Main course

Poulet sauté Madame Renoir

Pierre-Auguste Renoir lived from 1841 until 1919 and made like living from spreading pigments on canvas to make the likenesses of other people … and sometimes himself. He turned out to be quite good at it.

Renoir (self portrait)

But, we are not here to talk about Monsieur Renoir – we are interested in his wife, Aline.

By all accounts, Aline Charigot (1859–1915) was a fabulous cook. Dinner at the Renoir’s was legendary, and the family would hold an open house on Saturdays where guests would eat from a big dish of pot au feu. During the week, Mme Renoir would collaborate with the servants to invent new dishes. The most famous of these was her sauteéd chicken, which was heralded by the family as:

“Aline’s great triumph.”

Renoir’s celebrated Luncheon of the Boating Party, 1881. Aline is seated to the left, playing with a dog.

We encountered the dish when it was detailed by Rick Stein in Episode 1 of his BBC TV series Rick Stein’s Secret France. The recipe given here is as it was related in the show rather than taken from the accompanying book.

Poulet sauté Madame Renoir

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (149 votes, average: 3.68 out of 5)
By Aline Renoir Serves: 4–6
Cooking Time: 50 mins


  • 1 chicken, jointed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Knob of butter
  • 2 fresh tomatoes peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • Bouquet garni of tied parsley and thyme
  • Couple of cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 150g mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 large handful black olives
  • 2 tbsp cognac
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper



Heat the oil in a large sauté pan (it really needs to be something like a 26cm straight-sided behemoth pan because it needs to cope with all the chicken pieces). Brown the chicken on all sides. Remove the chicken pieces to a plate, discard the oil.


Heat the butter in the same pan as above. Put the chicken back in the pan, and add the tomatoes, onions, bouquet garni and whole garlic cloves. Loosen with a little hot water, and simmer on low for 30 mins, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.


Add the mushrooms, olives and cognac and bubble until the mushrooms are just cooked.


Right at the end, combine the chopped garlic and parsley (this is called a persillade), and sprinkle over the dish. Serve.

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  • Reply
    Kerry Whitfield
    11/12/2020 at 11:00 am

    Very good! I just made it. I had no cognac, so I used a drop of sweet white wine – delicious!

  • Reply
    【法式清冰箱料理】雷諾瓦夫人雞-簡單好吃又有故事✨ %
    24/03/2021 at 9:04 pm

    […] 作法,參考食譜➡The Nosey Chef […]

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    雷諾瓦夫人雞 【法式清冰箱料理】-簡單好吃又有故事
    24/03/2021 at 9:08 pm

    […] 作法,參考食譜➡The Nosey Chef […]

  • Reply
    13/03/2023 at 6:05 am

    Have just made it.. smells so mouth watering… didn’t have black olives so used green.. haven’t eaten it yet… just a little taste of sauce..delish.. can’t wait to tuck in

    • Reply
      Nigel Eastmond
      13/03/2023 at 10:33 am

      Hi Lyn, so glad you made this. It is a lovely thing. The green olives will be fine. The black just looks better.

  • Reply
    28/05/2023 at 7:21 pm

    I have made this but used boneless chicken breast. I serve it next to rice with garlic bread. Great meal, everyone loves.

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