I must confess, Deux folles et un fouet (Two crazy women and a whisk), the cookbook from Rafaëlle Germain and Jessica Barker talked to me from the get-go. Unabashedly pink, pro-joy of life and addicted to fat and salt, it’s got a cool, friendly vibe. But let’s face it, everybody and her mother seems to be publishing a cookbook these days and my book budget was dedicated to more “worthy” fare: Jérôme Ferrer, Chuck Hughes, François Chartier & all.
But during a quick visit to our friend Jean-Coutu, I saw the book at a much-reduced price tag of $14.95 and couldn’t resist our two enthusiastic whisk bombshells no more. Word to the wise, Renaud-Bray offers the same low price.
Honestly, I have no regrets. The book is quite entertaining, although it can wander into repetitive territory (okay, I get it, you like fat, salt and booze, can we move on maybe?), but it remains refreshing and personal with a confessional tone in the popular vein of Momofuku. Without comparing apples with oranges—or celebs with chefs— the approach reminds a little of the cocktail-and-canape feeling of Canal House Cooking, one of my 2010 faves.
So I decided to cook their cream and olive chicken…for Easter! Yup, I know, you never try a new recipe when receiving guests, not for a friendly supper, even less for Easter. It’s culinary suicide. But in keeping with the free spirit of our two foodie crazies, it seemed to make sense. It made me very popular, I can tell you that.
Here is to two lovely, food-obsessed blondes who without being chefs obviously know their way around a kitchen. Fun was had by all.
Olive and mostly cream chicken
For this recipe, I used an almost 3-kg organic chicken from Ferme Le Crépuscule, so good it blew my mind. However I should have lowered the oven temperature given the lengthier cooking time, which explains the blackened onions in the pix. Mind you, everyone was too full to complain…
• 1 organic chicken (2 kg/4 lbs)
• 1 garlic clove, peeled, in halves
• 15 ml (1 tbsp) butter
• 45 ml (3 tbsp) Dijon mustard
• 1 yellow onion, in rounds
• salt, pepper and Herbes de Provence
• 1 jar pimento-stuffed olives (like Coronation brand)
• 500 ml (2 cups) vermouth (or chicken broth)
• 250 ml (1 cup) regular or thick-style 15% cream
1. Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F).
2. Dry chicken and transfer to an ovenproof pan. Rub the inside and outside of chicken with garlic halves, then place them in the cavity.
3. Combine butter and mustard, smother all over chicken. Place onion rounds all over the chicken, season and sprinkle with Herbes de Provence.
4. Fill chicken cavity with olives, pouring remainder around the chicken. (Here the book does not say to drain the olives but I did anyways.) Pour vermouth around the chicken. Cook in oven 1 hour or until well-cooked.
5. Pour cream over chicken, remove olives from cavity and add to cooking juices.
6. Transfer chicken to a serving dish. Mix sauce until well-blended and serve in a gravy boat. Delicious with lots and lots of gravy-soaking rice.