Taking a cooking class was one of the highlights of our recent visit to Paris.
I managed to successfully debone a chicken (a first for me), emerging with all 10 fingers still intact. There are no photos of that feat since everyone's hands were covered in chicken goo, so you'll just have to trust me on this.
When looking for an English-speaking class, I saw that La Cuisine Paris had amazing reviews on TripAdvisor. Students at my alma mater's study abroad program in Paris have also taken classes here, so those seemed like pretty good endorsements to me.
They have a variety of classes, including several popular ones focused on making baguettes, croissants and pastries. Since I am not a sweet breakfast pastry kind of person, and we can find Maison Kayser croissants two blocks from our apartment - we decided on the Poultry (Volaille) class. Also - the "menu" sounded like recipes we might make from time to time in our own kitchen: mushroom soup, stuffed chicken with herbs and mushrooms, salad with a traditional vinaigrette, and vanilla ice cream topped with salted butter caramel sauce.
Led by the awesome Chef Cyril (pictured below) - who, as it turns out, also does a lot of TV hosting and interviews - we deboned chickens; made stock; chopped mushrooms, garlic and herbs for the chicken filling; and made the recipes below. Since the class was limited to just 10 people, klutzy people like me got a lot of help wrestling with those chickens.
After prepping the chicken, one of my tasks was grating a small mountain of cheeses for the filling and soup. Here I am making the cheese croutons to top the mushroom soup (I am getting hungry just writing this!)
Bonus - this particular class doubled as dinner. We all sat down to enjoy the fruits of our labor at the end of class, in their elegant dining room overlooking the Seine.
Merci beaucoup to La Cuisine Paris for allowing me to share a couple of recipes here! Their recipes include metric measurements, but I include the conversions here (any errors are mine, not theirs):
- Dijon mustard (to taste)
- Salt (to taste)
- 1/4 portion vinegar (balsamic, walnut, Jerez, etc.)
- 3/4 portion extra virgin olive oil
Put mustard into mixing bowl with vinegar and salt. Gradually whisk in olive oil until well emulsified. (As someone who considers mustard to be a major food group, I will not recommend any specific portion of mustard here, since it might go beyond what many of you would prefer).
Salted Butter Caramel Sauce
- 1 cup (200 g) sugar
- 1/3 cup (80 g) water
- 7 tablespoons (10 cl) heavy cream
- 3 1/2 tablespoons (50 g) salted butter, diced
Place sugar and water in a saucepan. Slowly melt until sugar reaches a golden caramel color. Add cream little by little into the caramel while whisking. Be careful not to let the caramel sauce boil over. Reduced until desired consistency. Transfer to a bowl, and whisk in salted butter. Allow to cool before serving.
You can find more info about La Cuisine Paris and their class schedule here.