Perhaps the growing number of people living on their own is behind the rise and rise of dishes served en cocotte. Everywhere you look, one-pot meals for one are all the rage.
A cocotte is a small fireproof dish in which individual portions of food are both cooked and served.
I first came across the idea over 20 years ago when I found a terrific recipe for œufs en cocotte. It combined eggs, tomatoes, cream and tarragon in a delicious – if not exactly low-calorie – breakfast.
However, back then, cocotte dishes were almost unheard of, so I ended up using ramekins as a substitute.
Now you can find the dishes everywhere. We bought a set in Intermarché.
Last night they were given their inaugural outing with an adaptation of a recipe from French chef Éric Lanlard’s inspirational Tart it Up! recipe book. Damon, my partner, chanced upon Éric’s Iberian chicken pie and thought it would be a good way to use up some leftover chicken for our dinner.
The original recipe is a large pie for six, so Damon reworked it for individual portions. First he sautéed the chicken with chorizo and garlic, then he added chopped tomatoes, paprika and cayenne pepper before topping it off with puff pastry.
It’s funny to think that cocotte dishes are popular again. It just goes to show that in the culinary world, as in fashion and music, what goes around comes around.