French flagRecipes from our nearest continental neighbours have been pushed aside in favour of Italian, Chinese and Indian foods. So it’s time for a revival of French foods as they can always be relied upon to be tasty – a large glug of wine added to each recipe sees to that.

Plus as most of their dishes are based on simple ingredients and herbs you’ll have no problem rustling up a French meal from what’s in your larder.

chickenMany classic French dishes were originally peasant meals, designed to be thrown together in the morning and then cooked slowly through the day, their owner then coming home to hot meal after a day in the fields. Coq au vin – cockerel cooked in wine – is a perfect example of this.

An ancient, stringy old bird would be sacrificed for the pot. Cooked slowly in wine, the meat tenderises and moistens, as well as becoming infusing with wonderful vinous flavours. To make this dish yourself chop up a chicken, then add onions, mushrooms, garlic, red wine and seasoning and cook in a low oven for an hour. You needn’t cook this all day as modern birds cook more quickly than old cockerels.

Try these le grub-français information sources to get you started:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/cuisines/french
BBC Food website contains French recipes including Chicken Chasseur and Salade Niçoise.

Floyd on France (book)
French and Provincial recipes from the master of TV cookery Keith Floyd from his TV series Floyd on France (1987) – I can heartily recommend it. Find on Amazon or through second-hand book stores.

And then some Frenchie wines to follow:

Co-op MarsannePG French Wine Reviews

Med Red Rouge 2017
£4.99 Aldi
Simple and tasty flavours of plum.

Chardonnay 2016, Val de Loire
£5.99 Lidl
Classic French chardonnay flavours – lemon, melon, butter and pear.

SPAR Exclusive Costieres de Nimes 2016
£6.50 SPAR
Spicy plum and coffee cake. A complex wine.

Co-op Irresistible French Marsanne 2016
£7.99 Co-op
A nive wine with subtle flavours of pears and honey.

Famille Perrin L'Andeol Rasteau 2016
£16.99 Cheers Wine Merchants, Swansea
Rich flavours of figs, chocolate, blackberry and cherry.

This article also appeared as Paula's Wines of the Week on MatureTimes.co.uk