Painter Dexter Dalwood explores the domestic details of historic figures. His works include imaginings of the insides of OJ Simpson's white Bronco, Mao's study and Kurt Cobain's 'greenhouse'. His pieces also reference artists such as Henri Matisse, Francis Bacon and Ed Ruscha, so the fact that his recipe comes from Jean Renoir's memoir is no surprise. Renoir's mother, Aline Charigot, made this chicken stew for her boy, the famous film-maker, and his father, the famous impressionist.
The exerpt below is taken from Jean Renoir's biography, Renoir, My Father (New York Review Books Classics), in which he recalls that his mother considered the dish 'one of her greatest triumphs'.
'To prepare it she cut the chicken up in pieces, which she browned in a heavy casserole with a little olive oil. As soon as the pieces were ready, she put them aside on a warm plate. The oil was then thrown away, and the chicken put back in the casserole with just a dab of butter. Next she added finely chopped onions, two peeled medium-size tomatoes, some sprigs of parsley and thyme, a bay leaf, a clove of garlic, salt and pepper, and a very little hot water. The mixture was stirred from time to time to avoid burning and allowed to simmer over a slow fire. A few mushrooms were thrown in half an hour before serving; Greek, Italian, or Provençal black olives; and the chicken-liver. At the last moment a little glass of brandy was added, and the lid of the casserole left off to let the fumes evaporate. When serving, she sprinkled chopped parsley and garlic over the dish.'