Julia Child is absolutely one of my idols – I just think that any Julia Child recipes are not only easy to make (well, sometimes!), but they also taste amazing. If you've seen the movie Julie & Julia, you know that I am not the only one that feels like Julia Child recipes are some of the best and that they are super fun to make. I had a hard time, but I took my favorite Julia Child recipes and cut them down to just my top 7! Take a look below!
1. French Onion Soup
I am a French onion soup snob. I love it so much and I swear, there is nobody that makes this particular soup better than Julia Child! This is absolutely one of my favorite Julia Child recipes and it's one of the few recipes that I can make any time and it'll freeze really well!
5-6 Cups Yellow Onions, sliced thin
1/2 Yellow Onion, raw
Olive Oil, 4 Tbsp
French Bread, about 8 slices
Cogniac, 2-3 Tbsp (optional)
Parmesan Cheese, 4 ounces
Swiss Cheese, Grated, about 12 ounces
Salt and Pepper
Sage, Ground, 1/2 tsp
Bay Leaf, 1 leaf
White Wine, 1 cup
Beef Stock, 6 cups
Flour, 3 Tbsp
Sugar, 1/2 tsp
Butter, 2 Tbsp
Cooking Oil, 1 Tbsp
Heat a heavy, oven-safe, stock pot over medium-low heat and add the cooking oil once the pot is hot. Melt the butter into the hot oil. Stir the sliced onions into the oil/butter mix, ensuring they are evenly coated. Cover the stock pot and cook for around 20 minutes checking to make sure they aren’t burning. Onions should be clear and very tender once finished. Turn up the heat to medium-high, and add the sugar and 1tsp salt. Continue cooking while stirring until onions are thoroughly browned (caramelized).
Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in 3 Tbsp flour. Cook 2-3 minutes until flour forms a thick paste (add more butter if needed). Stir in 1 cup of beef stock, and stir heavily for a couple seconds.
Add the rest of the stock, wine, sage, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F. Drizzle both sides of french bread slices with olive oil, and place on a baking sheet. Cook the bread in the oven for 15 minutes on each side.
Taste soup, and add salt and pepper as needed, then remove the bay leaf.
Add cognac, and grate the 1/2 raw onion into the soup. Add a little bit of the swiss cheese to the soup, preserving most of it for the top. Cover the soup mixture with the bread, forming a single layer bread top. Sprinkle the rest of the Swiss cheese over the top of the bread, forming a thick layer. Drizzle melted butter or oil over the cheese, and place the pot into the oven uncovered. Bake for around 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Turn the broiler on and brown the cheese.
Remove pot from oven and let stand to cool. Serve up to some lucky guests and enjoy all the kudos you receive.
2. Beef Brisket
Another summer favorite of mine is beef brisket. I love anything that has to do with BBQ or brisket meat. This Julia Child recipe is not only super easy, but it's so delish, I can't get enough of it! I actually made this particular recipe for Memorial Day and my entire family loved it!
1-2 cloves of garlic (pureed)
4 pounds lean, flat 2-inch thick center-cut single brisket
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1-1/2 cup sliced onions
1 cup sliced carrots
2 cups fresh Italian plum tomatoes, cored and chopped**
Trim the fat from your beef brisket, leaving a small layer on the fatty side (about 1/8 inch)
Thoroughly mix the thyme, salt, pepper, oil, and garlic together in a small bowl until it’s a pasty texture. Coat both sides of your brisket with the paste.
Mix onions, carrots, and tomatoes together with salt and thyme. Place half the veggies in the bottom of your roasting pan, and add the brisket, fat side up. Cover the brisket with the other half of your seasoned veggies, and cover the roasting pan tightly with aluminum foil. You can do all of this prep work in advance, so you have a ready to cook meal. Just make sure to refrigerate everything after prepping.
Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Place your prepared baking dish in the oven. Cook this dish for 3-4 hours, making sure to baste the meat with the juices every half hour or so if you want an extra tender brisket. You can probably skip this step if time is at a premium, but the brisket will not be quite as tender. Let meat rest for a bit after cooking, and serve hot.
