Growing up in France, you would think all I ate were cheese and baguette with a glass of red wine. Yet, one of the most well-known winter dishes is the “Poule au Pot” (literally means “chicken in the pot”) made famous by Henri IV, King of France and Navarre in the 17th century. Concerned by the well-being of his subjects, he allegedly said to the Duke of Savoie: “If God grants me life, I wish that in my kingdom there may be no peasant too poor to be unable to have a chicken in the pot every Sunday.” The Poule au Pot thus became the French national dish. Inspired by the recipe of Pot-au-Feu created in the 13th century, the Poule au Pot is a two-part meal with a broth, chicken and vegetables. The chicken or stewing hen is boiled with several aromatic seasonings and vegetables to ensure a richer and flavorful broth. Although the cooking process requires patience as it may take up to 3 hours, the abundance of vegetables (such as carrots, onions, turnips, leeks, cabbage and potatoes) makes it a healthy winter dish, and a great alternative to soups. In fact, my parents would always prepare a Poule au Pot during the February winter break when we escaped the city to visit family friends in the French countryside. I remember the smell of the broth overlapping the one from the chimney fire. Inspired by the simplicity and affordability of the Poule au Pot, several dishes were created in various regions of France such as the Alicuit, the Garbure or the Potée. As Chef Raymond Blanc declared in an interview: it is “the quintessence of French family cuisine, it is the most celebrated dish in France. It honors the tables of the rich and poor alike.”