At the end of my freshman year, I popped into Paris while backpacking through Europe to visit an aunt of an aunt. I was young and impressionable then. I remember her glamorous apartment off Av. des Champs Élysée with its labyrinths of hallways. I remember that the bathroom floor was carpeted. Jacques Chirac had just been elected President of France and I remember that she held a party. I remember thinking “steak frites” sounded so much more glamorous in French. I remember that her Parisian friends were most enamoured of my mother’s recipe for lor ap (red braised duck). I remember the Greek restaurant she took me to where we threw our plates on the floor after eating. The next day, she put me on my next train with a cold lunch packed in a hinged biscuit tin which I have to this day.
I also remember that she roasted a chicken for dinner one night and tossed spaghetti in the chicken drippings at the end. It was one of my most endearing memories of Paris. It still is. I’ve adapted it over the years, but the basic idea is the same. Consider it my souvenir from Paris.
Love from Mom
Roast Chicken and Spaghetti
Spaghetti, cooked according to the instructions on the box
8 cloves garlic, chopped finely
Cherry tomatoes, spinach leaves (optional)
When the chicken has finished roasting and is resting before it is cut, fry the garlic in the roasting pan with the chicken drippings. Add the cooked spaghetti in and toss until well-coated with the drippings.
(optional) Mix in the cherry tomatoes and/or spinach leaves and pop it back in the oven for 10 minutes.
Served here with the versatile Roasted Green Beans.