Classic Sunday Dinner

In my mind Sunday dinner equals family, gathered around a table, for a hearty meal. Ideally, the meal should be eaten at a leisurely pace, with the table cleared between courses, a tablecloth, and linen napkins.

In my mind nobody does hearty, leisurely, cuisine quite like the French.


My go-to Sunday dinner:

A Cheese Platter
Crisp Spinach Salad
Chicken Au Champagne
Seasonal Dessert

My favorite chicken au champagne recipe replaces Tarragon with a blend of Chevril, Sorrel, Sage, and Thyme and adds a little cream to create more of a gravy from the champagne sauce. And, my favorite Tartiflette is a take on a recipe from my celebrity crush, Anthony Bourdain (yes, I’m kinky like that). So, none of the recipes are “just so”, but even though, it all comes out magnifique.



10 minutes prep
Cooks 50 – 60 minutes
Serves 6-8


2 Tablespoons olive oil
8 chicken breasts or thighs (skin on, bone in)
2 Tablespoons butter
Sea salt and ground black pepper (to taste)
1 Large shallot (minced)
2 cups Brut Champagne
1 cup sliced Bella mushrooms
2 Sprigs each – Thyme, Sage, Sorrell, and Chevril
Juice of 1 fresh lemon

Preheat oven to 375

1. Season chicken and brown on both sides in olive oil on medium-high heat in a heavy cast iron skillet for approximately three minutes a piece. Set chicken aside and cover in tinfoil.

2. Brown shallots and mushrooms in butter using the same skillet until the mushrooms are golden brown, but not soft, then set aside.


3. Deglaze the pan on medium-high heat using champagne – then pour yourself a glass! Remove the pan from the heat and slowly temper in the cream. Place chicken back inside the pan and baste. Boil for five minutes, uncovered, basting often.

4. Cover the chicken in herb sprigs and tinfoil and bake for 45 minutes.

5. Remove from oven, place chicken on a plate and allow it to rest under the tinfoil. Remove herbs and discard. Bring sauce to a boil on the stove then fold in chicken, mushroom mix, and more champagne if needed, and baste.

6. Simmer on low heat until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165.

Click here for a more traditional preparation instructions


10 minutes prep
Cooks 45 minutes
Serves 6-8


8 yellow potatoes unpeeled
1/2 lb slab of pancetta, cubed
1 shallot
1 Tablespoon butter
3/4 cup cream
Salt and Pepper
1 lb. Washed-rind cheese (though a smoked cheddar is also amazing)
1/4 pound pungent, creamy cheese

Preheat oven to 375

1. Wash potatoes and cube, then cover with water and bring to a boil for 20 minutes in a deep casserole dish.

2. Brown the shallot and pancetta in butter.


3. Drain the boiled potatoes but do not transfer to a strainer (leave a little of the starchy water in the pan).

4. Combine cream and pancetta mixture in with the potatoes using a rubber spatula so as not to break the potatoes.


5. Crumble half of the pungent, creamy cheese over the top, bake covered for 20 minutes.

6. Remove potatoes from oven, increase oven heat to broil, crumble remaining soft cheese over the top, and bake uncovered until bubbly and browning at the edges – add a chiffonade of parsley for color.


Pair with a sharp and fruity green salad (I suggest peaches, spinach, and a nice balsamic) a crusty baguette, and two or three cheese options.

Wine recommendation: Rose, Brut champagne, Sangria, or even a Pinot Noir.

Click here for tartiflette preparation instructions from Anthony Bourdain

Published by La Belle Valise

I work, I travel, and as often as possible, I make the two intersect.

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