Welcome to the spring edition of our newsletter. Since moving to Mid Devon in February, we’ve been busy getting our beloved La Petite Bouchée up and running again, together with our brand new weekly supper club from our new base in Witheridge.
We’re on TV tonight!
If you follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, you’ll have seen that we were chosen to be part of a Channel 4 series called Hidden Restaurants. This was filmed last year, and our episode airs tonight, 9pm, Channel 4. We absolutely loved being part of this programme and we had a great time filming with Freddy Bird. We cooked chicken provençale (you’ll find the recipe at the end of this newsletter). We’ll be watching tonight’s episode with a glass of fizz or two! We’d love to know what you think of it.
We are now based in Witheridge, Mid Devon, after moving here from south east London only last month (it feels like longer!). Having lived in London for 28 years, but having roots in the west country, it felt like the right time to move us, and La Petite Bouchée, to a new base. We now live in the old village butchers shop and are loving our new space. La Petite Bouchée is parked proudly outside and will be open for business in early May. We’ve also set up a supper club from our dining room in the new house. This seats up to 20 people so we’re thrilled to be able to cater for larger groups of people from our home. If you’d like to book a table, please click here.
We’re especially excited to be working with a host of new, local suppliers who we’ve been busy meeting since making the move to the west country. So far we’ve met some great local butchers at Burrow Farm, we’ve tasted some wonderful cider and soft drinks from Ashridge Cider dried goods from Dart Fresh, beer from Black Tor Brewery, Wine from Vinothentic and Cheese from The Cheese Larder.
That’s it for this month. We must get on with cooking for our tasting event, launch party and unpacking the rest of our boxes. For now, enjoy having a go at the recipe that we feature on tonight’s programme, and do let us know how you get on. If you’re not following us on our various social media pages, you’ll find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
In early autumn last year, we cooked this dish for the first time without putting it in an oven. There were no practice runs – just a lot of butter, our trademark Noilly Prat and gorgeous sous chef Freddy Bird, Head Chef at Bristol Lido. It was a risk which fortunately paid off. You can watch me nervously hope that it turns out OK on Hidden Restaurants, which will be aired on 29 March at 8pm on Channel 4. Here’s the recipe we used for the TV programme, although it’s as easy in an oven with the same ingredients (use bone in, skin on, chicken thighs) for one hour at 180°C / Gas mark 5.
6 x large organic chicken breasts, skin on
A good handful of plain flour
A generous pinch of dried Herbs de Provence
A pinch of sea salt
A pinch of freshly milled black pepper
A very generous glug of extra virgin olive oil
A large knob of butter
4 x lemons, quartered
6 x shallots, peeled and finely chopped
8 x cloves of garlic, finely chopped
A large glass of vermouth (Noilly Prat) or very dry white wine
A few sprigs of fresh lemon thyme
Pat the chicken breasts dry and then place on a plate
Add the flour to a bowl, adding the herbs, salt and pepper
Dredge each piece of chicken through the flour, dusting off any excess, then place back on the plate
In a large, heavy based, sauté pan, heat the olive oil and butter. Then add the chicken, skin side down and sauté, until each piece is browned all over. Turn the chicken breasts upwards for the remainder of this dish.
Next add the finely chopped garlic cloves, followed by the finely chopped shallot and lemons in between the spaces, before pouring over the vermouth or dry white wine.
Bring to the boil
Simmer, basting the chicken regularly until the breasts are cooked through and tender
Remove from the heat and allow to rest for 10 minutes
Serve from the saucepan with salad and plenty of bread to mop up those lemony, garlicky, herby juices!