Le Fille de puisatier, is set in Provonce, France and it is a feast for the eyes. Opening with a field full of gorgeous poppy’s, we get to know a teenage girl, Patricia, whose on her way to meet her father for a picnic lunch on her birthday when she encounters a boy who carries her across the stream.

A widower living with his six daughers in the Provence countryside at the start of World War I made me wanted to watch the film instantly and I am so glad I did. Being strung between two futures, one with a wealthy pilot and another with her father’s best friend Felipe, Patricia decides to follow her heart and her father must deal with the choices she has made. It’s a picturesque journey and leaves you almost smelling the fresh air of Provonce. Released in 2012, you would never guess. It is delightfully old-fashioned and had me feeling that it was made ages ago.

 

Well-Diggers Daughter via Roger Ebert.com
Well-Diggers Daughter via Roger Ebert.com

The more we get to know the beautiful Patricia, the more we care about what happens to her. When she becomes smitter with a wealthy pilot, we are there on that motorbike, holding our breath hoping that it all goes alright. The other star of the film is her father, Pascal Amoretti, a working-class man who sees his eldest as an angel who walks the earth and gives a solid performance, so completely driven by beliefs and his love for his daughter you almost see his point of view. It probably helps that Auteuil also directed the film. He is by far one of my favorite French actors and I encourage you to check out some of his other work.

Trying to not give too much away as movie reviews and trailers are wont to do, I will move you on to the menu to accompany this lovely film. If you can, I suggest dining al fresco with a glass of wine as the meal will taste all the better for it.

A dish as rustic as the film, Poulet Provencel is a delicious staple in France as well as Spain and other parts of Europe. A favorite restaraunt of mine where I lived specialized in only roasted chickens and fries. It was the only thing on the menu. Walking in there are dozens of little chickens rotating deliciously above the fire where a bunch of old Catalan men tend to it and take the orders of families dining at long wooden tables. I tried to capture the flavor of a true roasted chicken like I had back in Spain and France, and this recipe hit the nail on the head.

Poulet Roti, French Chicken Recipe
Poulet Roti

Ingredients for Four

1 Roasted Chicken, I used Campo Lindo but any will do
Half stick of Butter
1 tbsp Olive Oil
2 Lemons
1 sprig of dried Rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
3 Garlic cloves unpeeled
5 tbsp cup white wine
3 tbsp water
Salt and Pepper to taste

Start, by pouring yourself a glass of white wine from the bottle you need for this recipe. Though I’m sure I don’t  where the joint bends, as there really isn’t much meat there anyway. Then cut off the parson’s nose.

Get your roasting pan and and season the chicken with salt, pepper and oil. Grate lemon zest over the breast of the chicken and squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the breast. Take the other lemon and cut it into pieces and place inside and around the chicken. Save the remaining half lemon for later. Cut the butter into squares and place under skin. Use the rest to rub on the chicken.

Now add the rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper into your food processor and make it into a fine powder. If you don’t have this option, just mixing the ingredients together with olive oil will do. Once ready, use it as a rub over the chicken and place to garlic cloves into the cavity.  Begin roasting the bird, breast down, for about twenty-five minutes. Then, turn it over and roast again for another thirty minutes or so. It should be golden brown and cooked through.

Roast Chicken
Roast Chicken

Take the roasting pan that is full of that beautful juice and pour it into a pan on the stove on medium heat. Set the chicken aside in a warm place. Pour in 5 tbsp of white wine, and then pour more into your glass-cooking makes one thirsty afterall! Next, add water and stir the juice in the pan to break anything up and keep it fluid. It should be lightly bubbling at this point. Squeeze a bit more lemon juice into the gravy and onto the warm chicken. Begin carving the chicken and serve, or serve it whole. Finally, add the gravy you’ve made on top and enjoy every last bite.

This dish pairs well with a light side salad or roasted rosemary potatoes. The wine I served with this dish and film is a light white from the South of France.  Wine such as Grenache Blanc, Colombard or Ugni Blanc, Grenache in particular du lemon and white flower accents. What makes Grenache a good choice for me, is that it is high in alcohol content and low in acidity. Any from Catalonia, Tarragona or the Languedoc region of France are quite good.

I hope you enjoy! Bon appetit!