One of the most celebrated dates on the French calendar is the14th of July — the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille in 1789, which signalled the beginning of the French Revolution.
It is a day of leisurely family activities and celebrations. In the evening in Paris, a grand concert takes place and around 11pm the sky explodes with a magnificent firework display which features a different theme each year.
I'm a great devotee of French cuisine and the respect that the French people have for food. So most years my husband and I hold a soirée — either drinks or dinner — for friends on or around the 14th of July.
|1½ - 2kg||chicken, jointed|
|1½ cups||red wine|
|2 Tbsp each||olive oil, butter|
|2||middle rashers bacon, finely chopped|
|2 each||onions, carrots, finely diced|
|2 cloves||garlic, crushed|
|To taste||freshly ground black pepper and salt|
|¾ cup||chicken stock|
|1 Tbsp||tomato paste|
|1 bunch||fresh herbs eg parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme|
|8 each||baby carrots, pickling-sized onions, peeled|
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- Place the chicken in a shallow dish. Pour the wine over then cover, refrigerate and marinate overnight, turning once or twice.
- Heat half the oil and butter in a large non-stick frying pan. Sauté the bacon until cooked. Add the diced onions and carrots and sauté for about 5 minutes or until the onion is softened. Add the garlic. Transfer to the slow cooker
- Drain the chicken - reserving the wine marinade - and pat dry. Season. Melt the remaining butter and oil. Sauté the chicken until lightly coloured. Place on top of the diced veges and bacon
- Add the chicken stock, reserved wine and tomato paste to the frying pan and bring to the boil. Pour over the ingredients in the slow cooker. Add the herbs tied together with cooking string. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours.
- Halve the button mushrooms if large. Add to the slow cooker with the baby carrots and onions. Mix the butter and flour to a paste. Whisk into the slow cooker liquid. Continue cooking for 1-2 hours until the carrots and chicken are tender. Garnish with parsley.