ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN DE MODE JAN-FEB-MAR 2020 (Vol III, Issue XIII)
Article Published on: 30 MAR 2023 | www.demodemagazine.com
He is a French-born chef and restaurateur working in Britain. Along with his brother Albert, he opened Le Gavroche, later to become the first three Michelin-starred restaurants in Britain, and The Waterside Inn, which was the first restaurant outside France to hold three stars for a period of 25 years. Roux followed his brother into becoming a pastry chef, and again to England in order to open their first restaurant. Together they have been described as the "godfathers of modern restaurant cuisine in the UK", and Roux has been inducted into several French orders, and has received two-lifetime achievement awards from different publications. He was decorated during a period of National Service for France during the 1960s. He founded the Roux Brothers Scholarship along with Albert in 1984 and has worked as a consultant for companies such as British Airways and Celebrity Cruises over the years. After he and his brother split the business in 1986, Roux took the Waterside Inn, which he handed over to his son, Alain, in 2002. He remains an active food writer and has appeared on television shows such as Saturday Kitchen, Master Chef, and the Roux family-centric series, The Roux Legacy, and on the Woman's Hour program on BBC Radio 4.
PERSONAL LIFE: Michel has a son named Alain Roux, while Albert's son is Michel Roux, Jr. When Alain was ten years old, Roux and his wife divorced, with his wife taking British-born Alain and his two sisters to France. Alain would visit during the school holidays and work with Michel in the kitchens and decided at the age of fourteen that he wanted to become a chef like his father. Roux met his second wife (1984-2017), Robyn Joyce, after being set up on a blind date with her by former apprentice Leigh Stone-Herbert in Sydney, Australia. The relationship has been credited with opening the door to Australian chefs being trained by the Roux brothers.
CHICKEN BASQUAISE WITH PEPPER
YIELD: SERVES 6-8, TIME: 1 HOUR, 5 MINUTES
This braised chicken recipe, adapted from chef Sébastien Gravé, is emblematic of the Basque region's affection for colorful, peppery stews. Though paprika can work in a pinch, it's the flakier, lightly spicy, more enigmatic Espelette pepper that's characteristic of the region. Related: This braised chicken recipe, adapted from chef Sébastien Gravé, is emblematic of the Basque region's affection for colorful, peppery stews. Though paprika can work in a pinch, it's the flakier, lightly spicy, more enigmatic Espelette pepper that's characteristic of the region.
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
4 small fresh chorizo sausages
4 skin-on, boneless chicken breasts (about 8 oz. each), halved crosswise
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
6 sprigs thyme
2 large garlic cloves, lightly crushed
1 bay leaf
1 yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced (2 cups)
1 shallot, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (1/3 cup)
1 tomato, diced (3/4 cup) 2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 cup chicken stock
1 1⁄2 cups dry white wine
10 jarred piquillo peppers, drained and halved lengthwise
12 boiled small new potatoes (1 1/2 lb.)
1⁄4 cup green apple, finely diced, for garnish
2 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
2 tsp. piment d'Espelette (ground Espelette pepper) or paprika
STEP 1: Preheat the oven to 450°. Meanwhile, in an 8-quart Dutch oven or large, high-sided cast-iron skillet, warm 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the sausages and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer the sausages to a large plate, cut them into 3-inch pieces, and set aside. Add the remaining oil to the pot and raise the heat to high. Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper, then add skin side down to the pan. Tuck the thyme sprigs, garlic, and bay leaf between the pieces. Cook until the skin is browned, 5-7 minutes. Transfer the chicken, thyme, garlic, and bay leaf to the plate with the sausages.
STEP 2: In the same pot over medium-high heat, add the onion and shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato and cook until the liquid evaporates, 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in 1⁄2 cup stock and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until the liquid is mostly evaporated, 5-8 minutes. Return the thyme, garlic, bay leaf, sausages, and chicken (skin side up) to the pot. Transfer to the oven and roast until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Move the chicken and sausages to a platter.
STEP 3: Set the pot over medium-high heat. Add the wine, piquillo peppers, and remaining 1 cup stock and bring to a simmer; cook, stirring occasionally until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add back the chicken and sausages, and the potatoes if desired (or serve them on the side). Serve directly from the pot or on a platter, sprinkled with the apple, parsley, and piment d'Espelette.