3. Beef Bourguignon
What Julia Child recipe list would be complete without the recipe that is totally famous? Beef Bourguignon is one of those dishes that is so hearty, so classic and so beautiful, it's an amazing dish that everyone should try to make at least once in their life! Go on, try it!
3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds lean stewing beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 onion, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
One 6-ounce piece of chunk bacon
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups red wine (burgundy)
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups brown beef stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves mashed garlic
1/2 teaspoon thyme
A crumbled bay leaf
18 to 24 small peeled white onions (about 1″ in diameter)
3 1/2 tablespoons butter
Herb bouquet (4 parsley sprigs, one-half bay leaf, one-quarter teaspoon thyme, tied in cheesecloth)
1 pound mushrooms, fresh and quartered
Remove bacon rind and cut into lardons (sticks 1/4-inch thick and 1 1/2 inches long). Simmer rind and lardons for 10 minutes in 1 1/2 quarts water. Drain and dry.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Sauté lardons in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a flameproof casserole over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes to brown lightly. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon.
Dry beef in paper towels; it will not brown if it is damp. Heat fat in casserole until almost smoking. Add beef, a few pieces at a time, and sauté until nicely browned on all sides. Add it to the lardons.
In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Pour out the excess fat.
Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Then sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly. Set casserole uncovered in middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes.
Toss the meat again and return to oven for 4 minutes (this browns the flour and coves the meat with a light crust).
Remove casserole and turn oven down to 325 degrees.
Stir in wine and 2 to 3 cups stock, just enough so that the meat is barely covered.
Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs and bacon rind. Bring to a simmer on top of the stove.
Cover casserole and set in lower third of oven. Regulate heat so that liquid simmers very slowly for 3 to 4 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.
While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms.
Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons butter with one and one-half tablespoons of the oil until bubbling in a skillet.
Add onions and sauté over moderate heat for about 10 minutes, rolling them so they will brown as evenly as possible. Be careful not to break their skins. You cannot expect them to brown uniformly.
Add 1/2 cup of the stock, salt and pepper to taste and the herb bouquet.
Cover and simmer slowly for 40 to 50 minutes until the onions are perfectly tender but hold their shape, and the liquid has evaporated. Remove herb bouquet and set onions aside.
Wipe out skillet and heat remaining oil and butter over high heat. As soon as you see butter has begun to subside, indicating it is hot enough, add mushrooms.
Toss and shake pan for 4 to 5 minutes. As soon as they have begun to brown lightly, remove from heat.
When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan.
Wash out the casserole and return the beef and lardons to it. Distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms on top.
Skim fat off sauce in saucepan. Simmer sauce for a minute or 2, skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have about 2 1/2 cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly.
If too thin, boil it down rapidly. If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons stock. Taste carefully for seasoning.
Pour sauce over meat and vegetables. Cover and simmer 2 to 3 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times.
Serve in casserole, or arrange stew on a platter surrounded with potatoes, noodles or rice, and decorated with parsley.
4. Poulet Au Porto
If you like chicken, this is the dish for you! It's not only oh-so-creamy and delicious, but it's a dish that you can eat over and over again and never get sick of it! I love, love, love this particular recipe and it's a staple in my home – at least once every couple weeks, we make it!
3 lb Roast Chicken (buy a unseasoned cooked one, or make your own)
Fresh Mushrooms 1 lb
Water 1/4 cup
Butter 1 1/2 Tbps
Lemon Juice 1/2 tsp
Salt 1/4 tsp
Whipping Cream 1 cup
1/2 Tbsp Cornstarch blended with 1 Tbsp Cream
Salt & Pepper
Minced Shallots or Green Onions 1/2 Tbsp
Medium-Dry Port 1/3 cup
Cognac 1/4 cup
Roast the chicken, or use a pre-cooked roast chicken.
