On these dreary winter days, I have been thinking about food that I have experienced in our travels. There is something to be said for infusing flavor into a dish. French bistros offer dishes that are well known for simplicity and big flavors. The countryside of France is full of cozy bistros nestled in picturesque villages. We had the pleasure of visiting many on our last two trips to France.
In St. Remy we had a lovely lunch at Bistrot Decouverte. The French blue shutters are so typical of Provencal buildings. Our lunch of braised chicken and salade verte with a glass of chilled rose’ wine was perfect.
Unfortunately the only picture we took was of my empty plate and my satisfied expression.
We spent a week in the charming village of L’Isle Sur la Sorgue. This village has been called little Venice because the waters of The Sorgue river flow around and through the town. It is also known for its Brocantes or antique stores. One of the most popular antique’s fair in France is held every Sunday in the Market Square. There are also numerous small bistros to enjoy.
In remembrance of all the fine meals we had in French Bistros, I made this flavorful dish of Chicken Thighs in Raspberry White Balsamic Vinegar. It is studded with cherry tomatoes. The ingredient list is short. The cooking time is also. But the flavors are big. It is an adaptation of a dish from Bistro d’a Cote in Paris that Patricia Wells wrote about in her book Bistro Cooking. If you want to be transported to a warm sunny clime while the snow flurries swirl, this is just the dish to serve for dinner. You won’t be disappointed.
BISTRO CHICKEN THIGHS WITH RASPBERRY VINEGAR
Serves 2 to 4
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
4 chicken thighs, trimmed of some of the skin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup Raspberry Blush Vinegar ( I used “Alessi” which may be available in your local store for no more than $4.00)
Small container of cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter to finish
Chopped parsley to garnish
In a nonreactive skillet, heat the oil and butter over high heat. Season the chicken thighs liberally with and salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the hot skillet and cook until the skin side is golden brown (Approx. 5 minutes). Regulate the heat so that you do not burn the chicken. Turn the pieces and brown them on the other side for an additional 5 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the skillet and pour out the cooking fat. Return the chicken to the skillet and very slowly add the vinegar. Lower the heat to medium and reduce the vinegar by half, turning the chicken from time to time to coat it with the mixture, about 10 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and chicken stock. Cover and simmer gently over medium low heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.
Remove the chicken to a platter and whisk in the 1 tablespoon of butter. Pour the sauce over the chicken, sprinkle with parsley and serve with mashed potatoes.