James Beard Award winning author Georgeanne Brennan shares a lifetime of French farmhouse cooking—combining ingredients from forest, field, sea, and stream—in casual meals for friends and family. Following an approach to daily cooking that’s rooted firmly in the French tradition, Brennan crafts recipes driven by the seasons and the outdoors. Paired with lovely lifestyle photography, this inspiring cookbook weaves together her personal experience, stories, and tips about how to create a sustainable life—one that celebrates the relationship between the land and the table, and among food, family, and friends—no matter where you reside.
The Potager: Year-Round Vegetables: green garlic and new potato soup; charred artichokes with fresh herb dipping sauce; zucchini and pine nut fritters; fennel and chicken braised with lemon; savory chard and raisin tart; sweet pepper and shelling bean Gratin; parsnip soup with toasted almonds; winter beignets with sauce verde
The Orchard: Fruits & Nuts: homecured olives, cherry and onion chutney for seared duck breast, chestnut and pork stew, pear, arugula and shaved parmesan salad, mulberry and pistachio tart, chestnut cream profiteroles
The Barnyard: Cows, Goats, Sheep, Pigs, Chickens, Ducks & Rabbits: foie gras terrine, chicken liver pâté, shredded duck confit and cornichon buns, beef braised in red wine and bone marrow, roast chicken with potatoes and droppings, stuffed breast of lamb-Michoui style, frozen meringues and fruit cream
The Forest & Fields: Wild Things : snail stuffed mushroom, wild mushroom soup, foraged greens and prosciutto salad, quail with juniper glaze and shallots, fresh bay leaves skewered with lamb and peppers, Crème Brûlée with Black Truffles, lavender pepper goat cheese.
Water: Fish & Shellfish: smoked trout pate, thin sliced raw scallops with wild fennel pollen, pot de poisson, Moules Gratinée, sea bass with lemon verbenas buerre blanc, sea urchin sauce
With lovely recipes and tips to sustainable life, La Vie Rustic allows you to live the French lifestyle in your home!
SERVES 4 1 large or 2 medium fennel bulbs, with stalks and fronds 2 lemons, preferably Meyer, halved then cut into 3 pieces 1 tsp sea salt 6 chicken thighs, with or without skin 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tsp dried oregano ½ tsp freshly ground pepper 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil ½ cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) dry white wine 2 Tbsp grated lemon zest ¼ cup (1¼ oz/35 g) green olives, pitted
Trim the stalks from the fennel, reserving the lacy tips of the fronds for garnish. Cut the fennel bulb lengthwise into ¼-inch (6-mm) slices—the slices will look like hands. Cut the fennel “hands” lengthwise into ½-inch (12-mm) slices. Set aside.
Put the lemons in a bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Add the chicken, garlic, oregano, and pepper and turn to coat. Let stand for about 30 minutes for the flavors to infuse the chicken.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the chicken thighs, reserving the lemon pieces, garlic, and oregano, and cook, turning several times, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate or platter.
Pour the remaining 1 tablespoon oil into the hot pan and add the fennel. Reduce the heat to medium and sauté, stirring, until nearly translucent, 8–10 minutes. Stir in the lemons, garlic, and oregano, turning a few times. Add the wine and ½ cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) water and deglaze the pan by scraping up any bits that cling to the bottom. Return the chicken to the pan, cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the chicken is tender and the fennel can be cut with a spoon, about 45 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, mince enough of the fennel fronds to measure 2 tablespoons. Combine the chopped fronds with the lemon zest.
Transfer the chicken mixture to a platter and garnish with the lemon-fennel mixture and the olives. Serve at once.