This week’s recipe for Cook the Book Fridays from David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen was one we’d put off, I guess, because maybe people were all like “where on earth do I get a guinea hen?” (me included). Turns out that a 1.13kg chicken is an excellent stand in for a guinea hen and fits nicely in a Le Creuset Covered Sauté Pan 😉
In fact, this recipe is a little involved as well and figs are not in season so I had to make do with dried (luckily I found some lovely “fresh” dried figs that were plump and moist that worked beautifully. Basically you cook the chicken on all sides until it’s well-browned (after the 10 minutes the recipe suggests, my chicken was barely golden so later in the cooking process, at the end, I stuck my pan under the broiler to get the lovely colour you see), then you remove the bird from the pan and cook carrots, onions and garlic, later adding some wine and stock with dried figs then braising the bird in all that for about an hour.
Meanwhile you are supposed to prepare fresh figs to serve with this – honey baked – which I didn’t because the recipe just didn’t work with dried figs, so I added extra ones to the sauce for the chicken instead. Once the chicken is cooked, you remove it from the braise and cut it up, then make a sauce from the strained braise liquid then add back the bird. Whew – a lot of steps! I added the extra browning step at the end under the broiler and I am glad I did. Like many recipes in My Paris Kitchen, there is no image to accompany this recipe so I’m not sure if it’s meant to look pale or lovely and roasty but I loved the way mine looked with a bit of broiler action!
To accompany this dish, I actually suggested mashed potatoes but on the day I made this I was too tired to make them so I made them to accompany another recipe I was testing a few weeks later (also a chicken in a lovely rich sauce). These are classic French mashed potatoes with lots of butter and cream (like the recipe I have in In the French kitchen with kids!) – made lovely and silky by pushing the potatoes through a wire sieve (I don’t have a ricer and this does the job so well!). Classic and would accompany that chicken/ guinea hen so well!
Get the recipes for David Lebovitz’s Braised guinea hen (or chicken) with figs on page 183 and the recipe for Mashed Potatoes on page 216 of My Paris Kitchen.
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Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of “My Paris Kitchen” for review purposes. I was not asked to write about the book, nor am I being compensated for doing so. All opinions 100% my own.
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