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Location: Northern California

Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Sunday, July 10, 2005


If I was a French woman, I'd get fat

I recently read Mireille Guiliano's semi-controversial book French Women Don't Get Fat. I call it semi-controversial because if you wanted one more reason to hate the French, this book would be it. The basic premise of her book is that American women are fat because we are lazy and know nothing about how to properly shop for, cook, or eat food. I don't think there's any point in getting mad at Mireille for writing these things, after all, she's right.

Whether or not you agree with her opinion about American (or French) women, or her dieting philosophy, you should check out the book for the recipes. Last night I made her surprisingly delicious (because it was so simple) chicken dish, Chicken Au Champagne. Here's the recipe. I hope I'm not infringing on her copyright.

Chicken Au Champagne

4 chicken breasts (with skin and bone)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Chervil, tarragon, or thyme (optional -- I used tarragon)
1 shallot, quartered
1 cup Brut Champagne

1. Place the chicken breasts in a roasting pan, and season them. Pour 1/2 cup of the champagne over the breasts. Make a slit in each breash and insert a piece of shallot.
2. Place the pan under the broiler, skin-side down, for 3 minutes, until the skin is nicely browned. Turn and broil the other side for 5 minutes.
3. Remove the chicken from the broiler, baste with the pan juices, and add the remaining 1/2 cup of Champagne. Adjust the oven temperature to 475 degrees and bake the chicken for 30 minutes, basting once or twice.

I served the chicken with brown rice; spinach sauteed with olive oil and garlic; mushrooms sauteed with olive oil, lemon, and tarragon; and cold beet salad. Plus the remainder of the bottle of champagne. Tres exquis.

Family Fun Quota
: High. Today we went berry picking at Phipps Country Farm in Pescadero. We picked olallieberries and strawberries. The pickings were slim, but Emily enjoyed eating the berries we did get. We picnicked under the trees before returning home down Highways 1 and 92. It was a beautiful sunny day and the coastline was gorgeous. It was a great reminder that we live in a truly beautiful part of the country. And therefore we should be happy, dammit!