Yellow chicken, Yellow wine


Cooking food I love is my biggest passion. Our kitchen reminds me of a temple, plates covered with fruits and vegetables, brightening the room with all the bold colours. Inspiration comes from my past food memories. I’ll have a sudden idea, a craving for a taste. That’s when I get driven to create le plat du jour (dish of the day). You just can’t beat the feeling of getting exactly what you want, and the best part of it is that you made it at home.


My husband came back from our local épicerie fine having bought a lovely bottle of vin jaune du Jura, in other words yellow wine from Jura, a region in Eastern France. Made from the Savagnin grape, this wine is matured in a barrel under a film of yeast, known as voile, on the wine’s surface. The rich and powerful aroma is mesmerizing. Oddur poured a glass to sample with a few slices of twenty-four months aged Comté cheese, also from Jura. One sniff of the intense smell and I was completely spellbound. I knew I wanted to cook chicken, something similar to drunken chicken, a Shanghainese dish I adore. There’s such a strong resemblance in the aromas. So I cooked a poulet jaune with girolles, flavoured with this intense wine and crème fraîche.


The sun was pouring through the kitchen windows. I prepared the onion, garlic and girolles mushrooms. The yellow chicken from the Landes, renowned for their maize seed diet (giving the yellow colour to the meat), was ready to be drowned in the wine. The glow of the Comté cheese I was nibbling on the side, the butter melting in the pot, everything was gold and sun-kissed. There’s something so special about cooking with a little treasure that changes everything. It’s like magic, one touch and it turns into a golden dish. That’s what it’s like cooking with this wine.


On the gold and bright theme, there are little daffodils everywhere, brightening the scenery in the most charming way. These flowers remind me of littles poussins, baby chicks. Spring, Easter, more chocolate. William Wordsworth’s poem ‘Daffodils’ came to my mind.

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed–and gazed–but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

William Wordsworth


And how could I resist giving Squiffy and Bee a cuddle, they looked so heavenly and their smell is simply irresistible. To quote Colin Firth in a movie I love, ‘A single man’, their ears smell like buttered toast. What a memorable scene with a Proustian twist.

It was such a big and rewarding lunch, dessert was out of the question.  We went with a French classic.  You can never go wrong with a black espresso and a Michoko (or in my case three, please get the pack out of my sight, they are dangerous).




Ingredients: (serves a 4-6)

Yellow chicken des Landes (poulet jaune des Landes) – approx. 2 kilos/ 4.5 pounds (alternatively you can use a good-quality free-range chicken) – cut into 6/7 portions.
350 ml/ 1 & 1/2 cups yellow Jura wine
350 ml/ 1 & 1/2 cups crème fraîche
1 large onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, sliced finely
350 g/ 3/4 pounds girolles mushrooms (or any of your favourite mushrooms)
80 g/ 1/3 cup unsalted butter
Coarse sea salt and black pepper for seasoning
A few sprigs of chives (finely chopped)




In a large cast iron pot, melt the butter and fry the onion and 2 garlic cloves (sliced) on a medium to low heat for 5 minutes. Add the chicken pieces, season with salt and pepper and fry on each side for a few minutes until slightly golden.  Pour the wine and reduce for 3-4 minutes, lower heat (as low as possible), cover and leave to cook for one hour.

When you are getting close to serving time, melt one tbsp of butter in a frying pan and fry the remaining garlic and mushrooms for a few minutes. Lower heat, add the crème fraîche along with 2/3 of the wine sauce from the chicken. Simmer on the lowest heat possible for 10 minutes.

When ready to serve, place chicken on a serving plate and cover generously with the mushroom cream sauce. Garnish with finely chopped chives. Serve with steamed spinach and mashed potatoes as side dishes.


