How to Throw a French-Inspired Dinner Party

When planning your next dinner party, there’s one expression to keep in mind: Vive La France!

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From simple, chic decor tips to rich, classic recipes paired with a great bottle of red wine, you can’t go wrong with a dinner party inspired by France. Your guests will feel both a sense of romance, and that ‘je ne sais quois’ that only the French can create. Here’s how we pulled it off:


First, we fused modern, clean-lined plateware with antique, sterling silver cutlery atop fine linen runners — pairing each set up with linen napkins and rustic wooden napkin rings.

For our centerpiece, we took inspiration from Provence, choosing simple wild flowers and pairing them with a corresponding floral “runner” made from the excess buds. Finally, we chose to add a real French touch by incorporating a fragrant sprig of bright purple lavender to each setting.

To warm up the space, we added subtle mood lighting with brass-held candles and used sheepskin throws on the backs of each chair.


We love classic French cuisine — and to do it justice, you need to treat your food like a star. Serve this red wine-infused Coq au Vin with a simple side and dessert for maximum effect.


Timing is everything

Keep your dinner warm and ready to serve without being overcooked using the Keep-Warm setting on your Electrolux range.

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Charcuterie Plate: Bleu d’Auvergne, Cabecou and Gruyere cheese, dry cured salami, prosciutto, cornichons, Dijon & whole grain mustards, fruit and nut crackers

Warm baguettes & butter

Plat Principal: Coq au Vin

Plat d’Accompagnement: Steamed French Green Beans & Butter

Désert: Simple sliced Cantaloupe

Coq Au Vin



2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

4 ounces bacon, diced

1-4 pound chicken, cut in eighths

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 pound carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 yellow onion, sliced

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

1/4 cup Cognac or good brandy

1/2 bottle good dry red wine such as Burgundy

1 cup chicken stock, plus 2 tablespoons

10 fresh thyme sprigs

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided

1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 pound frozen small whole onions

1/2 pound Crimini mushrooms, stems removed and thickly sliced

1/2 leek, sliced


Preheat the oven to 250° F.

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove the bacon to a plate.

Wash and lay the chicken out on paper towels and pat dry. Sprinkle the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken pieces in batches in a single layer for about 5 minutes, turning to brown evenly. Remove the chicken to the plate with the bacon and continue to brown until all the chicken is done.

Add the carrots, onions, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper to the pan and cook over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute.

Add the Cognac and put the bacon, chicken, and any juices that collected on the plate into the pot. Add the wine, chicken stock, and thyme and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and place in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is just not pink. Remove from the oven and place on top of the stove.

Mash 1 tablespoon of butter and the flour together and stir into the stew. Add the frozen onions.

In a medium sauté pan, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, 2 tbsp. of chicken stock and cook the mushrooms and leeks over medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until browned. Add to the stew. Bring the stew to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes.


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