Les Trois Chênes

Here in France we eat the local baguettes fresh and certainly on the same day as it is bought. So what to do with the left overs? This blog is devoted to the reuse of old bread to create gourmet dishes and to collect recipes for stale bread, traditional and new, from around the world. Why throw away good food when you can transform it into wonderful sweet and savoury dishes?

Feel free to send me any ideas and recipes.

Situated in the Limousin, the heart of hidden France, we run painting courses from our old French farmhouse, and offer Bed & Breakfast and self-catering holiday accommodation. We grow as much of our own food as possible, serve eggs fresh from our own hens and honey from our bees for breakfasts and evening meals. We love France, we love art and we love good food & wine. We would love to share this with you.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Traditional Stuffed Cabbage Recipe from Limousin France

If you think you don't like cabbage, think again. This delicious stuffed cabbage contains sausage meat and stale bread crumbs, but I found that substituting the meat for chestnuts made an almost identical vegetarian option. The only down side is that I find it quite difficult to tie the cabbage parcel neatly.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Featured on Woman's Hour Radio 4 Wednesday 7th April 2010

Serves 6
1 large chicken, about 2-2.5kig/4.5-5.5lb, jointed into 8 pieces
250ml/8.5fl oz hot chicken stock
36 or so whole, blanched Marcona almonds
good pinch of saffron stamens
2-3 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
1 thick slice stale, good bread, crusts removed
sea salt and black pepper
a suspicion of nutmeg
2 cloves, crushed
125 m/4 fl oz fino sherry
a sprig of bay leaves
4 sprigs of thyme, leaves stripped
1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley
spritz of lemon juice
Have the chicken joints and stock ready. Preheat the oven to 150c Gas 2. Scatter the almonds on a small baking tray and toast in the oven for 5-10 minutes until golden.
Soak the saffron stamens in a ladleful of the hot chicken stock in a small bowl.
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil and the garlic slices gently in a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan until hot; do not let the garlic brown. Fry the bread in the garlicky oil on both sides until crisp and browned and then remove it to the garlic plate.
Season the pieces of chicken well and sprinkle with a little freshly grated nutmeg and the crushed cloves. Add a little extra olive oil to the pan if you need to brown the chicken pieces on all sides. This will take about 20 minutes. Remove the browned chicken to a plate.
Add the chicken stock (not the infused saffron stock) to the frying pan with the sherry and scrape up the sediment with a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan. Let the liquids bubble for a few minutes, then return the chicken to the pan. Add the bay and thyme leaves. Cover with the lid and simmer for a further 10 minutes.
Blitz the toasted almonds in a blender until the coarse side of ground. Tear the fried bread into pieeces and add to the nuts with the fried garlic, parsley and saffron-infused chicken stock. Blitz to puree.
Scrape the mixture into the chicken pan and stir to amalgamate with the juices. If it looks very thick, add a little more hot chicken stock. Taste and adjust the seasoning and add a sprtiz of lemon juice.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pain Perdu Quick and Easy

Pain perdu is a favourite with kids in France. It means litererally, Lost Bread, and the French make it into a sweet dish. A friend from Amsterdam says that they call it wentelteefje (rolling bitch) soak in milk/egg mixture, fry in butter, serve with sugar and cinnamon. Easy as that!

I had Pain Perdu served with ice cream as a dessert in a restaurant here in Limousin.

It is know in England as well. My great grandmother, who came from the north, used to make it for my mother, but as a savoury dish - just miss out the sugar, add salt and pepper.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bread Skills

Bread Skills BBC Radio 4

Sheila Dillon celebrates the rise of real bread.

The majority of Britain's bread is highly processed, packed with additives and often made with cost, rather than quality, in mind. But countless bakers, amateur and professional, are fighting back.

Corny Bread Jokes!

  • DanDare6 instead of 'old bread new tricks' how about 'using your loaf' no i didn't think so either-your's is much better!
  • DanDare6 .. very corny!
  • Lestroischenes It's a 'Loaf Affair'

Summer pudding

This is not technically a use for stale bread, as fresh bread should be used, but perhaps, if you have some left-over sliced bread which would otherwise go stale, then this is a super way to use it up. They also freeze well, always useful.

Summer Pudding Recipe