France—Chicken with Mustard

 

French Entreechicken with mustard

Chicken with Mustard
Poulet a la Diable
(Serves 6)

We offer two versions of this wonderfully piquant chicken dish—one oven-baked with a mustardy crust...the other sauteed and topped with a creamy mustard sauce.


Oven-baked

3 T Dijon mustard *
1 T dry Vermouth (optional)
1/2 T ground pepper
2 eggs (beaten)
6 chicken legs and attached thighs, skin on
1 C homemade breadcrumbs (fine)
2 T butter

Heat oven to 375. In one bowl mix mustards and pepper. In a second bowl beat eggs. In a third bowl, add breadcrumbs. Coat chicken with mustard (a brush is helpful), dip in eggs, then in breadcrumbs. Make sure all sides are coated. Arrange in baking pan and dot with butter. Bake for 25-30 minutes, till juiced run clear when pricked with a fork. Remove from heat and allow chicken to sit for 5 minutes. Serve hot or cold.

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Sauteed
2 T vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste
6 chicken bonelesss, skinless breasts, or use 4-6 legs
   and attached thighs, skin on
1/4 C liquid (water or chicken broth)
3 T Dijon mustard *
1 T dry Vermouth (optional)
2 T cream (heavy or light)

Heat oil in a heavy skillet large enough to hold all the chicken pieces. Dust chicken with salt & pepper and add to hot oil. Brown on both sides. Add water or broth, mustard, and Vermouth (if using). Cover skillet, and cook on low for 15-20 minutes, till chicken pieces run clear when pricked with a fork. (Don't over-cook.)

Remove chicken onto a platter and keep warm. Add cream to the pan juices and stir well until you have a creamy sauce. Pour over the chicken and serve.

* You can use a combination of smooth and course-grained mustards.

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Tips & Glossary

Bouquet Garni: (boo-kay gar-nee) bundle of herbs tied together with string or wrapped in cheese cloth square; usually parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Flavor is released during long cooking.Remove before serving.

Chervil: (sher-vil) related to parsley but has a delicate anise flavor. Long cooking kills flavor, so add at the last minute.

Cornichon (kor-nee-shon) teeny-tiny pickle, served with pates & smoked meats; found in specialty food stores.

Fines Herbes: (feen-airb) mix of finely chopped herbs: parsley, chives, tarragon, & chervil. Not as strong as a bouqet garni. Buy it at most grocery stores.

Fromage: (fra-mahj) Cheese! The French eat more than any nationality, 45 pounds per capita per year; and the country makes more cheeses than any other country, about 400.

The three great pedigreed French cheeses are:
• Brie (East of Paris)
• Camembert (Normandy)
• Roquefort (Southwest France, from sheep’s milk)

There are also wonderful lesser-known cheeses:
• Beaufort (Rhone Alps, hard, yellow Gruyere-type)
• Chevre (Loire Valley, soft, goat’s milk)
• Comte (Alps region, hard, yellow Gruyere-type)
• Emmental (Alps region, “Swiss” cheese with holes)
• Gruyere (hard, yellow cheese—originally French, now most is Swiss)
• Tomme (means “cheese”; soft, many varieties, all from skim milk)

Herbes de Provence (airb-duh-pro-vonce): mix of dried herbs, usually thyme, rosemary, marjoram, basil, & bay leaf Can be found at most grocery stores.

Mutarde: (moo-tard), mustard. Most famous:
• Dijon ( from the town in Burgundy)
• Meaux (from Meaux, east of Paris; whole-grained; made by Pommery).

Nicoise Olive: (nee-swaz- oh-leev) small, purplish-black olive with a mellow, nutty flavor; used primarily in Salade Nicoise. The Picholine variety is a green, medium-sized olive with a light, nutty flavor.

Roux: (roo) paste-like mix of melted butter and flour, into which liquid is gradually added. The basis of every classic French sauce.
Basic Roux: 1 part butter to 1 part flour. Melt butter and add flour, stirring vigorously, till it becomes a paste-like consistency. At this point, add slowly whatever liquid your recipe calls for

 

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