Chicken with Lemons

chickenwlemon 300x264 Chicken with Lemons

Chicken with Lemons
Poulet au Citron
Preparation: 15 minutes, plus 24 hours to marinate
Cooking: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
Equipment: 1-gallon glass or plastic airtight container with lid, 1-quart saucepan, baking pan with rack

1 chicken (about 3 ½ pounds)
1/3 cup onion, peeled and chopped
1 small bell pepper, seeded and cut in strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup plus tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use
1 cup fresh lemon juice (from approximately 8 lemons)
1 bouquet garni (parsley, thyme, and bay leaf tied together)
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 teaspoons sugar
2 lemons for garnish
Fresh tarragon, mint, or parsley for garnish

Fragrant with its citrus flavor, this dish is ideally refreshing during the spring and summer. Add more sugar, if desired, to sweeten the tartness. Chicken with Lemons is an easy spring entrée that can be doubled for a gathering. Use colorful pepper for added visual impact.

The night before, cut chicken into 6 pieces. In an airtight container, combine onion, bell pepper, garlic, and chicken. Add ¼ cup olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. Top with bouquet garni. Turn the chicken pieces once or twice while they are marinating overnight in the refrigerator.

The next day, preheat oven to 400°.

Remove chicken from the marinade, reserving marinade. Drain and place on a rack in an ovenproof baking pan. Brush chicken with remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake chicken for 40 minutes. If chicken is not a brown as you would like, broil for a few minutes.

Cook marinade in a saucepan, covered, over low heat for 40 minutes. Add sugar while the marinade is cooking, stirring from time to time.

After chicken has cooked for 15 minutes, drain the liquid that has accumulated on the bottom of the pan and add to the saucepan with the marinade.

To serve, arrange cooked chicken on a serving platter. Removing bouquet garni, pour marinade over the chicken. Garnish with lemon slices and fresh herbs. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Recipe Excerpt from:
From a French Country Kitchen: The Culinary Tradition of la Madeleine French Bakery & Café
By Monique Esquerré and Patrick Esquerré

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Yule Love It: The History of Bûche de Noël

2013 lm buche de noel 300x300 Yule Love It: The History of Bûche de NoëlThe holiday season is a time when many of us follow traditions that have been honored throughout several generations. At la Madeleine Country French Café, traditions are at the heart of everything we do. Our recipes follow the time-honored French tradition of using fresh, high-quality ingredients to create delicious comfort food and delicate pastries. One of the traditional pâtisseries we offer each holiday season is the Yule Log, or as it’s known in France, the Bûche de Noël.

Our Bûche de Noël

Our la Madeleine Bûche de Noël starts with classic vanilla sheet cake. A layer of chocolate mousse is added before rolling it into the iconic Yule log shape. Our pastry chefs then ice it with a semi-sweet chocolate ganache to resemble tree bark and decorate it with festive holiday candy ornaments. A symbol of warmth and tradition, the Bûche de Noël is one of our favorite holiday patisseries. It makes a beautiful addition to any holiday centerpiece.

The Evolution of the Bûche de Noël

Many holiday traditions are tied to nature, and the Bûche de Noël or Yule log is no exception. The Yule log began as an ancient Celtic tradition tied to the winter solstice. Celtic families would burn an actual log as part of their Yule celebrations. Eventually the Yule log then made its way from the fireplace the Christmas dinner table as a decorated centerpiece. The French took the idea of the Yule log and created the the Bûche de Noël patisserie. Pastry chefs take their own creative approaches when decorating the Bûche de Noël. You will see them decorated to resemble real logs, complete with bark, greenery, mushrooms and snow. And many, like ours, are decorated more festively with candy holly berries, poinsettias and ornaments.

We look forward to serving you our Bûche de Noël each holiday season, and hope you make it a part of your family’s Christmas traditions.

For more information on la Madeleine and exclusive offers, sign up for our eClub or connect with us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and YouTube.

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There’s something for Everyone This Holiday Season at la Madeleine

If you find yourself in need of a break from shopping this holiday season, why not stop by your la Madeleine and finish your shopping while sipping a latte? We have a variety of small, unique gifts that are sure to please the palates of everyone on your list.

