Sunday Lunch | One Pot Roasted Chicken and Poached Pear

At the Soufflet household, we’re trying to host more meals this year. We used to be pretty good at hosting, but with the wedding planning last year, dinner parties fell by the wayside. We’re embracing the fact that we now have our weekends back and one of the things we particularly like to do is host a Sunday lunch with friends.

In France, Sunday lunches are a staple. Whether it’s a meal with the whole family or a quicker affair with a couple friends, it’s a (quasi) weekly thing. As an American, I would consider it more of an event. I love French Sunday lunches because they embody joie de vivre – a long, leisurely lunch with good food and company.

Le Menu

One Pot Roasted Chicken with Tomatoes and Potatoes
Mâche Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette
Spiced Red Wine Poached Pear

Les Vins

Chamisal Vineyards Edna Valley Pinot Noir, California – 2012
Royal Tokaji Late Harvest, Hungary – 2015

When having friends over for a meal, I typically choose a menu that is hands-off once guests arrive. This One Pot Roasted Chicken was perfect to make beforehand then have ready when you need it. The chicken and the sides also cook together, which adds to the convenience. I also like to make chicken for lunch because we typically don’t have it when hosting dinner (why does chicken have such a bad rap as a dinner entree?)

one pot chicken for sunday lunch

tomatoes and basil

one pot chicken with tomatoes, basil and potatoes


One Pot Roasted Chicken

Adapted from Food 52’s recipe of Jamie Oliver’s Tender & Crisp Chicken Legs with Sweet Tomatoes & Basil

4 chicken leg quarters
salt & ground pepper
1 big bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked and stalks finely chopped
2 pints of chery tomatoes (tomatoes cut in half)
1 whole bulb of garlic, broken into cloves
1 fresh red chile, finely chopped
olive oil
2 handfuls of gold potatoes (scrubbed and sliced in 1/2″ rounds)

Pre-heat oven to 350F. Season chicken with salt & pepper and place into dutch oven, skin side up. Throw in all basil leaves and stalks, tomatoes and potatoes. Scatter the garlic cloves in the pan with the chopped chile and drizzle with olive oil. Mix ingredients in pan and push tomatoes and potatoes underneath. Place in the oven, uncovered, for 1.5 hour, turning any exposed tomatoes and potatoes halfway through, until chicken skin is crisp and meat is falling off the bone. Squeeze the garlic out of the skins before serving.

one pot chicken ingredients

chicken with tomatoes, basil, and potatoes


We served mâche salad with the chicken to round out the lunch.

Mâche Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette

5 oz carton of mâche salad (this green salad can be difficult to find. I typically get it from Whole Foods.)
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1-2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp shallots, finely minced
1/3 cup olive oil

In your salad bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, salt & pepper, and shallots. Gradually whisk in oil. Place the mâche on top of the dressing. Mix at the table, when ready to serve.  


And for dessert, we made poached pears.  I love this simple and fresh dessert.  It’s a dish that can be made ahead of time and looks beautiful at the table.

Spiced Red Wine Poached Pear

Adapted from Food Network’s recipe of Ellie Krieger’s Spiced Red Wine-Poached Pears

2 cups dry red wine
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar
1 orange, juiced
1 strip orange zest (1″ x 3″)
1 cinnamon stick
2 cloves
4 pears, firm and ripe, peeled leaving stem intact
candied walnuts, finely chopped (optional)
creme fraiche (optional)

Combine first six ingredients in saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Slice 1/2″ off the bottom of the peeled pears to create a flat bottom. Gently lay the pears in poaching liquid, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, turning the pears every 5 minutes for an even color.  Remove saucepan from flame, uncover and cool pears upright in the pan. Once cool, cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours, turning occasionally. Before serving, gently remove the pears from the liquid and allow to come to room temperature. Meanwhile, reduce the liquid by half over medium-high for 15 minutes until liquid is thick and syrupy. Remove from flame and allow liquid to come to room temperature. Drizzle each peach with 2 tablespoons of syrup. Sprinkle with candied walnuts and add a dollop of creme fraiche to the dish. 

poached pears for dessert

red wine spiced poached pears


Wine Pairing

For wine, we paired the main dish with a 2012 Pinot Noir from Chamisal’s Edna Valley vineyards. One of our good friends works at the winery and gave us this bottle which is one of their top cuvées. Pinot Noirs are one of our go-to options to pair with poultry, and this excellent bottle superbly complemented the dish.

For the poached pear we had a wine we don’t have too often, a Hungarian Tokaji, a sweet white wine with flavors reminiscent of France’s Sauternes. This particular bottle was a 2015 Late Harvest Tokaji. The Late Harvest bottling in this case includes grapes that are ripe, overripe and botrytised (botrytis, also called “the Noble Rot” gives an unmistakable flavor to the wine). It turned out to be a refreshing and wonderful pairing with the pear.

chamisal pinot noir with chicken

one pot chicken for sunday lunches

Bon appétit!

Unless otherwise credited, all photos are by LesSoufflet.com


Kitchen Essentials: One Pot Roasted Chicken

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