19 October 2012

Chez le boucher à Amboise

In a butcher shop in Amboise... When Chris and Barbara were visiting, we decided to have a good breakfast and skip lunch. We left the house early enough to have time to walk around in Montrésor, at Chenonceau, and — it was an unplanned stop — in the streets of Amboise.

Because we skipped lunch, we definitely needed dinner that night. Amboise seemed like a good place to find something to cook without going into a big supermarket. And it was. On the main street, la rue Nationale, where there is foot traffic but which is closed to cars, Walt and I remembered that there was a boucherie/charcuteriea butcher shop combined with a delicatessen.

Poulets jaunes des Landes — farm-raised chickens from southwestern France

We were planning to go out to a restaurant for dinner the following night. We wanted something easy to cook but good to eat, and typically French. A chicken seemed to be the thing to buy, or a guinea hen (pintade). As it turned out, the chickens at the butcher's in Amboise were plumper and more appetizing than the pintades, so that's what we got. And I figured we could cook it on the rotisserie in our little oven, which is also a typically French way to do it.

We could have chosen the epigramme d'agneau (lamb ribs) on the left,
already cooked. Or the veal stew meat for a blanquette de veau
but that would have taken too long to cook.

Choosing a chicken was easy, but first we had to resist all the other temptations. French butcher shops and delis (charcuteries) are often full of beautifully displayed and luxurious cuts of meat, not to mention salads and and pâtés, along with pre-cooked dishes you can take home and just re-heat in the oven for a quick meal. We wanted to cook something, and it couldn't take too long because the day was winding down.

Veal specialties chez le boucherpaupiettes and roasts

Why did we want to skip lunch? Because when you're out touring around, lunch in France takes a big chunk out of the day — it's easy to spend two or three hours à table. And was the chicken good? Delicious, if I do say so myself. We stuffed it with a big bunch of fresh tarragon from the garden, along with a couple of crushed garlic cloves. It made a nice dinner.


  1. French butchers are top notch.

    I am trying to Blog about veal kidneys today, but it seems i can't get on Blogger, nor post images.

  2. I've had a lot of trouble with Blogger this morning too...

  3. I'll bet that roast chicken was delicious, indeed! What a treat :)

  4. That lovely, plump chicken *was* delicious, and it smelled great when it was cooking.
    --Chris the guest

  5. Hi Chris, hope your return home and the time since has been going smoothly. Hi to Tony...

  6. Ah oui, résister à la tentation est difficile dans une telle boucherie :-).

  7. Those Paupiettes de Veau looked amazing. Just how do the butchers make them and just what is it? Have you ever prepared one?

  8. Mary, click the link in the link (the word paupiettes in the caption of the photo) and you'll jump to a post of mine describing paupiette-making. I used thin slices of turkey breast meat rather than veal to make them.

    Bonjour Olivier, je suis d'accord avec vous. Nous, on a la chance d'avoir un très bon boucher local qui fait la tournée des villages et hameaux autour de Saint=Aignan — il s'arrête chez nous tous les mardis. On profite de son passage pour choisir des morceaux de viande qu'on n'a pas l'habitude de trouver au supermarché. C'est toujours très appétissant et ne nous coûte pas trop cher.


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