Soupe à l’oignon gratinée

Soupe à l’oignon gratinée, otherwise known as French Onion Soup, is a real classic. It is one of those traditional dishes that feature strongly on menus in Parisian bistros and brasseries, as well as elsewhere in France. Personally, I always associate it with Paris in the colder months. What could be more warming and comforting than Continue reading



Pissaladière is often described as a kind of pizza from Nice in Provence. It is traditionally made with bread dough. Continue reading

Meat ragu

A meat ragu is the starting point for a lot of Italian-inspired dishes that are just right for the period of colder weather that we are now entering. Many of those dishes are my idea of perfect comfort food. So, here is how I like to make a good basic ragu. Continue reading

Chicken basquaise with rice

This is one of those basic French dishes involving chicken and a tomato-based sauce that you see all over the Midi.

They are useful things to cook and, really, pretty similar. They are also very much like the Italian Pollo alla Cacciatore.

The thing that makes this “Basque” is Piment d’Espelette, a spicy but not fiery red chilli pepper from the Pays Basque and which has its own AOC.

Anyway, the recipe calls for chicken pieces, which are fried in olive oil until the skin starts to become crisp and a sauce made in the same pan.

I use chopped onions, crushed garlic, lardons, white wine, thyme, the piment d’Espelette, salt, pepper and chopped tomatoes.

Once the chicken pieces have been fried, I cook the lardons in the same oil and then add int onion and garlic, softening these before adding the wine to deglaze the pan and then the chopped peppers and the remainder of the ingredients.

The sauce is cooked for about five to ten minutes and then the chicken goes back into the pan and it is covered and simmers for about half an hour, until the chicken is cooked.