66 thoughts on “Yellow chicken, Yellow wine

  1. Bonsoir Mimi, Again, another glorious post…a beautiful meal…divine wine, poetry and daffodils. Mimi, the wine you used, Jura, I’m sure is not available here in Melbourne. What would you suggest as an alternative? It sounds so unique it may not be replaced by another. Merci beaucoup. Anita

    1. Bonsoir Anita! Thank you so much for visiting! It’s a bit of a tricky question – I am not so sure what could be an alternative – but the aroma is very similar to dry sherry (however vin jaune is not a fortified wine). I am sure you can find Jura wine in a fine wine store as it is quite a well-known wine – perhaps a search online? Bonne chance:) Mimix

      1. Merci Mimi, If this is not too much trouble for you, could you please tell me the brand name of the wine. I have found a French wine merchant here in Melbourne who may be able to help. . Bonee Soiree et merci beaucoup. Anita

          1. No luck in finding the wine here in Melbourne Mimi. I think ! better come to France and buy it myself!!! What a good excuse to return…..”I need to go to France to buy a bottle of Jura”. So much more interesting than wanting some macaron…ne vous en pensez?? Cheers Anita

        1. Anita, you can buy the wine here
          I came across this site while looking for Jura wine. I didn’t buy but from them though. I cooked the yellow chicken using a different wine. It turned out just beautifully. I tasted the wine I bought and tried to imaging the flavor it might give to the chicken. The wine I used was Trio Reserva (Chile) 2010 and is a blend of chardonnay, pinot grigio and pinot blanc … Here is what Jura wine made off Chardonnay and Savagnin (white), Poulsard, Trousseau and Pinot Noir (red) according to the Internet. So, you might want to see what whine made from similar grapes your wine shop or supermarket has. Hope it helps 🙂

          1. Hello Irina, very kind of you to offer this information. It’s good to know that an alternative variety works and produces a wonderful result You have obviously researched this well…thank you. The weather here is so hot at the moment, most Melburians can’t bare to turn the stove oven. I so look forward to the cooler months which should have been here by now. I love traditional French cuisine and can’t wait to give this recipe a try. If you haven’t tried Mimi’s Date and Almond cake yet, you must, its a real winner. Merci Irina

  2. I just got back from a discussion of poems we remember from our childhood, and someone read Wordsworth’s Daffodils. They are blooming here in North Texas. And the chicken looks wonderful, soooo much better than the black chicken I saw recently.

  3. Beautiful! Reading your blog is like a miniature vacation for me. I’m wondering where you found the dress you’re wearing in this post–so lovely!

    1. Bonsoir Emeline! Thanks for your sweet words! The dress is a 1930’s floral chiffon tea dress bought years ago from the London vintage store Steinberg & Tolkien (I believe the store closed or moved from King’s rd?). Mimix

  4. I discovered your beautiful blog a few days ago and have since spent my quiet time reading every post! We’ve traveled to France many times and adore recreating the recipes we collected. I showed my husband your post today as I knew he would be interested in the Jura wine. Imagine my surprise when he appeared with a bottle in hand that he had received as a gift! I will prepare a lovely fitting meal to enjoy it with soon and think of you!

  5. Your photos are DIVINE!Your kitchen so me!I have been following for awhile now but haven’t commented.Forgive me…..please.You are enjoying LIFE and it shows!

  6. The way you write about the food so beautifuly illustrated with the pictures is so honest, so real. The dogs finding the drop of sunshine to bask in so perfect. Amazing looking chicken dish!!!

  7. This sounds absolutely divine. Love the french twist on the drunken chicken. Is the weather really that beautiful in France right now? Not fair!

  8. Oh lovely! I remember studying at Cordon Bleu and cooking that beautiful golden poultry. Even the organic chickens here on the West Coast are a bit anemic looking. But I still have some lovely spring morels from last year. It’ll be at least another three months until morel season and I can’t wait. Right now I’m craving salmon, basil, fresh spring tastes. Probably because of this unrelenting rain. It’s so nice to see the sun, isn’t it?

  9. What a wonderful, emotional, superb posting, Mimi! Immediately I read the beautiful poem to my three smallest kids… and showed them how Mimi is cooking far away in France…

  10. Absolutely beautiful. I have some Jura in the fridge, I bought it to have with some warm Mont d’Or and this will be a perfect dish for the rest!!!!


