An Afternoon of Indulgence at Angelina

During the sweltering heat of summer, a steaming cup of coffee or hot chocolate might not seem like the most refreshing treat. Luckily, France has been experiencing an unseasonably cool summer season, allowing Parisians and visitors to comfortably indulge in all their favorite hot drinks. However, cozying up to a warm cup at Paris’ famed tearoom Angelina is an experience not to be missed, no matter the temperature outside!
Established by Austrian confectioner Antoine Rumpelmayer in 1903, Angelina has played host to famous figures such as Marcel Proust, Coco Chanel and numerous French fashion designers since its inception. Its main tearoom, located on the Rue de Rivoli just across from the Tuileries Gardens, is an architectural gem decorated in a lovely Belle Époque style. There, you can linger in the upstairs tearoom for hours over a drink and a pastry or peruse Angelina’s tempting patisserie confections on the first floor. It’s best to enjoy Angelina on a weekday if possible, as you’ll most likely be faced with an impressive line on busier weekend days.

Chocolat chaud at the Angelina tearoom
One could argue that you haven’t truly tasted hot chocolate until you’ve tried Angelina’s decadent chocolat chaud. Over the years, Angelina’s hot chocolate (called “L’Africain”) has garnered worldwide attention for its velvety texture, rich taste and signature pot of whipped cream served on the side. One guest at the tearoom recently compared this delicious beverage to drinking a bowl of molten dark chocolate of the finest quality. Today, visitors from around the world visit Angelina just to indulge in a cup of this incredible hot chocolate. However, be warned – once you experience Angelina’s, your mug of Swiss Miss will never taste the same back at home! 
Angelina’s famous Mont Blanc
Accompany your hot chocolate with one of Angelina’s delightful desserts, the most famous of which is the Mont Blanc. Composed of light meringue, whipped cream and chestnut cream vermicelli, this airy treat is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth. Angelina’s Rue de Rivoli location typically sells about 600 Mont Blancs every single day.  
Longing to share a taste of Angelina’s with your loved ones at home? The shop at the Rue de Rivoli tearoom features a huge selection of packable treats that are guaranteed to make your departure from Paris a little sweeter. Take some hot chocolate to-go in powder form or grab a macaroon gift basket that will bring a delicious taste of the City of Light to your home! 
Confections for sale at Angelina’s shop
If you fancy more epicurean adventures in France, be sure to explore the Académie des Arts de Vivre’s extensive collection of French gastronomy tours. Hone your gourmet cooking skills and appreciate the art of French cuisine with AAV!

Cooking French Lemon Chicken

To start off today’s post on my culinary experiences in Paris, I would like to take a moment to thank Mrs. Ilva Fernandez for her kind testimonial and for sharing her photos of her “hands-on gastronomy” class with the Académie des Arts de Vivre.  We are grateful to have contributed to the success of her culinary adventure in Paris, along with her two-week tour of Paris, the Loire Valley and the French Riviera!

“Dear Marie Therese:



We did have a wonderful vacation thanks to you, to your excellent organization and care in securing all the reservations, there was not a single glitch in the whole program.  Andrea and I now have great memories to share and she got a great exposure that will make her become a more rounded teenager.


All of the persons that you selected for the different activities were very professional and well informed, please extend my thanks to them.

Again, thank you, and will be in touch with you for future trips.

Ilva Fernandez”

Inspired by Ilva’s recent experience and armed with a deep respect for French cooking, I found myself cooking a dinner for four last Friday with very limited resources. However, I felt that my last 7 weeks of exposure to Parisian cooking had prepared me to take on this gastronomic challenge. I scoured the refrigerator with my friends and came up with the essential ingredients for cooking French Lemon Chicken, or poulet au citron.  This dish is typically French and easy to make since it only requires three ingredients: chicken, lemon and basil. Also, it can be complemented by a tasty passion fruit and strawberry drink – combining the many syrup flavors from Teisseire – to make a refreshing summertime meal.  Here is an easy recipe guide from recipezaar.com.



Ingredients:

1 lemon

1 head garlic



2 cups chicken stock



2 tablespoons olive oil



4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on

salt and freshly ground black pepper



1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried thyme



1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar



1/2 cup white wine



1/4 cup brandy



1/4 cup whipping cream



And 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Technique:


1. Grate enough peel from lemon to make 1 tbsp (15 mL). Remove any remaining peel and white pith from lemon and cut flesh into thin slices.

2.   Separate garlic into cloves, cut off root ends but do not peel. Add to chicken stock in a pot and bring to boil. Simmer three minutes. Strain stock and reserve. Peel garlic cloves. If garlic cloves are large, cut in half lengthways.

3.   Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C).

4.   Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Season breasts with salt, pepper and thyme, and fry skin-side-down four to five minutes or until golden brown. Turn over and fry second side for one minute. Remove breasts.

5.   Place skin-side-up in oiled ovenproof dish that fits chicken snugly. Discard fat from skillet.

6.   Scatter lemon slices and garlic cloves around chicken. Sprinkle sugar on lemon slices.

7.   Meanwhile, add wine to skillet, bring to boil, reduce by half.

8.   Stir in stock, brandy and grated zest and bring to a boil, stirring.

9.   Add cream and continue to boil until slightly thickened, about five to eight minutes.

10.  Stir in parsley.

11.   Bake chicken for 15 to 20 minutes or until it is tender but not dry. Remove chicken and any lemon bits to serving platter. Scatter over garlic cloves. Remove any fat and pour any juices into sauce.

12. To serve, pour sauce over chicken.

13.  It was a real summertime treat – as tasty as it was fun to make!


For expert hands-on gastronomy classes in Paris, as well as culinary and 
wine tours throughout France, visit the Académie des Arts de Vivre’s

website at www.parisaav.com or contact us at info@parisaav.com!