I was surprised to discover that the 29th May is National Coq au Vin Day, at least in the States! This chicken dish which was originally made with rooster (an adult male chicken or cockerel), is now usually made with chicken, wine, mushrooms and lardons*. It has long been one of the most well known dishes to come from France.
For some time, I have been meaning to write a post about the 10 most popular French dishes . However, whenever I try to decide what they might be, I find it difficult to limit myself to just ten and also to establish the criteria for my selection.
Having done significant research (!) and garnered the opinions of friends and family, I’m none the wiser! It would seem that the 10 most popular French dishes vary according to what you read and who you ask. It might also depend on the interpretation of a ‘dish’!
If you asked me to name the most popular French foods, there’d be no stopping me – cheese, baguettes, croissants, croque monsieur, crêpes and that’s just a start!
French cooking is also regional, so I have tried, and definitely failed, to include more generic dishes!
Inspired by the forthcoming ‘National Coq au Vin Day’ and in no particular order, let’s start with:
- Coq au vin
I have listed the main ingredients above * but here’s a link to a recipe: Coq au vin recipe | BBC Good Food
There are so many available versions for this chicken casserole and it’s one that I make regularly.
When I lived in Metz, we used to eat ‘Coq au Riesling’ which was made with white instead of red wine and was equally delicious.
Of course I’m going to include Cassoulet as it comes from Castelnaudary, where we have our house. You might beg to disagree about the origins of this dish, however, if you are from Toulouse or Carcassonne! If you want to find out more about Cassoulet, I have written about the dish, previously. Here’s the link: Cassoulet (or sausage and beans French style!) – Fancying France
- Boeuf bourguignon
This is beef cooked, long and slow, in red wine – typically from Burgundy. It’s one of those traditional dishes that seems to go in and out of fashion. I have used and adapted Delia Smith’s recipe, over the years, but there are many others available. Boeuf Bourguignon | Recipes | Delia Online
- Steak- frites
Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com
- Moules Marinières
Here’s a clip of how to prepare this tasty dish of mussels, white wine, cream and garlic:
I also enjoy moules-frites!
- Magret de Canard
Another speciality from South-West France, Magret is a seared duck breast which can be served with a range of sauces and accompaniments. I must confess I have never cooked Magret but I do like to order it in a restaurant from time to time. I might even try this recipe: How to make France’s ‘most-loved’ dish: Magret de Canard – The Local
I wasn’t sure whether to include this fish stew which originated in Marseille as I a not a fan! Its popularity with my French contacts persuaded me to put it on the list! Here’s a link to the recipe: Bouillabaisse recipe – BBC Food
- Quiche Lorraine
Photo by Mike on Pexels.com
I have written a post on the ultimate quiche – in my opinion – previously. Just in case you missed it…
Arguably, the most popular dish in France is Couscous, a famous North African dish, made with semolina, different kinds of meat and vegetables, served with a harissa sauce. I love a couscous and have eaten this dish in Morocco, Tunisia and France. When I lived in Metz we would go for a couscous every Friday! If you can’t decide which type of meat you want, I would suggest a Couscous Royal which includes lamb, chicken and spicy sausage. If you are vegetarian, I think a simple vegetable couscous is equally enjoyable.
There might be some debate as to whether ratatouille is a main or side dish. I enjoy this either way! There are lots of variations on how to make this but the chief ingredients are courgettes, aubergine, tomatoes, onions. peppers and garlic.
This is by no means a definitive list and there are many examples that I have omitted. To be honest, I struggled with restricting my choices.
What do you think? Do you disagree with some of my selection? Perhaps you can make some other suggestions? I’d love to know!