  11. How I envy you! Poulet des Landes really are the best! I like to make Hainanese style chicken whenever I’m in France and have access to these lovely birds.

  12. This post (which is beautiful and looks delicious, as usual) brought some memories back from when I was 8 years old and had to recite the Daffodil poem in a drama school recital. I haven’t thought of that in so long. Merci! – for the memories, and for the mini-trip to France through your posts.

  13. Miss Mimi, if you would be so kind as to begin every one of my Sundays with this much inspiration, I would be greatly appreciative~ merci mille fois~

  14. This post – from your words about Easter and chocolate and the poem you shared to the pictures of golden sunlight and fresh ingredients – just fills me with inspiration. I am bursting a little. I love how you capture the honest pleasure of cooking an inspired meal and enjoying the little things in life.

  15. As if I could love your blog any more you quote Wordsworth and count A Single Man as a favorite movie…Manger never disappoints! PS Your Sous chefs are adorable

  16. I made this yesterday and served it to my daughter for lunch. I plan to post it on my blog. It was heavenly. Tonight it will be our dinner.

  17. Mimi, Is this real? Is this what you see out your window? These beautiful daffodils? Amazing. Simply amazing. Thanks again for sharing your golden slice of the world. With a big sigh and much warmth,Maureen

  18. I look forward to reading your blog each day! I absolutely love everything about it. Thank you for your husband’s beautiful photography, inspiring posts and delicious recipes!

  19. OMG, Mimi! We just had our dinner – yellow chicken with mashed potato for me and with rice for my husband. We LOVE it!! Even though I used a different wine, white dry made from three kinds of grape, as I still need to find Jura wine in HK, it is DELICIOUS! I used Swiss brown mushroom. Thank you for this recipe! It is in our favorites now 🙂

  20. Your blog is as generous and beautiful as its creator – thank goodness Oddur is there to take the photographs!

  21. The Enchanted Home featured your blog and what a gift for a Saturday a morning to open this beautiful blog with such delicious foods and thoughtful wording.

  22. I love your lifestyle! Gorgeous vintage dress! Where are your shoes from. These look like perfectly comfortable ballet flats in a neutral I cannot find anywhere.

    1. Thank you so much! The shoes are from Repetto – they are in a neutral pink/beige with a slight matte glimmer. I love the shape of their ballerinas – they are really flatttering. I believe they have similar colours every year, so you should check it out! Bon week-end, Mimix

  23. Hello Mimi, I found your blog via Vicki Archer and cooked a variation of this dish a couple of weekends ago. I used a free range chicken and a spanish wine, Venta De Don Quijote. It was delicious and the left overs made a great lunch with salad for work the following day. Lovely photos. Congratulations.

  24. Your blog is simply lovely. Your photos, your style and your ambiance. That chicken recipe is making my mouth water and is on my to do list for the weekend. France is one of my favorite places so thanks for my French ‘fix’ today. Greetings from California!
    Cheers, Heather

  25. Mimi! Your blog makes me want to pick up and move to France! Refreshingly simple and elegant.
    A question for you, what size cast iron pot to you use most often for your recipes?

    1. Hi Tara! Sorry for responding a little late! The cast iron pot (from Staub) I use most often for my family is approx. 11 cm/ 4.3 deep and 24 cm/ 9.4 inches in width (round cocotte). As soon as I more guests at the table I use a very large oval cocotte, 39 cm/ 15 inches in length/ 30cm/ 12 inches width. I hope this helps! Best, Mimix

      1. Wonderful! I am investing in my first cast iron pot. I can’t wait! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  26. I just found your beautiful blog. I haven’t read much of it, just scrolled through the photographs which are artful enough to stand alone. I can’t wait to see more. Thank you!

  27. Merci Mimi pour cette recette et toutes ses saveurs qui me sont tellement familières. Je vis dans le Jura (non loin d’Arbois), j’aime le Jura et tout ce qui le défini : les paysages, les rivières, les cascades, les montagnes, les fôrets et bien evidemment la gastronomie… De tout coeur, merci…

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