Mastering classic French cooking at home: boulangère potatoes

MyFrenchLife™- Master French Classics - Boulangère Potatoes - collage -

Oh, to have a repertoire of French cuisine classics that you can whip up at home and know that they’ll be fantastic – every time! 

Have you always dreamed of mastering French cuisine? Years ago I attended a course with Le Cordon Bleu in London and I have a very early (1978) copy of Julia Child’s ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking‘, now very yellow and food stained by successful and not so masterful attempts!

Like many of you, I’ve also read the book and seen the 2009 film Julie & Julia, with Amy Adams as Julie Powell and Meryl Streep as Julia Child. Upon hearing about Powell’s attempt at replicating all her recipes, Child was reported to have been unimpressed, viewing Powell’s attempt to be a stunt, and that Powell wasn’t serious about doing it.

We’re passionate about continuing the challenge of mastering classic French cooking at home without having professional training.

In this series we bring you tips and recipes from others who share our passion.

Meet Janelle

MyFrenchLife™ - Master French Classics - Boulangère Potatoes - Scott and Janelle Gould -

French style potatoes are a popular accompaniment to many meals in France, and the perfect choice for our readers in Australia as winter arrives. The hearty Boulangère Potato dish may sound fancy, but Janelle Gould of Distant Francophile blog shares more cooking tips, taking us through her simplified version of how to make this French favourite, as her husband Scott gets behind the lens to take the photos.

Janelle says: “Potatoes feature heavily on French menus. And they can be prepared in so many tasty ways. Dauphinoise. Paris mash. Duchess potatoes. (And I’ve not even mentioned French fries)”.

But one of the true classics is also a cinch to prepare – Boulangère Potatoes.

All classics have back stories. And if you look into the legend behind this classic you will find a charming tale. Apparently village locals would visit the baker at their local boulangerie with their potatoes and, once the bread had been baked, the potatoes would be cooked in the cooling oven.

Boulangère Potatoes

But you don’t need a boulangerie to do your own version of this classic dish. All you need is few basic ingredients and a standard domestic oven!

Here’s the recipe for my Boulangère Potatoes.

MyFrenchLife™ - Master French Classics - Boulangère Potatoes -


        1kg Potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced.
        1 brown onion, peeled and thinly sliced.
        400ml of chicken stock.
        A little butter.
        A sprinkle of dried parsley.


      1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees.
      2. Fill a medium sized rectangular dish with layers of potatoes and onion, finishing with a layer of potatoes.
      3. Pour over the chicken stock.
      4. Dot with butter and sprinkle with parsley.
      5. Cook in oven for around an hour until potatoes are lightly browned, tender and yummy.
      6. Enjoy!

Thank you Janelle!

What is your preferred French style potato dish? Have you ever attempted your own version of Boulangère Potatoes? Share your thoughts and experiences with us below!  

Indulge yourself with more delicious recipes in our series of how to Master French Classics…

Moelleux au chocolat // French onion soup // Poule au Pot // Crêpes // Duck Confit // Bouillabaisse // Madeleine

Image Credits:
1. Collage of images taken by Scott Gould

2. Janelle and Scott by Carla Coulson
3. Boulangère Potatoes by Scott Gould

About the Contributor

Judy MacMahon

Experience FRANCE beyond the CLICHÉ with MyFrenchLife is for Curious Savvy Francophiles wherever you are. Meet Francophiles in France, online, and/or wherever you live. You’re very welcome to join us - Judy MacMahon -

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  1. Sophia Marci-Anderson Dec 8, 2016 at 8:17 AM - Reply

    Looks great, will definitely be trying this at the weekend!

  2. Moira McCarthy Dec 15, 2016 at 10:53 PM - Reply

    The Boulangère potatoes recipe is so hearty and can be adapted. I have varied the ingredients mixing philadelphia cream cheese and lemon juice with parsley. (Cooking time: 45-50 minutes)

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