Saturday, November 5, 2011

French Cuisine is a fail at home.

I have only eaten French food a few times and I have to admit I am not a big fan. Can I explain why? Not really, perhaps it was the atmosphere of the restaurants and the pretentious attitudes of the staff that turned me off to it. Perhaps it was the dishes I tried, drenched in sauce and too sweet; not being an expert in French cooking, maybe they weren't cooked correctly in the first place? I don't know.

I am a comfort cook, so more than likely the dishes I had were just too on the frou-frou end of the French cooking spectrum. Now I had heard of French peasant cuisine, so did a little reading about that. That seemed geared more towards my liking for comfort style food, so I came up with a recipe called Rustic Chicken. Earthy flavors with a mild sweetness coming from tomatoes and a just as mild tang from Dijon mustard.

I happen to like the result, but Roy, my hubby, doesn't agree with me. His assessment was, "it tastes too foreign". Now this was confusing to me considering I cook Italian, Slavic, Mexican and Asian cuisines for him. So I pushed for a more specific critique and got, "I don't know, it tastes odd and I just don't like it". Not much to work with there, so I will just say that Roy and I do not like French cuisine, plain and simple.

But here is my recipe, you might like it, you may not, let your palate decide for you.

Rustic Chicken


2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
½ cup shredded smoked ham or thin sliced beef kielbasa
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (15 oz) artichoke hearts, quartered
1 can (8 oz) whole mushrooms
1 ½ cups chicken broth
¼ cup dry red wine
2 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 cup long grain rice.


Combine all ingredients, except rice, in a 4 qt slow cooker, set on low. Cover and cook for 6 hours; add the rice, mix, cover and let cook for an additional 30-40 minutes; until rice is tender.

Makes 8 servings.

Mary Cokenour