"The French Women Don't Get Fat Cookbook": Caramelized Chicken With Vegetable Pancake Recipe

April Peveteaux

french women don't get fat cookbook
Amazon.com, $14.61
If you were hooked on Mireille Guiliano's practical, non-diet lifestyle book, French Women Don't Get Fat, you're going to treasure The French Women Don't Get Fat Cookbook, which just came out last month.

In addition to Guiliano's inspiring words that make you believe that you too can eat well and be svelte, it has the secret of the magical breakfast cream. Now you can whip it up in your kitchen, eat it for a week, and watch the pounds melt away. (I plan on trying that right after I cook my way through Guiliano's chocolate dishes.)

I tested the Frenchwoman's recipe for Caramelized Chicken With Vegetable Pancake when we had some friends over this weekend, and while it was tasty and the chicken dish was exceptionally simple, I don't think this is something I'd add to my weekly repertoire. Mostly because making a regular pancake throws me on occasion (I hate flipping!), so making a vegetable pancake offered similar challenges.

A tip: When a recipe says to use a nonstick pan -- use a nonstick pan. If only I'd paid attention to that one, perhaps we wouldn't have wound up with vegetable hash. Delicious vegetable hash, but still.

Try it yourself:

The French Women Don't Get Fat Cookbook

Caramelized Chicken With Vegetable “Pancake”

Serves 4

For the vegetable pancake:

  • 1 carrot, washed and grated
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and grated
  • 1 small zucchini, washed and grated
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Place grated carrot, potatoes, and zucchini in center of a large, clean kitchen towel. Wrap tightly and squeeze as much liquid as possible from vegetables. Unroll and place vegetables in a large bowl. Add garlic, thyme, and 1 tablespoon olive oil and mix well.

2. In a large, nonstick sauté pan, heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat.

3. Add vegetable mixture to pan, pressing down so pancake is about 1/2-inch-thick and cook until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Carefully flip pancake over (you can invert onto a plate first and slide back into pan if you're nervous about the pancake falling apart) and continue cooking until the other side is crisp and golden and vegetables are cooked, another 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from pan and keep warm. Season to taste.

For the caramelized chicken:

  • 1 lemon, rinsed, dried, and quartered
  • 12 small green olives, pitted and cut in half
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 (6- to 8-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

1. In a large bowl, combine lemon, olives, red pepper flakes, honey, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add chicken breasts, season to taste, and stir to coat.

2. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken mixture and sauté until chicken is cooked through and slightly caramelized, about 8 minutes per side. Serve chicken with lemon and olives and accompanied by a wedge of vegetable pancake.

Read More