When President and Mrs Reagan visited Paris in the mid 1980′s they did have many official functions including a diplomatic dinner with President and Madame Francoise Mitterand at the Elysee Palace (the White House of France)
Naturally, the diplomatic decorum demanded that the American guests of honor should return the invitation.
The Reagans were staying at the US Embassy and decided to honor the French President and first lady with non American food. The chefs at the US Embassy were French chefs.
The Lamb recipe is very fancy in terms of prestige. It was put together by chef Auguste Esccoffier at the turn of the 20th century. It was named in honor of Cardinal Armand de Richelieu, who was chief minister to King Louis XIII in the 17th century.
2 racks, 6 chops each., have the butcher cut the chine bone for easy serving of chops.
1/2 bottle of white wine
1/2 cup of quality olive oil
1 medium onion sliced
1 whole bay leaf crumbled
1/2 teaspoon of dried marjoram, or 2 TBSP of fresh if available
8 black peppercorns, coarsly crushed
1/2 TSP of dried thyme, or 2 TSP of fresh
salt to taste
Marination needs to be a minimum of 4 hr. Overnight would be good. Keep turning and spoon over the rack.
Place in the oven and grill at 450 degrees for 30-40 minutes depending on cooking level preferred. Keep to lamb warm in the oven while the sauce is being made.
Place the drippings in a fry pan. Remove some of the fat. Add a cup of port or madeira. Reduce under high heat. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of butter one at a time. Serve the sauce in a gravy boat at the table.