Truffles 1024x524 There’s something for Everyone This Holiday Season at la Madeleine

C’est it in French

Our new French Lessons CD, “C’est it in French,” was produced in response to a San Antonio guest who suggested the idea to one of our directors of operations. For many years, guests have enjoyed our fun French lessons in the restrooms of their la Madeleine, so we thank him for pushing us to re-edit and produce a take-home CD. Learn common French phrases in the comfort of your own home, where we’ll help you master several basic phrases such as “je t’aime,” which means, “I love you!”  But please don’t wait too long, as quantities of these CDs are limited.

Santé for new la Madeleine French Wines

Say “santé!” (“Cheers”) and complete your holiday menus with our new la Madeleine French wines. It has been a few years, so we are excited to reintroduce two proprietary wines, available to our guests by the glass or to share by the bottle. In some cafés the wines can also be purchased to take home. Our la Madeleine Chardonnay-Viognier blend is the perfect complement to poultry or pork dishes, and our Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot blend is perfect for heartier fare, such as roast beef. A bottle of la Madeleine® French wine would make a wonderful hostess gift to pick up on your way to a holiday party! As always, wines are only available for purchase to our guests who are 21 years and older, and we encourage you to please drink responsibly.

la Madeleine Handmade Truffles

If you plan to attend a holiday soirée this season, your hostess will say “merci beaucoup!” when you present her with a gift box of la Madeleine homemade truffles. Sold in 4- or 8-piece boxes, our handmade truffles are inspired by our signature pastries. The truffles are wrapped in a beautiful pewter-colored quilted box, wrapped with a satin bow and gift tag. Flavors:  dark chocolate raspberry, cappuccino, coconut and double chocolate.

la Madeleine Confiture Fruit Spreads

One of the joys of la Madeleine is our signature bread and jam spread. The classic la Madeleine “appetizer” of sourdough, seven grain or country wheat bread with your choice of our strawberry rhubarb or blackberry jam is one of the many delights of dining at la Madeleine. We are excited to bring back our la Madeleine confitures by the jar for this holiday season. In petite tureen style jars, our confitures make fantastic stocking stuffers, hostess gifts, or even secret Santa gifts for the la Madeleine lover in your office. Wrap our strawberry rhubarb or blackberry confitures with a french baguette.  Bon appétit!

And more

Like always, you can pick up our homemade tomato basil soupe and Caesar salade dressing by the jar. We also have our signature American, French and French Decaf roast coffees available for purchase.  (Our French roast is available year-round; American and French Decaf are brought in during the holidays only.)  As you can see, we have an abundance of gift options in café to make completing your shopping list a bit more enjoyabl

And for those on your list who are hard to shop for, la Madeleine gift cards may be the answer. This season, when you purchase a $25 gift card in café, you’ll get a $5* “Treat Yourself” card to enjoy. *Offer valid only on gift cards purchased in café through 12/31/2013 – online gift card purchases are not eligible for this promotion.

For more information on la Madeleine and exclusive offers, sign up for our eClub or connect with us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and YouTube.


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La Madeleine Turkey & Stuffing Croquettes

Every year, Thanksgiving comes and goes, leaving copious amounts leftovers sitting in the refrigerator for days on end.  Instead of reheating a plateful of sides or eating a dozen turkey sandwiches, why not try something new with your leftovers this year?  

La Madeleine Turkey Stuffing Croquettes 300x199 La Madeleine Turkey & Stuffing Croquettes

Turkey and Stuffing Croquettes

Inspired by the newest fried delight at the 2013 State Fair of Texas, the “Fried Thanksgiving Dinner”, our Senior Director of Culinary, Susan Dederen, whipped up a tasty new recipe, Turkey & Stuffing Croquettes.  Dederen’s recipe uses oven-roasted turkey and cranberry apple stuffing from the la Madeleine holiday feast.  Try with your Thanksgiving leftovers, and let us know what you think. 

bon appétit!



  • Roasted Turkey Breast – 1 cup chopped fine
  • Cranberry Apple Sage Stuffing – 2 cups
  • Parmesan Cheese – 1/4 cup
  • Egg – 1
  • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Pepper – 1/2 teaspoon


  • Mix all ingredients together.
  • Roll 2″ round balls of mixture.
  • Place on a sheet tray lined with parchment.
  • Flatten into 2.5″ – 3″ patties.
  • Refrigerate one hour to firm.
  • Bread patties in flour, egg wash and Panko bread crumbs.
  • Refrigerate one hour or wrap and freeze for later use.


