Sometimes it’s good to get away from the city. A few of my friends from cooking school had the idea to drive to Sancerre, just a couple hours away from Paris, for a cozy weekend spent in a country cottage.
Our day was filled with walking among fall-colored grape vines, wine tasting, and spotting cows. As it got colder in the evening, we wound down in front of our fire place with a few more bottles of local wine. Cooking a full meal in the cottage with an old gas stove and oven that kept turning off every 10 minutes was our real feat. We persevered and managed to make a comforting cabbage and leek soup to start and then roasted a chicken and some buttery potatoes. The gas oven became impossible to keep lighting, so we ended up steamed it on the stove top, and eventually finished it in our open fire. The result was a juicy and smoky chicken with beautifully browned skin. We served everything on ceramics that the potter who lived next door sold in her pottery barn, which was exactly how our rustic dishes needed to be plated.