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October 31, 2019


Now that all the celebrations of my mother’s 100th birthday are over, well almost—after all, this was a MAJOR milestone—I’m back to focusing on the book fulltime. I can actually see the end. It’s exciting!

We are still testing recipes. This week’s is a version of the classic French dish Poulet a la Basque: Basque Chicken. This version is a one-pot meal. The rice is cooked in the sauce that the chicken has simmered in, creating a really flavorful dish. We loved it!

* Please note and this is important:
My recipes seem long but that is only because I detail everything you need to do into separate steps. I do it because I find it much easier to follow and my goal is to write recipes that are easy to follow. So, please do not let the length intimidate you!


Poulet a la Basque / Basque Chicken

Prep time: 15 minutes; total time 1 hour 35 minutes


3 tbs olive oil
3 1/2 to 4 pound chicken cut up into pieces (separate thigh from leg)
6 slices of bacon chopped into pieces
1 medium onion thinly sliced
8 oz. of mushrooms sliced
2 spicy turkey sausages removed from the casing
1/2 tsp fresh thyme (1/4 tsp dried thyme)
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
2 green peppers seeded and sliced
2 medium tomatoes, skin and seeds removed and chop
2 cups chicken stock
1 chicken bouillon cube or the equivalent (I use low salt Better than Bouillon)
1 1/2 cups rice



  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven.
  2. Braise the chicken, making certain to brown it on all sides—do not crowd the pan or the chicken will steam. Set aside.
  3. Cook the bacon, then add onion, mushrooms, thyme, bay leaf, salt, pepper, and the sausage into the pot. Brown.
  4. Add the white wine to deglaze the pan.
  5. Add the chicken, tomatoes, and green peppers to the pan plus the 2 cups of broth.
  6. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to simmer. Cook for 45 to 60 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
  7. Remove the chicken from the pot and strain the broth.
  8. Place the chicken and the strained vegetables into a bowl, cover with foil and place in a low oven to keep warm.
  9. Taste the broth and adjust the flavor. If needed, add the equivalent of a bouillon cube and salt and pepper.
  10. Make certain you have 2 1/2 cups of liquid; if needed, add broth or water.
  11. Add the rice to the broth, bring to a boil cover and lower the heat to low.
  12. Simmer until all the liquid is absorbed, 25 minutes.
  13. Place the rice in the center of a serving dish. Add the vegetables around the outside and then the pieces of chicken. Add any juice that is left in the bowl.
  14. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.

Bon appetite

If you are testing a recipe, there are a few questions I’d love for you to answer. It’s only 7 questions, not a big deal, but your answers really help me clarify the recipes.

  1. Was it understandable?
  2. Did I omit something?
  3. Was it easy to follow?
  4. Did the recipe turn out?
  5. Is there anything you’d change?
  6. Did you like it?
  7. Would you make it again?

    Again, don’t let the length of the recipes scare you off. They only seem long, but that is to ensure that everything is explained.

    Before I start cooking, there are two steps I do:

    1. I read the entire recipe before starting. Trust me, it makes cooking so much easier—I learned this the hard way.
    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten halfway through a recipe to read “let it marinate overnight.” What! I’m making this for tonight, not tomorrow! And I’m left improvising the rest of the recipe.
    1. I’ve also started doing what chef’s do before they start cooking. I get everything ready: all your utensils, tools, and ingredients measured, peeled, cut, and sliced. It is called mise-en-place, a French term meaning set in place. This step has actually made cooking easier.
    Once all the ingredients are prepared and ready, I can start cooking without having to pause to prepare the next ingredients. And I don’t forget to include something because it is already waiting for me to include it.

    You can answer the questions either in the comments or if you prefer you can email me at adeline@french-secrets.com.

    One more thing: if you know anyone who you think would like to test a recipe, please send this on to them. The more the merrier.



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     P.S. There are other recipes you can test check them out HERE 

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