Is there an English word for this French cooking technique? (Poêler)

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by french fries, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. french fries

    french fries

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    I cannot find the English translation for the French word "Poêler". It describes a classic French cooking technique for a big piece of meat, typically a whole poultry like a chicken, although it can be applied to all sorts of roasts.

    The technique is:

    In a pot large enough to contain the chicken, place aromatic vegetables (carrots, oninons, celery) at the bottom and place the chicken on top. Cover the chicken with melted butter. Place the lid on the pot and cook in the 350F oven. Remove lid toward the end of cooking to color the chicken.

    Have any of you ever tried this technique, and are you familiar with the French word, or is there an English equivalent?

    Thanks!
     
  2. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Yes.  Poele.

    BDL
     
  3. cabotvt

    cabotvt

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    I think poele means to fry, whatever it's Latin that I 99% sure. English for the chicken is: baking it with vegetables. Could be boasting, we Americans don't have all those fancy french terms. We cook stuff, in the oven and everything gest Ketchup. 

    You guys kill me I'm mean that very respectfully
     
  4. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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    Yes Chef BDL,

    Poele: "A cooking method in which the item is cooked in its own juices , in a covered pot, and it is usually done in the oven."

    Also known as " pot roasting "

    and "Butter roasting".

    Our family cooks chicken  this way alot as it locks in the juice and the chicken is very moist.
     
  5. french fries

    french fries

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    Thanks a lot BDL - and petals. I couldn't find the word in any English dictionaries. Is it a noun or a verb?

    Funny then, it's one more "faux ami": a word that's the same as the French word, but has a different meaning - since in French "poêle" (the noun) can mean either a stove (typically an old, wood stove - my grand mother had a poêle, but I don't think I've ever seen or heard of one since she passed), or a frying pan. Only "poêler" (the verb) describes the cooking technique.
     
  6. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Since it's a french word, Latin seems reasonable as an origin.  A relationship to the Spanish "paella" also seems reasonable. 

    Alright, so I'm toyin' with y'all. 

    The OE (Online Etymology Dictionary) lists "patella" which, in Latin, means "pan" as the root for both poele and patella. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=Catalan

    The OE is not the OED (unabrdiged Oxford English Dictionary).  Speaking of which, the OED does not have the origin in its listing for poele, but also brings up poele in its paella entry.  That's unsurprising as the OE is drawn from the OED.  FWIW, the OED has the first English reference for poele in an 1830 Cooking Dictionary.

    Merriam-Websters Unabridged (2003) does not list poele.

    No.  The OED is not available online -- at least not for free.  Neither is M-W Unabridged, I think.

    Would someone have a copy of the Gastronomique available?

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2010
  7. french fries

    french fries

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    Interesting to look at the history of a word! I looked up the (free, online) French Academy dictionary, the official source for French language. Here's what I found:

    poêle: n. f. XIIe siècle, paielle, puis paelle ; XVIIe siècle, poêle. Issu du latin patella, « patelle, petit plat servant aux sacrifices », lui-même dérivé de patina, « plat creux ».

    So the origin is the latin word "patella", which was a little dish used for sacrifices, and which itself comes from "patina", a hollow dish.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2010
  8. philosophos

    philosophos

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    To add to the confusion: I thought patella was the latin for knee bone? And patina described light oxidization on a metal or wood surface?

    The best I can do is "pet-" as the origin for "pan" as a proto-Indo-European with the meaning of spreading or stretching something.
     
  9. french fries

    french fries

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    For some reason, both have the same origin:

    Main Entry: pa·tel·la

    Pronunciation: \pə-ˈte-lə\

    Function: noun

    Inflected Form(s): plural pa·tel·lae   \-ˈte-(ˌ)lē, -ˌlī\ or pa·tel·las

    Etymology: Latin, from diminutive of patina shallow dish

    My guess is that name comes from seeing the phenomenon in a pan.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2010
  10. allanmcpherson

    allanmcpherson

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    Poele the technique vs. Poele the pan.  You see this a lot in french, the pot that a dish (or type of dish) is prepared in becomes synonymous with the dish itself.  Cassarole, marmite, terrine, all examples of the same.

    Poele (the pan) generally refers to one that's heavy and black, cast iron for example.  The technique is ideally suited for meats that you don't want to braise (too "good" of a cut) but straight up roasting could pose a problem for even cooking.  Whole duckling is well suited to this method.

