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Perfect Dinner Party Chicken The French Way

FoodFeb 20, 2018by Kristen Miglore Comments

For anyone who’s ever wanted to throw a dinner party but been unnerved, for anyone who thought they needed a dry run of every dish, we have a new hero — and, through her, a recipe to bring us praise and camaraderie and lusty conversations over bottles and bottles of wine. The recipe isn’t what you’d expect, but maybe the hero is.

Tracey Jackson, an accomplished author of screenplays and books with a self-described “rather dormant relationship to food and cooking”, was re-inspired to throw a dinner party after reading Provence, 1970, a chronicle of the dinners and conversations between Julia Child, Richard Olney, Judith Jones, James Beard, and M.F.K. Fisher over one winter in the South of France. But Jackson didn’t ease back in.

Photos Bobbi Lin


She invited both the book’s author, Luke Barr (he’s also Fisher’s great-nephew), and Food52’s own Amanda Hesser. Our hero didn’t make something she’d served a number of times, nor something she knew would be foolproof. She chose a recipe almost at random out of Olney’s Simple French Food, for a whole chicken, cut up and cooked in custard.

“I’ve never been intimidated by cooking,” Jackson told me when I asked her how she was brave enough to do this. “What’s the worst that can happen? Amanda will still like me.”

Nothing went wrong, or if it did no one remembered. The dinner party was a success. Amanda was especially smitten with the chicken gratin.

Continue Reading and get the recipe at Food52.