The doggie bag gets an upgrade

leftover roast chicken pad thai 

The doggie bag, once seen in France as terribly gauche, has started to gain some acceptance. The first Parisian restaurant to embrace 'le doggie bag' was Le Coq Rico, a roast chicken palace that opened in 2012. The chef, Antoine Westermann, encourages patrons to try more than one of the restaurant's whole chickens at a time so they could experience the differences between the heritage breeds. That means a lot of leftovers, and with a hefty price tag, diners probably felt that they deserved to take home every last bite. 

Now that a branch of Le Coq Rico has opened in New York City, the upscale doggie bags pioneered in France are coming to the US. While the bags themselves - glossy shopping bags with paper containers - aren't new, what's inside of them is. In addition to the leftover food, each bag contains "a creamy sheet of thick paper with recipes. The recipes are easy and not earthshaking, but their presence gives the leftovers a shimmer of potential," says the NY Times

These recipes aren't just for ways to use the leftover chicken in a sandwich or a stir fry - the instructions also include methods for using the bones and even the juices that collect in the bottom of the container. While the move in France to embrace the doggie bag has been spurred by government efforts to reduce food waste, no such effort will likely be required in the US, where the doggie bag has enjoyed a long history.

Photo of Leftover roast chicken pad Thai from BBC Good Food Magazine by Rosie Birkett

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