National Coquilles St. Jacques Day
National Coquilles St. Jacques Day is observed next on Tuesday, May 16th, 2023 (160 days from today).
National Coquilles Saint Jacques Day on May 16th honors ‘the Shell of St. James, a popular seafood scallops.
National Coquilles Saint Jacques Day is a special opportunity to enjoy this French dish. In France, coquille is a certain species of cockle and for this particular dish, only coquille is used. A mixture of butter, cream, mushrooms, and cheese create this delicious dish. However, don't worry, in other regions where coquille can't be found, people can use any type of scallops and cook them in different ways.
History of National Coquilles St. Jacques Day
National Coquilles St. Jacques Day is a rather unusual holiday and, although its origins remain a mystery, it has a rich history.
It is believed that the seashell is a symbol of Saint James, one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. There are legends that seashells were used as food and water bowls for pilgrims on their journey to Santiago de Compostela. Carved seashells can be found on the fronts of houses used by pilgrims at rest stops.
‘Coquilles Saint Jacques’ are scallops cooked in a certain French way. In France, most king scallops come from the Atlantic Ocean and are known as St. James. There is an interesting theory behind how the dish got its name. According to legend, Saint James saved a knight from drowning and when the knight emerged from the water he was covered with seashells and so the phrase "Saint James's shell" appeared all around. It should be noted, however, that the dish is not directly related to St. Jacques/James and just got his name from him.
Over the years, this dish has become increasingly popular in many countries around the world. While it's still in the French tradition, the Italians in Montreal have taken it and added a little twist to it. They replaced the original Gruyère cheese used in the recipe with the classic mozzarella cheese.
Some reasons for National Coquilles St. Jacques Day being loved
- They are cooked the French way!
Everyone has a different way of preparing scallops and Coquilles Saint Jacques is a French cooked scallop dish. Enjoy the day by enjoying scallops cooked with a mixture of butter, cream, mushrooms and cheese, grilled in seashells.
- Scallops healthy
Worried about your health? No worries! Scallops are actually very healthy as they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. The healthy fats in them can help balance your cholesterol levels. Furthermore, they also reduce the risk of heart disease. Scallops are rich in magnesium, which contributes to good heart health. Don't limit yourself and eat right into that mouth-watering plate of scallops.
- Eat without guilt
Who doesn't love a food holiday that you can eat without feeling guilty? It is more special when the food in question is scallops. So don't feel bad celebrating this National Coquilles St. Jacques Day.
How to celebrate National Coquilles St. Jacques Day
- Make your own Coquilles Saint Jacques
Making scallops the French way at home isn't as scary as it sounds. Mix only butter, cream, mushrooms and cheese. Then you just grill the scallops. What are you waiting for? Come to it now!
- Go out to Coquilles Saint Jacques
Don't like to cook but you really want to have this exquisite dish? You just go to a French restaurant and order a plate or two of Coquilles Saint Jacques. You can even snap an Insta-worthy photo and show off your meal using the hashtag #CoquillesSaintJacquesDay
- Learn to make Coquilles Saint Jacques
Find local cooking schools or ongoing workshops near your area and sign up to make scallops. Once you've mastered how to cook this mouth-watering dish, you can prepare it for your friends and family and show off your newly acquired skills. You can even use this skill to impress a potential love relationship.
How to make chicken St. Jacques
- 1 pound chicken tenderloins cut into cubes
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 6 ounces baby chanterelle mushrooms that are trimmed and wiped clean
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- Pinch cayenne
- 2 tablespoons minced parsley
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup shredded Gruyere
- 1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- Heat the broiler. Lightly butter the inside of a medium casserole dish and place on a baking tray. Set aside. Place the chicken, thinly sliced onion, bay leaf, wine, and water in a large saucepan. Simmer and lightly blanch chicken until firm, about 3 minutes. Erase with a slotted spoon. Strain the chicken broth into a clean container. Place the chicken on a plate.
- In a large clean saucepan or medium saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. Add chicken and garlic and cook, stirring constantly for 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, about 4 minutes, until mushrooms are tender. Erase with a slotted spoon.
- Put the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the cooked mushroom pan and melt over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, to form a light mixture. Slowly add the filtered foaming liquid, whisking constantly, and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Add milk, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper and beat well. Boil and cook for 1 minute. Add parsley and simmer for 1 minute. Add cream and white cheddar, stir well, and remove from heat. Add the chicken and mushrooms, and pour into the prepared plate.
- In a small bowl, mix the bread crumbs, butter, and chili powder. Sprinkle chicken mixture on top and top with Parmesan. Cook in low heat until meat is just crisp and brown, being careful not to overcook, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
ObservedNational Coquilles St. Jacques Day has been observed annually on May 16th.
Sunday, May 16th, 2021
Monday, May 16th, 2022
Tuesday, May 16th, 2023
Thursday, May 16th, 2024
Friday, May 16th, 2025