French Main Courses

Red Snapper with Citrus and Fennel Salad
Photo: Photo © Frances Janisch

Classic French main courses, from Bouillabaisse to Duck à l'Orange. Don't forget the tools you need to cook a classic French meal.

01 of 10

Lyon-Style Chicken with Vinegar Sauce

Lyon-Style Chicken with Vinegar Sauce
© Con Poulos

When chef April Bloomfield tried a classic version of vinegar chicken in Lyon, she wished it was tangier. So, back home, she adds a hefty amount of Banyuls wine vinegar to the sauce. "I love the way the vinegar froths up when you add it to the pan," says Bloomfield, who finishes the chicken in the sauce to infuse it with extra flavor.

02 of 10

Marseille-Style Shrimp Stew

Marseille-Style Shrimp Stew
Johnny Valiant

Large shrimp make this a knife-and-fork stew. Melissa Clark spreads a garlicky French rouille on toasts for dipping in the stew.

03 of 10

Duck à l'Orange

Duck à l'Orange
© CON POULOS

Because a single duck rarely has enough meat to feed more than two or three people, Jacques Pépin prepares two ducks side by side when serving this classic dish to guests. And because he's roasting whole ducks, he cooks them until they're well done, which results in the crispiest skin and best flavor.

04 of 10

Chicken Dijon

Chicken Dijon. Photo © Johnny Valiant
© Johnny Valiant

Melissa Clark's favorite part of the chicken is the drumstick, because it's juicy and easy to brown. She likes using only drumsticks in this mustardy stew—thickened with tangy crème fraîche—so that all the meat cooks at the same rate.

05 of 10

Crispy Monkfish with Capers

Crispy Monkfish with Capers
© Frances Janisch

This is Daniel Boulud's take on Wiener schnitzel, a breaded and fried veal cutlet. He lightens the dish by making it with thinly pounded monkfish fillets, breaded on only one side. He serves it with a mix of asparagus, zucchini and butternut squash.

06 of 10

Toulouse-Style Cassoulet

Toulouse-Style Cassoulet
Tina Rupp

Although there are innumerable versions of cassoulet, most are based on a stew of white beans and various forms of pork. The dish gets its name from the pot it's traditionally baked in, the cassole, which is often shaped like a wide inverted cone to insure the greatest amount of luscious crust. This version includes duck confit and the French garlic sausages that are a specialty of Toulouse.

07 of 10

Chicken in Red Wine Vinegar

Chicken in Red Wine Vinegar

For Paula Wolfert, this rustic Lyonnais dish is comfort food. Slow cooking transforms red wine vinegar, tomato, shallots, garlic and a touch of honey into a perfectly balanced sauce for chicken.

08 of 10

Bouillabaisse

Bouillabaisse
© Tina Rupp

When Cathal Armstrong was growing up in Ireland, his father (a travel agent and avid cook) made all kinds of Spanish and French dishes, including a great bouillabaisse. Now Armstrong serves his own phenomenal bouillabaisse, packed with shrimp, mussels, clams and monkfish.

09 of 10

Stuffed Pork Tenderloins with Bacon and Apple-Riesling Sauce

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Bacon and Apple-Riesling Sauce
Kirsten Strecker

Chef Debra Whiting loves the fresh goat cheese from the local Lively Run Dairy so much that she always works it into her dinner menu. Here, she mixes the cheese with apple, sausage and greens, then stuffs it inside a bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin. To balance the richness of the cheese, look for a wine with good acidity, like a dry or semi-dry New York Riesling.

10 of 10

Red Snapper with Citrus and Fennel Salad

Red Snapper with Citrus and Fennel Salad
Photo © Frances Janisch

Daniel Boulud broils snapper right on dinner plates, topping the fish with citrus, diced jalapeño and bell peppers. A simple radish-fennel salad goes alongside. An easier way is to broil the snapper on a baking sheet, then serve it with a salad that combines all the bright, crisp flavors of the original dish: fennel, radishes, bell pepper, citrus and jalapeño.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles