Chicken Jacques Pépin’s Way

January 23 – January 29, 2023

Monday:                   Leftover Sunday Gravy, Celery Salad with Apples, Blue Cheese and Walnuts

A Picture from some years ago: Billy, Jacques, Beez, Me at a dinner in honor of Pepin

Tuesday:                   Hot Sausage Sandwiches with Peppers, Onions and Sunday Gravy Ragù

Wednesday:            Cannellini-Bean Pasta with Beurre Blanc

Thursday:                 PFC with Hilda, Tim and Julie

Jacques’ hand-illustrated menu from the dinner

Friday:                       Peas with Baked Ricotta and Bread Crumbs

Pizza with caramelized onions, gorgonzola and anchovies

Saturday:                  La Dolce Vita Pizza

My somewhat battered version of Pepin’s Roast Chicken

Sunday:                     Pépin’s Roast Chicken au jus, Israeli Chopped Salad with Roasted Chickpeas, Bagel Chips and Feta

Chicken Jacques’ Way

Jacques Pépin has a new cookbook – The Art of the Chicken.  I am interested in the book not only for its recipes – no one can cook a chicken like Pépin – but for the paintings and drawings in the book.  Not only does Jacques Pépin cook chickens well, he draws them superbly.  This is from his Heart and Soul in the Kitchen:

Alas, there is one problem with Jacques’ book – well, not with his book, exactly, but with my books – well, not with my books, exactly, but with the sheer number of them.  SWMBO has informed me that there is no more room for books in ‘our’* house.  I have about 2,000 in my office/library.  There are maybe another 400 on the bookshelves in the family room and the kitchen and boys rooms and on various tables and nightstands on the second floor, a solid 400 or so in the furnace room and several dozen lying around on chests and coffee tables.

*SWMBO, in Queen-Empress mode, tends to subsume collective nouns into her singular possessives.  I’m not sure there’s any room for me in that “our”.  Royals have been known to do this through history – think of the royal “We”.

I can’t argue that SWMBO doesn’t have a point, but I am hoping to talk her (when she is in her ‘Beez’ persona) into just a few more acquisitions, or perhaps a second home completely lined with bookshelves.

But I don’t need Jacques’ latest to share with you his single best recipe for roasting a chicken.  This can be found in one of the videos he put on You Tube during the pandemic.

So, this week we’re going to give you a link to this video in lieu of a written recipe.  It shows Jacques trussing, then cooking a chicken, and then carving the chicken into five pieces which he then reassembles in a skillet for a presentation at once a bit shocking as well as educational – this is how a chicken fits together and how we take the poor thing apart, sometimes before cooking it, sometimes afterwards.

Oh, and before the carving, while the chicken rests, he makes a savory sauce from the fond that has crusted on the bottom of the skillet in which he has roasted the chicken.

Now Jacques can do all of this – including the French carving approach (different from what we do in America) – with his eyes closed.  But you can’t.  So, watch the video a couple of times and take your time with the carving.  You’ll probably still end up with some misshapen pieces, but they’ll taste great anyway – and you’ll be on your way to mastery of this simple dish.  After another hundred or so roasted birds you’ll have it down pat.

Here’s the link:              Jacques Pépin:  How to Make Roast Chicken

2 thoughts on “Chicken Jacques Pépin’s Way

  1. You are a person after my own heart, Bill Stewart! Sure, you can always fit in a couple more books. I know SWMBO doesn’t like it but hey, go for the newest acquisitions! I do have a rule, if books fall apart, out they go! Kathy Murray PS food looks divine!!!

  2. I won’t take sides in the great book debate, but I will warn you that downsizing someday will be painful…

    And you had me at “Pizza with caramelized onions, gorgonzola and anchovies”!

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