“The best way to execute French cooking is to get good and loaded and whack the hell out of a chicken.”
― Julia Child
MARIE-THÉRÈSE'S CREAMY POULET
A recipe from a real French grandmother
Champagne and chicken are a delightful match.
If you really like someone, one of the most romantic ways to show them is to cook for them. The French are experts in romance and this perfectly prepared chicken dish is sure to impress on your next cozy date night in. This recipe is simple, sophisticated and as effortless as a french woman tossing her hair into a bun.
To some it may seem over the top to pair Champagne with this main course. But, here at fatcork, we think of it as elevating the ordinary. French peasant cooking is all about simple, wholesome flavors with what you have in your kitchen and garden. So, why not celebrate your kitchen wizardry with a bottle of grower Champagne?The fuller bodied Absolu Meunier cuvée by Didier-Ducos stands up to juicy chicken with creamy accoutrements, and is a fast friend to the crispy, fatty bits. It’s robust fruity notes are a beautiful juxtaposition to the herbaceous tarragon. Lastly, it’s balanced acidity is the perfect palate cleanser between bites rich sauce. We hope you enjoy this delightful pairing. Cheers!
3 1⁄2 to 4 lb chicken (or “a nice chicken for 4 to 6 people”as Marie says)
- 2 tbsp of fresh tarragon
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 1/2 large white onion diced
- 2 tbsp of unsalted butter
- 1⁄4 cup heavy cream
- 1⁄2 cup of dry white wine
- 1⁄4 cup of all-purpose flour
Step 1 Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Step 2 Pull all the lovely bits out of the major cavity of the chicken (and throw it in the freezer and use it to make stock later)! Pat that chicken dry inside and out and lay the bird on its back. Using a butcher knife or a kitchen knife with a very sharp blade, cut the chicken into 8 pieces. Start with separating the wings from the breast, then the thighs. Remove the back bone and put it aside to use later. Finally, cut the breast into two halves and then halve each breast again. Alternatively, ask your butcher to cut it up for you. Lightly season each piece with salt & pepper on both sides.
Step 3 Prepare a broth for the base of the sauce. In a pot, add 1⁄2 liter (or about 16 oz) of water, 1⁄2 onion, pinch of salt and black pepper and bring to a boil. Then add the back bone of the chicken and simmer for about 25 minutes.
Step 4 While that is working, grab your dutch oven or deep oven safe pan or skillet with high sides. On medium heat add the butter. Once it’s sizzling add the chicken pieces, skinned- side down. Cook until golden browned on all sides, about 10 minutes on each side. Add 1⁄2 cup of dry white wine and bring to a simmer. Then cover and transfer to the oven for about 20 minutes.
Step 5 Pull the chicken out of the oven, transfer to a plate and cover with foil. In the same pan or dutch oven, stir the cream and flour into the drippings. Add the chopped tarragon. Then little by little add the broth. Stir until sauce until it thickens to the desired consistency. Don’t be afraid to taste!
Step 6 Add the chicken back to the pan and let it simmer in its sauce for about 5 minutes. Make sure to save some fresh tarragon for garnish!
Serve hot with haricots verts (tender French green beans).