Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Chicken ala Providence

Copyright 2013 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
This is a favorite chicken dish of ours when we were living in Florida as graduate students. It was my friend Celeste who actually loved cooking this dish. My part was always relegated to the desserts. The recipe is taken from the Women's Day cook book that we bought for 25c in a book sale. I have known of this dish but never prepared it myself and it was a surprise how much work it took to complete the dish.The dish is prepared in three steps but I decided to extend the last step and baked it a little bit longer to bring the flavors together. 

The dish uses chicken pieces that gets poached, then deboned and then browned in butter. I decided to use chicken thighs to maximize the flavor and that it tends to retain it's shape during the cooking process. The lemony sauce pulls the whole dish together and I prepared it a bit differently so it looks less yellow and more like brown gravy. Definitely a meal for Sunday lunch, it is best served with rice pilaf or a good piece of crusty bread. 

Chicken ala Providence - Adapted*

2-3 lbs chicken thighs
2 bay leaves
1 stalk of parsley + extra for garnish
4 medium-sized carrot, cubed
2 medium onions, quartered
1 tsp Herbes de Provence
4 tbsp olive oil
6-8 cups chicken broth
1 cup flour + 2 tbsp flour
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp lemon juice
6 tbsp unsalted butter
8 slices of bacon, cut into 1-inch strips and fried
2 tbsp chopped parsley

1. Poach the chicken pieces in a small pot at medium heat with enough broth
    to cover them. Add the bay leaves and bring to a boil. Simmer and cook 
    until the chicken is tender but not falling off the bones. Remove the 
    chicken pieces and save 2 cups of the broth. 

2. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and the bones.
    Dredge with flour and brown in a skillet over medium low heat in 4 tbsp 
    butter in batches. Add olive oil if more is needed to brown the meat. 

3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Saute the onion and carrots in the pan 
    drippings and cook until slightly browned on the edges. Season with salt 
    and pepper and the Herbes de Provence. Remove from the heat and set 

4. In the same skillet, melt the remaining unsalted butter over medium heat 
    and add the 2 tablespoons of flour. Add the reserved broth and continue 
    stirring until thick and smooth. Add the lemon juice. Turn off the heat and
    whisk in the two egg yolks quickly to prevent them from being scrambled. 
    Season to taste with salt and pepper.

5. In a 9x13 baking dish, arrange the browned chicken pieces and scatter the 
    onions and carrots all around. Pour the lemon sauce over and bake for 
    about 20 minutes. 

6. To serve, garnish with the crispy bacon and the chopped parsley. 

* Eileen Tighe: Editor, Woman's Day Encyclopedia Volume 3, Fawcett Publications Inc., New York: 1966.

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