Quarter the mushrooms. Bring 1/4 cup water to a boil and mix in butter, lemon, and salt. Add mushrooms to boiling water and cook over slow boil for 8 minutes. Strain mushrooms saving the liquid for later use. Return mushrooms to pan.
Add cream/cornstarch mixture to mushrooms and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Use a couple tablespoons of the chicken fat to cook shallots for 1 minute in a small sauce pan. Add the port and the mushroom liquid from earlier. Boil down, scraping bottom while stirring. Reduce down to about 1/4 cup. Add mushrooms and cream and simmer 2-3 minutes. Add lemon juice.
Coat a casserole dish with butter and carve the chicken into serving sized pieces into the dish. Lightly salt chicken.
Set casserole dish over medium heat until it begins to sizzle. Pour cognac over chicken and CAREFULLY light cognac with a match, taking care not to burn your face off. Shake the dish lightly to extinguish flames. Pour the mushroom mixture over the casserole and cover. Steep for 5 minutes without letting the sauce boil. Remove from heat and serve.
This dish goes best with potatoes and white wine.
5. Roast Chicken
Roast chicken might seem super easy to make and you're probably wondering what makes Julia's so much better, but it all boils down to the way that she made it and the love that she added into it. It's a unique recipe that not only tastes awesome, but you can make it every week if you want!
3 lbs roasting chickens or 3 lbs frying chicken
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons softened butter
1 small sliced carrot
1 small sliced onion
1 tablespoon good cooking oil
1/2 tablespoon minced shallots or 1/2 tablespoon green onion
1 cup brown chicken stock, canned chicken broth or 1 cup beef bouillon
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Sprinkle the inside of the chicken with 1/4 teaspoons salt and 1 Tb. butter.
Truss the chicken and dry it thoroughly.
Rub the skin with 1 Tb. butter.
In a small saucepan melt 2 tb. butter, and 1 tb. cooking oil. Set aside for basting.
Place the chicken, breast up, in a shallow roasting pan. Strew the vegetables around it and set it on the rack in the middle of a preheated oven.
Allow the chicken to brown lightly for 15 minutes, turning it on the left side after 5 minutes, and the right side for the remaining 5 minutes. Baste after each turn with the butter and oil mixture.
Reduce oven to 350 degrees.
Leave the chicken on its side and baste every 8 to 10 minutes using the fat in the roasting pan when the butter and oil are exhausted.
Halfway through estimated roasting time (about 40 minutes in) salt the chicken with 1/4 teaspoons of salt and turn it on its other side. Continue basting.
Fifteen minutes before the end of estimated roasting time (about 1 hour and 5 minutes in) salt again and turn the chicken breast up. Continue basting.
When done, discard trussing strings and set on a hot platter. Chicken should sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before being carved so the juices are absorbed by the meat. Chicken is done when it registers between 175 and 190 degrees, depending on your preferred doneness.
While the chicken is sitting, remove all but two tablespoons of fat from the pan.
Stir in the minced shallot and cook slowly for 1 minute. Add the stock and boil rapidly over high heat, letting it reduce to about 1/2 cup.
Season with salt and pepper and swirl in the last 1-2 tablespoons butter.
Pour a spoonful over chicken and serve the rest at the table as gravy.
6. Chocolate Mousse
What recipe list would be complete without some dessert? This dessert is so light and airy and yet so, so easy to make! If you've been dying to make a chocolate mousse that actually doesn't taste exactly like pudding, give this particular recipe a try! It's amazing!
1 cup semisweet baking chocolate
4 tablespoons strong coffee
6 ounces soft unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup rum or 1/4 cup strong coffee
4 egg whites
3/4 cup instant superfine sugar
2 tablespoons instant superfine sugar
whipped cream (optional)
Place the chocolate and 4 Tbsp strong coffee in a small sauce pan and place in a pan of hot water. Stir for a minute or so until melting begins.
