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Don't skimp on the winning trifecta of any French meal: du bon vin, du bon pain, du bon fromage. The highest quality wine, French bread, and cheese imbue even an everyday occasion with special extravagance. To make your own French baguette from scratch, see our step-by-step recipe and video. For wine and cheese suggestions, see below.
This recipe for roast chicken, from chef Christian Delouvrier of La Mangoire, makes one of the juiciest birds we've ever tasted. He's always roasted his chicken in the same way, with thyme and garlic on the inside and soy sauce and butter outside. Read more in the article from issue #153 »
Allow yourself time to enjoy a relaxed apéritif with your guests by making what you can ahead of time: the pâté can be made a few days ahead of time, and the financiers, pissaladières, and fennel gratin the day before. For the pissaladières, just make the filling and par-bake the puff pastry in advance—you can quickly re-heat the filling, bake the pastry uncovered for a few minutes, and spoon the filling into the pastry cups just before your guests arrive. If prepared in a shallow dish, the fennel gratin will quickly re-heat in the hot oven after you pull the chicken out to rest. Prepare the leeks, hard boiled egg, and vinaigrette in advance, to combine just before serving. The roast chicken recipe can be prepared through step one the day before, leaving about one and a half hours of cook and prep time for the day of the meal.