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Poule au Pot, A Traditional French Recipe

Monday, February 17, 2014

There's a highly complicated, very gourmet, and extremely traditional dish of France deemed "poule au pot." Translation: Boiled Chicken. You probably did what I did, raised your eyebrows maybe squinted a bit in confusion. Yep, the tradition is to put a chicken...in a pot...with veggies. I'm not sure about you guys but I call this chicken soup.

For a year now I have yet to understand why his parents get so excited to make this. It's chicken and veggies? But I've got it figured out now that it's kind of like when I cook Thanksgiving dinner on a random Monday in February, it's just that one traditional meal his family enjoys. Check-out Mat's dad, he's the master of poule-au-pot disaster.
What I think is cool about it is the fact there's actually a history to it. I mean its Wikipedia worthy, and in my 21st century book that means something. From my understanding, and very poor attempt at google translating the article (luckily I have a French boy to help), it all started out with Henry IV.
Henry apparently had a big heart, and a big appetite. He wanted to make sure, that above all, even the smallest of laborers and subjects were to be able to have a chicken in a pot for Sunday dinner. Screw the rest of the days of the week, as long as that chicken was on the table on Sunday those peasants would survive just fine.
It's not just any chicken, oh no, it's stuffed chicken. It's exactly like what we do with the Thanksgiving turkey. If you check out my stuffed pepper blog, the recipe for the "farce," aka stuffing, is right there. It has to be accompanied by carrots, turnips, leaks, onions, and potatoes. You can see here that they eventually put the stuffing with the veggies.
The Rudelle's have put an even better spin on King Henry IV's Sunday tradition, dessert. Apparently he was no Queen Marie Antoinette telling his people "let them eat cake."

I've found a step-by-step website with pictures if you are feeling really ballsy and want to tango with your inner French. It takes around an hour and a half, and not much thought (basically it's my kind of recipe).

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