Sunday, May 20, 2012

French Dinner With Friends

My friend Penny, from Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen and her husband are going to France in a few weeks.  They have the most wonderful itinerary planned.

 We invited them over for dinner last night and to celebrate their upcoming trip, I decided to cook a French meal.

We planned on dining outside on our deck, but shorty before they arrived, we had a huge rain and hail storm.  So we dined inside.

For appetizers I made Gougeres, or Cheese Puffs.  This recipe is from Ina Garten's Barefoot in Paris cookbook.  The are light and fluffy and melt in your mouth.

For dinner, I made Chicken with Bacon, Mushrooms and Onions with white wine.  This is the country version of the fussier coq au vin, which uses red wine.  (recipe follows at end of post)

And for dessert another Ina Garten recipe.  Lemon Meringue Tart.

Chicken With Bacon, Mushrooms, Onions and White Wine
(serves 4)
1/2 pound bacon, diced
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 pound button mushrooms, quartered
6 garlic cloves, sliced
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup frozen small white onions, thawed
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons cornstarch

Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium low heat until crisp.  With a slotted spoon transfer bacon to a plate.  Pour off most of the  bacon fat from pan.  Increase heat to medium. Sprinkle freshly cracked pepper onto chicken thighs.  Brown thighs in skillet on both sides.  Remove to a plate.  Add mushrooms and garlic to pan.  Saute until mushrooms are slightly brown, careful not to burn garlic.  Add wine to pan, scraping up brown bits in bottom of skillet.  Add chicken stock, chicken, bacon, onions and thyme sprigs to pan.  Cover and cook on low an hour.  Check for tenderness.  If not tender cook 10-20 minutes more.  Remove chicken to side plate.  Mix cornstarch and water, add to sauce in pan and stir until thickened.  Add chicken back to pan.  Let heat for 5 minutes.

Serve this with mashed potatoes and oven roasted carrots.

Welcome Home,


  1. Penny, Your meal was such a wonderful introduction to our trip to France. Everything was delicious! The savory cream puffs were indeed melt in your mouth. I loved the white wine version of coq au vin; all of the flavors of chicken, mushrooms and bacon without that red tint! I will be making it this way from now on. And the dessert was to die for! You are a thoughtful friend!
    Hugs, Penny

  2. Sorry the weather didn't cooperate at dinner time -know all that delicious food was just as tasty inside though, delicious!!!! That beautiful tart looks so professional Penny, and is one of my favorites, and the gougers are magnificent - I must try making them.

    I'll be anxious to hear about Penny's upcoming trip - oh to be in France again. My brother will be celebrating his 60th there next week - a huge party planned in the abby grounds in their village, but I can't go!!!!!

    Mary X

  3. Penny, your meal looks wonderful. I'm definitely going to try that chicken with white wine, bacon and mushrooms. And the tart - beautifully done with all those meringue dots.

    It's fun to cook according to a theme, isn't it?

  4. Oh your friends are blessed to know you! ☺ Everything looks exquisite and delicious.

  5. Hi Penny, Mmmmmm your dinner looks delicious. A great intro to a lovely trip to France. I'm envious.

    I'm back to blogging after a fun two weeks entertaining Claudie. I have missed the blogging world so much. It feels great to visit you again.

    I also loved your bluebirds Penny. Great shots. We do have bluebirds here but I rarely see one.

    Happy Sunday,
    xo Jeanne

  6. Penny, please ignore this. I'm trying to get my id fixed. Thanks, Jeanne.

  7. Looks delicious, Penny. You are the hostess with the "mostest".

    I certainly would like a slice of that lemon tart.♥

  8. This makes me hungry! Penny, such a lovely thing to do for your friends.

  9. Boy that looks good! I may have to try that chicken recipe. All of the ingredients look like something we would like. Your lemon tart looks pretty too. Love, love, love lemony desserts!

  10. Penny that looked delicious!! I just printed the recipe and can't wait to try it!

  11. This recipe sounds delicious and I'm always happy to find a chicken recipe. Sounds like a fun night. We don't have bluebirds here in northern Utah but we have bluejays. Mimi

  12. It looks like a delicious meal and what a wonderful send off for your friends.


  13. Mmmmm.... I will be trying the gougeres and Chicken dish for sure. Lemon tart sounds fabulous too. Thank you for sharing these. I have seriously never lookind into Ina Gartens recipes, can you believe it? I keep hearing somany rave reviews I may have to pick up one of her books at the library.

  14. Pennnnnyyyy you are making me hungry, and I just had dinner. That looks so good, and so tasty.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  15. Oh, my goodness. It is after 9PM and you have just made me hungry. Looked great.

  16. Penny, this meal looks delicious and beautiful. I'd love to be dining with you.

  17. Oh my can't ever go wrong with Ina :) I've seen that recipe for those cheese puffs, but have never tried them...I think that will change! What a lovely menu (and pictures to boot!)

  18. Aren't you a nice friend for having them over for a French dinner Bon Voyage. I'm sure they were thrilled, who wouldn't be. I wouldn't be able to keep my hands off of the gougeres.

  19. What a delicious sounding meal for your friends. I know it was enjoyed by all.
    Ina is one of my very favorites. :)

  20. Wow Penny, what a wonderful friend you are. You are so thoughtful. The French dinner is a perfect send off. Everything looked so delicious.

  21. Hi Penny *hugs*
    Yum! I wish I had been invited to your dinner. That was a nice sendoff for your friends.

    Hope you've been well and enjoying your new home and spring!

    I have a GIVEAWAY...come by and good luck!


  22. I just had to come and see who the other Penny is; it is beautiful here in the comforts of home.
    What a great meal to wish them a great trip. I have been following your friend from Lake Lure Cottage; always enjoy reading her.

  23. Hi Penny - I read about your lovely French meal at the other Penny's blog and just had to come see for myself. I'm so excited about her upcoming trip to France and look forward to reading all about it when they return home. I've printed your recipe and can't wait to try it.

  24. Wow, this all looks delicious! How kind and thoughtful of you, too.

  25. I love your version of Coq au Vin Blanc Penny. So refreshing and perfect as a bon voyage to Penny & David.

    1. Penny, the more I think about the idea of roasting the carrots separately, the more I like it. Often carrots can overcook when included with the coq au vin and my roasting them, you've completely eliminated that problem. I'm definitely going to try this idea.