in clarified butter, broiled tomato and summer squash, and finished the meal with espresso and a sliver of brie. I had bought creme brulee for dessert but no room. I also bought some smoked oysters to have on Triscuits while we cooked.

Afterwards we watched Dunkirk, which absolutely stunned me. I ended up weeping through most of the final third of the movie. I cannot imagine being that brave or that scared.

It took me awhile to place Mark Rylance, one of the small boat captains who helped evacuate the British army in May 1940, but he was, of course, Thomas Cromwell in Wolf Hall.

This post is part of Thyme for Tea's annual July in Paris blogging party - here's a link to her roundup that starts week 3.


  1. Your dinner sounds luscious. Julia Child is always a winner!

    I totally agree with you about the dual nature of the film "Julie and Julia." I just couldn't stand the Julie parts, but loved the depiction of the Child family as I also loved "My Life in France."

    best... mae at

  2. I thought Dunkirk was wonderful, it was even better on the big screen. Mark Rylance is wonderful in everything, he's one of those actors that makes every production better. I was really happy when he won the Oscar for Bridge of Spies a couple of years ago.

    And I agree about Julie & Julia, I could have skipped all the Julie parts. I loved Jane Lynch as Dort. Stanley Tucci was perfect as Paul Child.

  3. I definitely want to try this Julia Child recipe. It sounds marvelous.

    I have a hard time watching war stories. War is such an emotionally powerful experience. It’s very, very difficult for me to watch.

  4. You can never go wrong with Julia! I loved the audio version of My Life in France.

  5. I also agree that the Julia parts of Julie & Julia were better than the Julie parts. I've not read the book, but I here its the same. Julie does not come off so well.

    I think the first time I learned about Dunkirk was actually through fiction in Connie Willis' novel Blackout.

  6. I like the Julia/Julie movie also but mostly the Julia parts! What a wonderful dish you made. I need to watch Dunkirk even if it makes me cry. Paris in July is such fun!!

  7. This sounds fabulous! And I loved both movies and yes, cried, too. Julia's recipes rock -- this looks delish!

  8. I agree that the Julie/Julia movie had its problems, BUT I thought the book was 5 STARS. The Julie in the book is a no-holds-barred, butt-kicking adventurer, who is daunted by very little. I couldn't stand the sanitized saint who played Julie in the movie--she was awful.
    And, also, there is just so very much in the book that is not in the movie.
    In fact, I think I need to read the book again!!