Roast chicken rules the roost

Poulet rôti voted No1 dish followed closely by duck, shellfish platter and veal stew (try our recipe)

4 February 2015

IF YOU want to please French guests for dinner then you could offer them one of their three favourite dishes: roast chicken, duck breast magret de canard or a shellfish platter.

The trio came out top in a survey by pollsters BVA on the French and their cooking. But it was a close-run thing as all of the top three were covered by only a few votes’ difference – each managing to grab about one vote in five.

In fourth place was the classic veal stew – or blanquette de veau ... and we provide our own Connexion recipe below.

Blanquette de veau was the favourite dish of Georges Simenon’s fictional detective, Maigret, and it was, again, only just pipped for third place. It was followed by the equally classic steak and chips, preferred by one in six.

However, your dinner menu gets a bit more complicated depending on the social standing of your guests – with professionals and managers preferring magret (although women prefer roast chicken) and workers and labourers opting for the blanquette de veau.

However, no matter who is eating it the people who get their sleeves rolled up in the kitchen are the women – with couples saying that 65% of women man the stoves and just 13% of men. About one in five couples say they share the job, rising to one in three for under-35s.

People also preferred unsalted butter to salted, wine to beer, red wine to white, olive-oil based cooking to butter dishes and savoury to sweet.

The top 15 dishes were: 1 Poulet rôti 20.3%; 2 Magret de canard 20.2%; 3 Plateau de fruits de mer 19.9%; 4 Blanquette de veau 19%; 5 Steack frites 17.8%; 6 Boeuf bourguignon 14.4%; 7 Pot-au-feu 13.5%; 8 Couscous 11.7%; 9 Choucroute 11.6%; 10 Gratin dauphinois 10.4%; 11eq. Spaghetti à la bolognaise and Tartiflette 9.6%; 13 Lasagnes 9%; 14 Paëlla 6.8%; 15 Cassoulet 8.7%.

Connexion blanquette de veau
This classic of “bourgeois” cooking sees the veal cooked without browning and is perfect with épaule (shoulder), tendron (flank or plate), collier (neck). This simplified recipe – if you have your own homemade stock use that - needs 15 minutes of preparation time and 120 minutes of cooking. It can also be used for rabbit, chicken, pork or lamb.

Ingredients – for four
1kg of veal (as above)
1 cube bouillon de poulet (chicken stock cube)
1 cube de bouillon de légumes (vegetable stock cube)
2 or 3 carrots
1 big onion
2 big champignons de Paris (mushrooms) or a little box (chopped)
1 little pot of crème fraîche
1 lemon
1 egg yolk
2 soup spoons of flour
25cl of white wine

Cooking
Saute the chopped veal in butter until the pieces are just golden, shake the flour over the mixture
Stir-in and coat well before adding two or three glasses of water and stir again
Add the two cubes of stock and the mushrooms
Add the wine and cover with water.

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