Friday, March 13, 2015

Cooking in Paris with Charlotte

On Thursday I joined Charlotte Puckette at the market again.

Marche Saxe-Breteuil in the 7th arrondissement is right under the Eiffel Tower. An upper crust residential area and as Marjorie Williams says in her essential guide, Markets of Paris, 'it draws an elegant crowd, even the dogs are well coiffed'.

Charlotte had planned a chicken tagine for the menu so Moroccan condiments was first stop.

Purple olives are required. Who knew?

And preserved lemon - a first time taste for me.

Tomate a branche for the tomato water, whatever that is.

We get a poulet lecon from Charlotte. We must henceforth only buy fermier chickens (on the left, bigger and always a specific breed and free-runners). The smaller chicken on the right is a 'hybrid', tres commercial, and not nearly as flavorful. Tres ordinaire and best avoided like the plague.
Not just excellent chicken and veg here but very high-end double cashmere sweaters are on sale at marche Saxe-Breteuil going for a mere 499 euros! Ouch

With a little arm-twisting, OK almost none at all, Charlotte convinced me to join the class back in her kitchen. Note the Eiffel Tower off to the left. *Note also her fabulous polka-dotted yellow bag from Kiehl's.

The mise en place for our first course, 'Seared Sardines with tomato water, lime and mint.

This tomato water had me cleaning my plate. This would make a salad dressing I bet and so easy to throw together.
Charlotte's recipe is HERE!!

I was a little nervous about fresh grilled sardines (Ew...) but they were so darn delicious.

On to our chicken tagine ingredients. Wonderful colors non?

We get to taste the preserved lemon before Charlotte tells us to get chopping and 'Shake it off".

At the stove Charlotte looks like Don Quixote with her pot lid and wooden spoon ready to do battle.
Purple olives work their charm.

A table!

Did I mention our chicken is a very special breed, a Tauzin chick with a red neck. She lounged around a pool for a good 6-12 weeks in Saint Tropez eating only the best French cuisine and generally leading the life of Riley until... Very flavorful indeed.

Naturalement we had a cheese course after our main. A perfect quartet of hard chevre, a gentle Roquefort, Epoissees in the wooden box that was too die for.

I didn't show you the dessert making.

A chocolate chestnut (cream) cake without a drop of flour (!) because one of us was gluten-free. Only 4 ingredients too.
Cake recipe is HERE!!
The final to-die-for course of a wonderful meal. 
I floated home on a cloud... Big Merci Charlotte!!


  1. Carol,

    Is it possible to obtain the recipe for the Chocolate Hazelnut cream cake? It looks fabulous. I wish I could have been there. The whole day looked fabulous. I love your posts - they're terrific!

    1. YES please look at the links in charlottes comment below!

  2. Oops, that was a Chocolate Chestnut Cream Cake. Still would like the recipe.

    1. It's on Charlotte's website: I can't wait to try it!

  3. All those simple yet fabulous ingredients, looks like a fantastic meal. is your friend sharing her recipe for the dessert ? Looks heavenly :)

    1. Love the yellow dotty bag!
      Yum class

  4. How fun to be in another great cooking class..
    Sinelli knife?
    I would love to get my son-in-law some..Today I bought him a really nice 24 inch at least ..fine pepper mill.He is 6 ' 5 " he can handle it:)
    Love stone walls..and your art.
    My fave Kiehl's product is the eye de-puffer stick:)♥
    I need to take my Moroccan cookbook out again and actually use my tagine.

  5. The tagine recipe was perfect for making me drool in anticipation of my three weeks in Morocco after the end of the season!

  6. Looked a super time of cooking! I've got the same blue cocotte from Staub. It's empty just now and the idea of a delicious tagine like this is wonderful. Can also smell that Epoisses from here - great stuff!

    1. Discovering Epoisses is amazing. It does not smell so nice but the tadte...incroyable..formidable ;)

  7. I want to say you are lucky, but I believe it is more than luck, but I envy the cooking classes. :)

    I just recently learned to make preserved lemons. I was anxious about preserving anything, but all went well. They are delish in chicken, but really pep up potato or chicken or tuna salad. I am starting to see them at all the markets. Must find those olives.

    1. I am indeed lucky.
      Charlotte is a fountain of food knowledge.
      The lemons are totally new to me..a revelation.

  8. Barbara L3:12 PM

    Fabulous!!! Would die for those recipes!!

    1. I hope she will put them up on her website.
      Keep checking or sign on Barbara.

  9. Your days are so fabulous, fun and to die free range chickens...

    1. The French must have invented free range chicks

    2. Anonymous3:32 PM

      Free range chickens came before commercial chickens. Like hundreds of years before...They used to be the ONLY sort of chicken...roaming a patch of grass, eating supplied grain. Everywhere. All over the world wherever people kept hens. After that came the big 'egg factories'. :-)
      Gwendoline in Ballarat, Australia

  10. I love your opening sketch. After that, it's just one great food photo after another!
    I love the shots from the market and then the kitchen - I think that I would eat everything there!

  11. Oh yum. I just went & subscribed to charlotte's blog recipes. Lovely post as always.


  12. Hello Paris Breakfasts!
    I am so glad you decided to join us for the class. Thank you for documenting the day with your lovely post and photographs. A very special souvenir for your fellow "classmates" from Alabama. For those of you interested, below are the links to the Chocolate Chestnut recipe and the Seared Sardines in Tomato Broth.

  13. I think I know who has the life of Riley. What a magnificent day. If I baked more often I would be sorely tempted by that cake. Oh my. And that cheese course. French cheeses are incredible. I bought some here last week, they're good here, but not as amazing as they are in France. I did laugh at your Don Quixote vision, I love the way you see things- there really is something to be said for an artist's vision.

  14. Oooh! A flourless chocolate cake! I was just getting ready to make one soon for our next wine tasting gathering (our assignment is Rick's baguette's and my dessert, plus our wine). I have a fabulous and easy four-ingredient recipe but I'm going to check hers out. It looks wonderful. One of my Paris dreams is to take a cooking class one day. Just a day or maybe two. Sigh. I think today you are the luckiest girl in the world!


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