Joined: 13 Sep 2005
Location: San Diego, CA
|Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 7:16 pm Post subject: I love food shopping in Paris!
I just got back from my Italy-Paris adventure. I'm a bit jet-lagged but happy to be home.
While I was in Paris, I was staying at the home of a very sweet Spanish lady who has lived in Paris for over 20 years. She graciously let me cook dinner one day, and I did all my shopping at the open air market at Place Monge in the Latin Quarter. I browsed the various butchers and produce sellers, and decided to buy a chicken from one lady who had an impressive selection of meat and game (there was even a display of freshly killed rabbit and quail on the case). While that may seem grim to most, that said to me that this woman's meat was FRESH. I told her in French that I wanted to cook a roast chicken dinner this evening for 4 friends, and asked her to select a chicken for me. She joked in reply "Of course, but am I invited to dinner too?" We laughed a bit, then she selected a nice tender chicken and prepared it for me. She reserved the liver and gizzards, cut off the head and feet, and then ran a flame over the skin to burn off any remaining feathers. She then asked if she could offer some advice on cooking the chicken. As this was my first meal cooked in a Paris kitchen, I was more than happy to accept it. She told me to start with the highest temperature setting on the oven (in this case 10), and every 20 minutes, bring it down gradually to 6. She also said to add some chicken broth at the bottom of the pan with an onion and some fragrant herbs to keep the chicken moist while cooking, and cook the chicken for 1 hour and 15 minutes. She then handed me my chicken and wished me well with my dinner. I thanked her and left with a huge smile.
I happily accepted my chicken and the good advice from my lady butcher and went off to buy other things. I bought produce from a man who yelled out to his friend "Hey, what is that guy doing with his camera?" He complained "Oh, it's just another American tourist!" Eeek! I wonder if he knew I was one too!
Nonetheless, I really enjoyed shopping in Paris for my ingredients for dinner. The people who sell food in Paris really KNOW their food and they're usually more than happy to help you with your selection. I will really miss that about Paris now that I'm home, but this experience has made me more motivated to go the extra mile to buy food some specialty stores rather than everything from the supermarket.
Oh, by the way, the dinner was a huge success! Everyone left fat and happy! My Spanish lady friend copied my recipe and said she would think of me everytime she makes it.
"Help! Help! I'm being repressed!" --- Monty Python and the Holy Grail