Madame Douazan’s Poule au Pot

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


    • Ready in

      3 hr 30

Appears in

The French Kitchen: A Cookbook

The French Kitchen

By Joanne Harris and Fran Warde

Published 2002

  • About

This centuries-old dish remains one of the simplest and most traditional methods of cooking chicken. Its patron is King Henri IV, who, concerned at the general poverty of his people, declared that under his reign even the poorest family should be able to have poule au pot every Sunday. Many people still use this sixteenth-century recipe, and this is Madame Douazan’s version, which I first tried at her home, and which I always associate with her.

The people of Nérac in Gascony, where she lives, have a special affection for Henri IV. He had a castle there, with a wild park, La Garenne, where he spent many summers before coming to the throne. Local folklore has it that one year he fell in love with a girl, Fleurette, who drowned herself when the young Henri deserted her. La Garenne has a fountain with a marble statue in memory of her, and the Nérac chocolaterie, La Cigale, makes the most wonderful little bittersweet chocolates called Amours de Fleurette. They’re a romantic lot in Nérac ...