Place egg yolks in a bowl and beat, adding the sugar in a thin stream. Continue beating until the mixture is thick, pale and forms a ribbon. Beat in the rum. Set over a pan of almost simmering water and beat for an additional 5 minutes. Test with your finger to make sure the mixture is warmed through.
Allow to cool. It should again form a ribbon and have the consistency of thick creamy mayonnaise.
Stir the chocolate until smooth and gradually add the softened butter. When totally in corporate stir the mixture into the yolks and sugar.
In a clean dry bowl beat the room temperature egg whites. Begin slowly and increase the speed until soft peaks are formed. Sprinkle with 2 TBSP of sugar and a pinch of salt. Continue beating until stiff peaks are formed.
Fold 1/4 of the stiff egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Scoop the remaining egg whites on top and delicately fold them inches.
Place into a mold or serving dishes and chill for several hours or overnight.
Serve with whipped cream if desired.
7. Roast Duck with Orange Sauce - Canard a L' Orange
Finally, the last recipe that we're going to talk about all boils down to roast duck. I love duck in any form and shape, but this particular duck with orange sauce? It's awesome! So tender, the sauce is delicious and it's so delicately balanced, it's the perfect dish!
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 duck giblets (along with neck, wing tips cut into 1-inch pieces, if not in frozen duck, use some of the fat from d)
1 carrot (sliced)
1 onion (sliced)
1 cup bouillon (beef)
3 cups water
4 parsley sprigs
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon sage
1 quart water
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup vinegar (red wine)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3/4 cup port wine (I use Ruby port)
1 1/2 ounces orange liqueur
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
1 tablespoon butter (softened)
2 lbs ducklings
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
Start the stock for the sauce well in advance.
Brown duck parts with carrot and onion in oil. (or brown carrot and onion with gleaned duck fat).
Add bullion and water.
Simmer with herbs and reduce to 2 cups.
Skim fat, any scum, strain, and set aside, or refrigerate until needed.
To begin the sauce, bring water to simmer while preparing orange peel.
The peel is for both the roasting duck, and the sauce. This also, needs to be done in advance.
Peel oranges, making sure that the strips are only the orange colored part, not the bitter white.
Julienne into strips about 1/8" or less by 1 1/2 ".
Simmer in water 6 minutes, drain, rinse in cold water, dry, and set aside.
Peel orange segments, put in covered container, and set aside, or refrigerate.
Prepare duck by trimming loose fat, making sure all feathers are gone, and remove wishbone from breast (optional).
Prick skin to allow fat to escape, and to baste the duck during the cooking.
Season cavity of ducks with salt and pepper, and place 1/3 of orange peel and 1/3 of orange segments inside.
The small ducklings will take about 25 to 30 minutes to roast, so you might want to continue the sauce at this point and preheat the oven to 450°F.
In a saucepan, blend sugar and vinegar over low heat to dissolve.
Boil rapidly until mixture begins to caramelize.
Lower heat to simmer, add half the duck stock, and stir until mixture is no longer caramelized.
Remove from heat.
Add remaining stock, blended cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of the port, remaining orange peel, and all but a few orange segments (saved for garnish).
Simmer for 3-4 minutes, correct seasoning, and keep warm. Sauce should be clear and slightly thickened.
Place ducklings on rack in small roasting pan, breast side up and place in oven.
Roast 5 minutes, reduce heat to 350°F, and turn on side, and place back in oven.
Continue to roast and turn, until duck is breast up. Roast 25 to 30 minutes total.
When ducklings are done (juice will be rosy clear) place on warmed individual platters and keep warm.
Finish sauce by removing fat from roasting pan and deglaze with port.
Add to sauce.
Bring sauce to simmer, add orange liqueur, and correct seasoning with lemon juice if sauce seems too sweet.
Remove sauce from heat, swirl in butter and spoon some over ducks and put remainder in a warmed sauce boat.
Garnish ducks with remaining orange segments, place rice and peas on platters and serve.
These are just a few of my top Julia Child recipes, do you have any more that you care to share? Do you think that Julia's recipes are easy?