  • In a skillet melt 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup oil.
  • Heat butter/oil mixture for 30 seconds or until hot.
  • Place croquettes in pan and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes on each side.
  • Monitor heat, so croquettes don’t burn.
  • Croquettes should be golden brown and crisp.

To serve:

Serve with heated la Madeleine Wild Mushroom Sauce and/or Cranberry Orange Chutney.

For more information on la Madeleine and exclusive offers, sign up for our eClub and connect with us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and YouTube!

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Recipe to Paris – Trip Update and Pictures!

To say we enjoyed getting to know Laurie Webber, the winner of our Recipe to Paris contest, is an understatement. Her genuine enthusiasm throughout the process was a joy!

Laurie has been a la Madeleine guest at our Bethesda café since the ’80s.  She told us stories of how her daughters’ elementary school was nearby and how she used to frequent the café when they were young. Her daughters were instrumental in helping Laurie navigate the entry process of our Recipe to Paris contest – from helping prop and style her entry photo to setting their mom up with her own Facebook account! It is quite impressive that through word of mouth (literally) she managed to pull in more than 1,800 votes to clinch the win!

Mini Tomato Basil Pochettes 300x198 Recipe to Paris – Trip Update and Pictures!

Mini Tomato Basil Pochettes

She baked and offered her mini tomato basil pochettes to acquaintances all over Bethesda—from her hairdresser to the local fire station—requesting that they vote for her and spread the word.  Laurie’s mini tomato basil pochettes really are delicious. As we head into the holiday season, you might consider adding them to the menu for your holiday gatherings.  This is a simple go-to recipe that makes a great addition to any appetizer spread.

Laurie and Patrick at the Rockville la Madeleine 300x224 Recipe to Paris – Trip Update and Pictures!

Laurie and Patrick at the Rockville la Madeleine

Before Laurie left for France, she and one of her daughters met our founder, Patrick Esquerré, and Chief Operating Office, John Cahill, at our Rockville café for dinner and wine.   She also hosted a party for friends and family at the Rockville la Madeleine. 

Laurie at Chateau Chenonceau 225x300 Recipe to Paris – Trip Update and Pictures!

Laurie at Chateau Chenonceau

Laurie and her husband spent a week in Paris and the Loire Valley in September, and then went on a six-day bike tour with Backroads through the château country of the Loire Valley.  Listening to Laurie tell stories of their trip was a treat; the food, landscape, history, architecture—what a special place! She even mentioned one French country home in particular that reminded her of la Madeleine—she couldn’t help but wonder if it had been Patrick’s inspiration when he designed some of the original la Madeleine’s.  She said that the sights were breathtaking. The craftsmanship that went into building these spectacular chateaus, and the upkeep it must take to keep them in such pristine condition, is a testament to the pride the French take in preserving their culture.

Paris Fashion Week 300x225 Recipe to Paris – Trip Update and Pictures!

Paris Fashion Week

They spent most of their time in the Loire Valley, but they also enjoyed three nights in Paris—one night at the beginning and two nights at the end their trip.   While there, they were lucky enough to catch some of the sights of Paris Fashion Week. 

We had made a few recommendations of “must eat” places in Paris; one in particular was L’As du Falafel. Laurie had actually been there before and agreed it was worth a return visit. L’As du Falafel is a world-famous stand in the heart of the Marais neighborhood. They also visited Musee de l’Orangerie in the Tuileries gardens next to the Place de la Concorde. There they were treated to a private tour of the recently renovated museum.  Built in 1852, the Orangerie was originally used to shelter the orange trees of the garden of Tuileries during the winter months.  The museum has a wonderful history, and is home to eight of Monet’s “Water Lilies,” known as the Nymphéas.

Laurie, from all of us here at la Madeleine, it has been an absolute treat getting to know you. Thank you for your sharing stories and pictures from your trip!

Bike to Chateau Gizeux 300x225 Recipe to Paris – Trip Update and Pictures!

Bike to Chateau Gizeux

Copper Pots in the Kitchen at Chateau Gizeux 300x225 Recipe to Paris – Trip Update and Pictures!

Copper Pots in the Kitchen at Chateau Gizeux

Kitchen at Chateau Gizeux 300x225 Recipe to Paris – Trip Update and Pictures!

Kitchen at Chateau Gizeux

Chateau Chenonceau 300x225 Recipe to Paris – Trip Update and Pictures!

Chateau Chenonceau

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