The French Slow Cooker

The French Slow Cooker

by Michele Scicolone


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Plug it in and Cook with French Flair

“I’d bet that if French cooks could get their hands on Michele Scicolone’s French Slow Cooker, which is filled with smart, practical, and convenient recipes, they’d never let it go.” — Dorie Greenspan, author of Around My French Table

With a slow cooker, even novices can turn out dishes that taste as though they came straight out of the kitchen of a French grandmère. Provençal vegetable soup. Red-wine braised beef with mushrooms. Chicken with forty cloves of garlic. Even bouillabaisse. With The French Slow Cooker, all of these are as simple as setting the timer and walking away. Michele Scicolone goes far beyond the usual slow-cooker standbys of soups and stews, with Slow-Cooked Salmon with Lemon and Green Olives, Crispy Duck Confit, and Spinach Soufflé. And for dessert, how about Ginger Crème Brûlée? With The French Slow Cooker, the results are always magnifique.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547508047
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 01/03/2012
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 477,972
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

MICHELE SCICOLONE is the author of The Italian Slow Cooker, Entertaining with the Sopranos, The Sopranos Family Cookbook (a New York Times bestseller), and Bistro Laurent Tourondel. Her 1000 Italian Recipes and A Fresh Taste of Italy were nominated for James Beard and International Association of Culinary Professionals Awards. 

Read an Excerpt

Butternut Bisque

The sunny color and mild, sweet flavor of this soup make it very appealing. Serve it as a first course before a roast chicken, or pour it into mugs to enjoy with a ham sandwich.

1 large butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large sweet apple, such as Fuji or Golden Delicious, peeled, cored, and chopped
6 cups Chicken Broth (page 40), store-bought chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water
½ cup heavy cream, plus more for garnish
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for garnish
Sliced apples, for garnish

In a large slow cooker, combine the squash, onion, apple, and broth. Add 1 teaspoon salt.
  Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, or until the vegetables are very soft. Let cool slightly. Transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Add the cream and nutmeg and blend again. Reheat if necessary. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed.
  Spoon the soup into serving bowls, drizzle each serving with a teaspoon of heavy cream, garnish with the nutmeg and apple slices, and serve hot.

Chicken with Escargot Butter

In my opinion, the best thing about the French classic Escargots Bourguignons is not the snails but, rather, the mouthwatering parsley and garlic butter that covers them. It’s too good to be relegated to the occasional escargot. I like to slather the butter under the skin of a chicken before “roasting” it in the slow cooker.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
½ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons minced shallot or onion
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 chicken (about 4 pounds)

In a small bowl, mash the butter with the parsley, shallot, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper.
  Remove the neck and giblets from the chicken cavity and reserve them for another use. Trim away any excess fat.
  Sprinkle the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper to taste. Carefully lift the skin covering the legs and breasts. With your fingers, spread the garlic butter on the meat, beneath the skin. Place a little of the mixture inside the chicken. Place the chicken in a large slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, or until the chicken is tender and the temperature in the thickest part of the thigh measures 165°F on an instant-read thermometer.
  Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and cut it into serving pieces. Skim the fat from the pan juices. Drizzle the pan juices over the chicken and serve hot.

Calamari Niçoise with Black Olives

Calamari turn tender and sweet after long, slow cooking. Serve over pasta, hot rice, or couscous.

¼ cup olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup dry white wine
3 cups chopped peeled (see page 18) and seeded fresh tomatoes, or one 28-ounce can tomatoes, drained and chopped
3 pounds calamari, cleaned and cut into 1-inch rings
½ cup chopped imported pitted black olives
Pinch of piment d’Espelette (see page 18) or crushed red pepper
Chopped fresh basil

In a large heavy saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until golden, about 10 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a simmer. Add the tomatoes and salt to taste. Bring to a simmer.
  Pour the sauce into a large slow cooker. Stir in the calamari. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours, or until the calamari are tender.
  Stir in the olives and piment d’Espelette. Cover and cook for 15 minutes more. Sprinkle with basil and serve hot.



