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Posts Tagged ‘cream sauce’

…is Julia Child’s fancy way of saying chicken simmered with cream and onions.  Or, as Schatzi I like to call it, Heaven in a bowl.  You may think that’s an exaggeration, but trust me.  This creamy, comforting chicken is absolute perfection.  Julia Child is famous for a reason, you know…and this dish (with a few modifications) is actually one of her easier ones.

For Julia’s delicious French chicken you need:

  • 2 1/2 to 3 lbs. chicken, cubed
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/3 cup cognac
  • 3 cups whipping cream
  • more salt and white pepper
  • a few drops of lemon juice
  • 3-4 more Tbsp. whipping cream
  • parsley

Now, a person will feel practically sacrilegious to modify a Julia Child recipe, but even on the weekend, we don’t have time to cut up and bone an entire chicken…so, we just bought the prescribed amount of chicken breasts and chopped them into bite-sized chunks.  It worked beautifully, and made this dish beyond easy…sorry, Julia.  Anyway, start by thoroughly drying your meat, however you choose to go about acquiring it.  She’s not kidding when she tells you meat won’t cook properly unless it is dry.  While you’re doing that, melt the butter in a large casserole (Dutch oven) over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken (don’t move it around a lot in the pan!) and cook 3-4 minutes, flipping once, until the chicken looks a bit puffy and the outsides are white.  Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.  Also, start to boil the 3 cups of whipping cream.

Now, I am guessing that if you stick with Julia’s method, you can plow ahead to step two and add the onions.  However, I needed to drain a bit of the cooking liquid from my pre-cut chicken and melt a bit more butter in my pot, first.  Once your pot is satisfactory, add the onions (I chopped, she thinly slices).  Pop a lid on the pot and cook over lowered heat until the onions are tender (but not browned), 4-5 minutes.  Add the chicken back to your pot, covering and cooking again for about 10 minutes, until the chicken puffs even more.  Only turn it once.

Next, add the curry powder, salt, and pepper to the chicken.  Raise the heat and add the cognac to deglaze the pan, boiling the liquid rapidly until it is almost completely gone.  Pour in the hot cream, continue simmering and make sure the chicken has been coated with the cream.  Return the lid to the pot and let the mixture simmer for 30 minutes.  Honestly, my chicken was already pretty well cooked, so I only let it simmer for about 10 minutes.  Here, all you need is for the chicken’s juices to run clear when pricked.  At this stage, if your cream looks curdled and lumpy, not to worry!  Julia will fix it.

Put the chicken and most of the onion on a platter again.  If there is any, skim the fat off the sauce and bring the cream to a quick bubble.  Stir it until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Then, add a few drops of lemon juice and season it with more salt and pepper to taste.  If it still looks a bit lumpy, take the sauce off the heat and stir in those few extra tablespoons of cream–all fixed!  Serve a bowl of luscious chicken smothered in sauce and a hint of parsley.

Words do not describe the amazing taste of cognac and cream mixed together.  Neither of us had ever tasted it until this dish, but there is something about it that just makes me think of the holidays (which start NEXT month?!); I think it is just the comfort and rich smell and taste of it.  If you are reading this, you must make it.  Or, come visit us and we will make it for you.  We get to keep any chance of leftovers, though…

Bon appetit!

*sc

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…is one of the best comfort foods I know of!  We saw a recipe for vodka-cream sauce and gnocchi on foodnetwork.com and decided to put our own spin on it for an absolutely delicious dinner.

For a delicious bowl of gnocchi comfort you need:

  • 1 box pre-made potato gnocchi
  • 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 6 leaves fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. vodka
  • 1 tbsp. heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper

First, make your own tomato sauce.  Heat the oil in a deep skillet over medium-high.  Crush the diced tomatoes with a potato masher or fork and add them to the skillet along with the garlic, tomato paste, basil, and some pepper.  Bring the sauce up to a simmer, then knock the heat back to low and let it cook and thicken for about 5 minutes.

Boil some water for the gnocchi.  Salt it and cook the dumplings for about 3 minutes or until they float to the top.  We also boiled some asparagus along with the gnocchi to serve as our side.  Why not save a pot?!

While that’s going, melt the butter in a sauce pot.  Add the shallots and cook for a couple of minutes until they are tender.  Then, stir in the vodka, cream, and homemade tomato sauce.  Simmer the mixture for a couple of minutes to blend the flavors.

Toss the gnocchi in the cream sauce and season the asparagus with some salt and pepper.

If you haven’t tried gnocchi, this is the recipe to start with!  We absolutely love it, and this tomato cream sauce is a real winner to serve with basically any pasta.  The next time you are in the mood for a comfy bowl of pasta, whip up a batch of this gnocchi–it’s guaranteed to hit the spot!

*sc

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