    --Al
     
  11. french fries

    french fries

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    You're right in the examples you give (except casserole, which in French is a pot but not a type of dish), but in the case of Poêle, they're not synonymous: Poêle is the pan, Poêler is the cooking technique. Notice the "r" at the end? That makes the first a noun and the second a verb. Two different words.
    Actually if we're still talking about the French language, it refers to any pan, independently of color, weight or material.
     
  12. cabotvt

    cabotvt

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    Ok I got it, poele is a chicken with knee caps cooking in butter out in the vegetable garden while it's mother was in latin class. :)

     This site is a hoot

     :)
     
  13. allanmcpherson

    allanmcpherson

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    F.F.

    Thanks for the refinement.  At the end of the day, I think you get my gist. 

    --Al

    (PS --my description of the poele (as a pan) came from only one source -- a chef from Normandy so patently authoritative that I would never consider that him describing something in the specific could actually be more general.)
     
  14. french fries

    french fries

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    I see what you mean. I knew a French chef who would actually call all his non-stick pans "tefal". As in "bring me a tefal", or "that tefal is a bit tired". /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
  15. iplaywithfire

    iplaywithfire

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    It just so happens that I do.  There's no mention of poele, but there IS an entry of poelon.  A poelon is a "small, long-handled saucepan, often with a lid".  The entry also mentions its use as a braising vessel, or for other slow cooking methods in general.  From the sounds of it, the other posters are on the mark.  Cooking in it's own juice (au jus, of course), in a specialized container, is probably what the term means.  I'm thinking it's something along the same lines as a dutch-oven technique, but always moist.
     
  16. chefedb

    chefedb

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    I am from Brooklyn, and I will call it braising for ease of conversation.
     
  17. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    If poeling is braising, it's a very specifc type of braising.  The brasing liquid, such as it is, is butter.  Mmmmmm butter.  Sometimes it's mixed with more butter.  Sometimes bacon is added, just in case.

    The item to be cooked -- usually a whole bird -- is placed on a layer of chopped vegetables (sometimes raw, sometimes already sweated -- and a lot like mirepoix) called matignon in a heavy, covered pan, which I believe is sometimes also called a matignon itself.   The item is roasted, covered, and occasionally basted during the cooking.  The cover is removed and the item browned.

    The item is removed.  This and that is sometimes added to the matignon (artichoke bottoms, for instance), along with a flavorful liquid such as stock and/or wine; and all is reduced to a sauce while the item rests. Et la!

    For chicken, one of my favorites is to add (cooked) sunchokes or artichoke bottoms to the (cooked) matignon along with a bit of tomato paste, and a pinch of pimenton.  After the paste is dissolved and the "raw" cooked off a bit, add some white wine.  Simmer. Then, when the sauce tightens, sqeeze in plenty of lemon juice along with a healthy fistfull of parsley.   After plating (puddle of jus, veg in the puddle, bird on the veg, bird glazed with jus)  dust the bird and the plate rim with more pimenton.

    You can think of matignon as leeks, carrots, and celery, cut in a way that is meant to be presented and eaten; seasoned lightly with salt, pepper, a bay leaf, and perhaps a sprig of thyme; sauteed or pan roasted; and served as garnish.  In other words, mirepoix in a cocktail dress.  

    I don't want to get too deeply into poeleing, because other people have significanlty more experience with the method.  Also, I may be dead wrong about the pan's name.  My kitchen French, which is far better than my (non-existent) conversational French, so sucks (c'est tres execrable).  I learned it from an Austrian. 

    We need foodpump to jump into this discussion.  The whole poele thing was extensively covered in his (Swiss) academic, culinary training and he knows a lot about it.

    If they call this "braising" in Brooklyn, why did the Dodgers come out here?

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010
  18. chefedb

    chefedb

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    The neigborhood changed, and they knocked down Ebbets Field.,to build projects.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010
  19. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    they knocked down Ebbets Field.,to build projects.

    And before that they'd changed the transportation system. With no trolley's running through the outfield there was no justification for their name. So who cared if they'd stayed around or not. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lookaround.gif
     
  20. amar mehta

    amar mehta

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    That technique doesn't necessarily need to be done in the oven. basting the meat in butter and/or its own juices can be done on the stovetop too. I do that quite often with boneless skinless chicken breasts.