"French Women Don't Get Fat."
The title is a bit pretentious, oui?
Never the less, this best seller by Mireille Guiliano gives tons of tips to enjoy the good life, French-style.
Chocolate, bread, wine on a frequent basis?
With doable lifestyle changes on eating and movement, anyone can adapt these healthy hints.
This book was so popular that two more books were issued in the "series," both by Guiliano - "French Women for All Seasons" and "The French Women Don't Get Fat Cookbook." This trio of books is enjoyable and entertaining to read.
A movie on "French Women Don't Get Fat" is in the works.
The author writes with style and wit about enjoying life to the fullest. All the books contain delectable recipes. (Chicken Au Champagne, and the Plums with Ginger have become favorites in our house.)
Chicken Au Champagne
4 chicken breasts (with skin and bone), salt and freshly ground pepper, chervil, tarragon or thyme (optional), 1 shallot, quartered, 1 cup of Champagne (Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut recommended.)
How to make it:
1. Place the chicken breasts in a roasting pan, skin side down, and season them. Pour 1/2 cup of Champagne over the breasts. Make a slit in each breast and insert a piece of shallot.
2. Place pan under the broiler for 3 minutes. Turn and broil the other side for 5 minutes, until the skin is nicely browned.
3. Remove the chicken from the broiler, base with pan juices, and add the remaining 1/2 cup of Champagne. Adjust the oven temperatures to 475 degrees ( I actually found it cooked better at 350) and bake the chicken for 30 minutes, basting once or twice.
4. Serve over brown rice. Sauteed mushrooms add a special touch and go beautifully with Champagne. (In a warm frying pan with a touch of olive oil, add clean, roughly chopped mushrooms, and cook for a few minutes. Add a few drops of lemon juice, freshly chopped sage, seasoning to taste, and 1 tablespoon of butter.) Pour the cooking juice from the chicken over the meat and rice. Serve the reminder of the bottle of Champagne (about six glasses) with the meal.
(Roseanne Felago is a Stoughton resident and the wife of regional editor Michael Hardman. Readers are encouraged to send us their book reviews. They can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.)