French Country Chicken Dinner
Recipe: French Country Chicken Dinner
For the chicken
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
½ cup white flour
Salt and pepper
1 Tbl butter
1 Tbl olive oil
For the vegetables and sauce
1 Tbl butter
1 Tbl olive oil
1 Tbl fresh thyme leaves removed from the stems
4 regular sized carrots cut on the diagonal into 1” slices
2 cups frozen tiny onions (right from the freezer bag)
1 cup white wine (dry is preferable)
½ cup chicken broth
One pound small potatoes cut into halves or quarters; depending on how large the potatoes are
¾ cup of crème fraîche
1 cup frozen baby peas (the ones without the butter sauce)
1 cup grated Gruyére cheese (large grate is fine)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
To coat chicken I put the flour in a zip lock bag. Add a few shakes of salt and pepper and then put in each piece of chicken, one at a time, shake it around until it’s coated and remove it and set it aside. When you have all of your chicken coated, get out a large sauté pan and add the butter and olive oil. Heat so the butter melts and add the chicken, smooth breast side down. Sauté on medium high until the first side of the chicken is a nice, crisp, golden brown. This should take about 5 minutes. Then turn the chicken over and slightly brown the underside. You are not trying to cook the chicken all the way through. You are just browning it. When this is done place the chicken breasts in an oven proof 9 X 13 pan and put it in your 350-degree oven. The chicken will finish now by baking for 30 minutes. This process gives the chicken a nice crunch on the outside and your chicken will remain moist on the inside.
For the veggies and sauce
In a medium sized soup pot put in the butter and olive oil. Heat on medium til the butter melts. Now add the thyme, carrots, and onions. Sauté and stir just until the mixture starts to loosen. Now add the wine and chicken broth and potatoes. Turn to medium high to get this mixture bubbling and then turn to medium and let it simmer. Cover the pot to keep the moisture inside. Open periodically to stir but otherwise let this mixture cook the potatoes and veggies. It will also begin to reduce so you have a rich sauce. If you get too close to running out of liquid you can add more wine and broth, but this should not be necessary unless your burner is running too hot. You’ll know when this mixture is done by poking the potatoes and carrots. If they are soft, it’s ready.
While this mixture is cooking, boil your peas in a separate pan in water. Follow package directions. When they are finished just hold them aside until the meal is ready.
Add the crème fraîche to the veggies and stir. Turn off. You now have a savory, rich sauce coating your vegetables.
Pull the chicken out of the oven. Check one of the pieces of chicken to make sure you have no pink in the middle and then you are ready to serve. Put veggies and sauce on the plate. Add the chicken on top. Drain the peas and sprinkle on top of the chicken, and let them roll off. Cooking the peas separately leaves them a nice, vibrant green; instead of being coated in sauce. Sprinkle on the Gruyére and serve.
When dining you’ll feel like you are in the French countryside. With a side salad and some crunchy artisnal bread you have an authentic meal. A full-bodied white wine is suggested.
Enjoy. Cheers! Zola
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