Table of Contents

Introduction  1
Why a Slow Cooker?  3
Choosing a Slow Cooker   5
Tips and Techniques   7
Slow Cooker Safety  11
The French Pantry   13
MEATS   76
BASICS   215
Index   225

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Here’s what I know about savvy French home cooks: They love great tasting food. And if making that great tasting food is practical and convenient, they love it even more. I’d bet that if French cooks could get their hands on Michele Scicolone’s French Slow Cooker, which is filled with smart, practical, and convenient recipes, they’d never let it go."
— Dorie Greenspan, Around My French Table

Customer Reviews

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The French Slow Cooker 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
tututhefirst on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I do a lot of winter cooking in the slow cooker, and found myself wishing for some cool foggy days to try out some of these recipes.   This past week, while winging my way back from the heat of California to a forecast in the low 50's in Maine, I spent some time with my NOOK taking a good look at this one.  Michele Scicolone has another winner here.The author seems to have hit a perfect bulls-eye target audience: those of us who love the flavors of the French countryside, but who have neither the time, talent, array of pots and pans, or over-sized kitchen to indulge in Julia Child type 8 hour cooking marathons but would love to be able to serve some of these classics at home.  She really resonated with me when she talked about the first time she made a cassoulet and the three day marathon it involved.  Many of us have "been there, done that" and found the results nice but definitely not worth doing again.    And who would have ever thought about doing souffles, fish and other delicacies in a slow cooker?  Not I, but I certainly intend to try out a few of these over the upcoming dark days of Maine's snowy "wintah".In additon to the recipes, she points out the many ecological and economical benefits of these most friendly appliance: it uses less energy, it allows us to use less expensive (read tougher) cuts of meat, it doesn't heat up the house when it's warm outside, and it doubles as a 'keep it warm' buffet server -  I use mine a lot for mulled cider!  The tips for cooking in a slow cooker, plus the discussion of how to shop for one and the many new features available are invaluable to both new and veteran slow cookers.  And the glossary and explanation of basic French cooking ingredients are a definite plus for those of us who are willing to admit that we would never pass "Julie and Julia".I actually got inspired earlier this week to do a version of the Sunday Roast Chicken with Potatoes, Lemon and Thyme.  It was yummy and it was wonderful to be able to throw the ingredients into pot, turn on the switch and walk away to do other things.  Being able to smell that melange of melding flavors while I was reading and blogging made it an afternoon to remember.  There are several lamb and pork recipes just waiting for the right moment to whip up.
eyes.2c on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Vive La France! ...and French cooking tips! I confess I have always been doubtful about slow cookers. I know people swear by them. But I¿m a cook who loves to be in the kitchen stirring, tasting, adding this and that.Certainly my experience of other¿s Slow Cooking has been Mac `n Cheese, tough Chicken in some sort of Sauce, or beef gone wrong. Some good some bad all less than stellar!In light of this, when the words `slow cooker¿ surface, all I can think of is those horrific experiences, shudder and turn back to my trusty pots n¿ pans.But now! There is Slowing Cooking--a la gourmet stylet. Vive La France! (or in this case the French Cooks!)My mouth watered as I read through The French Slow Cooker by Michele Scicolone and I am almost convinced that this method will be for me. I say almost because I have to purchase the cooker. My slow cooker (that I used once and then it went the way of the Hard Rubbish Collection) had been bought at a garage sale and was nowhere near as swish and user friendly as those to be found in the chapter entitled Choosing a Slow Cooker.The chapters are well laid out; explanations are great and recipes accessible. The lamb recipes, particularly Lamb Shanks are appealing (I am so¿ooo a lamb lover). The other red meat recipes seem excellent also.Had I had this book ages ago my household would have run differently and the children may have eaten before 8pm. Now they all eat at 6pm so at least the grandkids aren¿t starving or learning to snack or going to bed on full stomachs like they did.This is a great book for those of us scared stiff by `The Slow Cooker¿¿Slow cooking with verve, panache and style. What more can one ask for.A Netgalley ARC
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Every book I have written by Michele Scicolone is wonderful and gives reliable, professional results. This book is no exception. Why just throw something into the slow cooker when you can create a truly delicious French meal? Highly recommend.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice recipes but i did not like them all