One of the nice things about being married to someone from a completely different culture from my own is that I get to unearth food and places that I probably would never have discovered otherwise.
Standard French food has almost become as normal to me as an English- Jamaican fry up. I now know the difference between good Foie Gras and not so good Foie Gras. Escargots (snails) immersed in a garlicky, parsley buttery sauce are my jam.
Over the years I’ve become very well acquainted with French food however on a family trip to France this weekend I discovered a quirky, not so well known dish that I have never heard of before.
Introducing a whole Chicken stuffed with a baguette
* Insert Jazz Hands *
To see a raw chicken stuffed with a baguette was a bit startling at first. So much so, that I did not take a picture of the pre-cooked chicken as my curious side was busy pumping out a surge of questions.
Chicken stuffed with a baguette is a regional favourite from a tiny village near Limoges, Southwest France. My relative-in law who made the Chicken Spectacle told me he learnt the recipe by watching his parents and grandparents cook using this traditional recipe.
Lots of garlic is ferociously rubbed into a baguette, salt and pepper is then added to the bread.
The baguette is then stuffed into the chicken’s cavity. The chicken was then placed into the middle of a pre-heated oven. Under 2 hours later it was ready
The blackened end of the baguette was discarded and then the meat was served. The chicken skin was perfectly crispy and the meat was moist. The baguette which had been used inside the chicken was one of the meats many accompaniments . The bread was soft and had soaked up all of the moreish chicken juices.
The flavour of the chicken was not the usual Boom-Boom-Pow that I get from Jamaican meat but this may not be a fair comparison as voluminous flavours are a forte of cuisine which hails from Africa and her diaspora, not European cuisine. Despite this it was good, slightly garlic flavoured chicken.
Honestly though, I’m still not entirely sure what the garlic covered baguette added to the whole chicken. Why not just use garlic? Does the baguette help to penetrate the garlic deeper into the layers of chicken meat? Does it help to make the meat moist and the skin crispy? When it comes to cooking a whole chicken I haven’t quite got the moist meat and crispy skin combo figured out yet. Maybe stuffing a baguette in the chicken may be the elixir I’ve been looking for?
If I have a spare baguette hanging around when I’m cooking a chicken I may just try it out to see