Sunday, February 10, 2008

Chicken with Scallions

This chicken recipe comes from one of our most treasured, out-of-print books, Cooking With The Young Chefs of France, published in 1981. Author Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz selects favorite recipes on her journeys through the provinces of France, crediting the generosity of the chefs who shared their recipes with her. She also offers her own adaptations and includes recipes like this one, inspired by the sight of "very fat, fresh green scallions in the market".

1 whole chicken breast, boned and halved.
1 sweet potato roasted in the skin, in a moderate oven for one hour
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
4 tablespoons butter
2 bunches of scallions, trimmed, keeping 2 inches of the green part
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup Chicken stock
1/4 cup heavy cream or sour cream

1. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.

2. In a heavy skillet with a lid, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter and saute chicken breasts until they are lightly browned on both sides, about 4 minutes.

3. Add the scallions and saute for about 2 minutes longer.

4. Pour in the white wine and stock, cover, simmer until chicken is done, about 10 minutes. Chicken breasts are done when they are firm and springy to the touch. It is important not to overcook them as they lose their juiciness.

5. Lift chicken breasts and scallions to a serving dish and keep warm.

6. Over high heat, reduce pan juices to half. Beat in remaining butter, cut into bits, and stir in the cream until heated through. Spoon sauce over the chicken. Serve with rice and steamed vegetables. We chose young zucchinis and roasted sweet potato.

Tip: In the USA, we find the chicken from the Asian stores is more flavorful (actually tastes the way chicken should, tastes like chicken!). If limited to "supermarket" choices, look for chicken grown without antibiotics or hormones and other "additives".