I did it. I made a meal on a regular weeknight for no other purpose other than in honor of Gossip Girl Monday. And my friend Liz came over so I didn't have to feel either sad and pathetic eating alone or completely indulgent for going through the trouble to cook fancy for no one. Even though the photos suggest the chicken fricassee was cold with chunky sauce (don't hold my shoddy photography skills against the poultry), it was quite good--creamy, tender, high in cholesterol. Just like meeting a boy with an accent makes him that much cuter, making a dish involving the word "fricassee," which I still don't know the meaning of, makes said entree that much better. I (almost) followed all the detailed directions to Julia Child's chicken stewed in onions and cream (believe it or not, that was one of the least gluttonous recipes as it involved only cream and not cream and egg yolks and bacon).
Liz and I finished an entire bottle of wine on a Monday night (Julia Child would have been proud I think) and totally forgot about Gossip Girl. We chit-chatted about boys, jobs, babies (just kidding, we did not talk about babies)--just the way to start out the week. Maybe next time I'll be up for trying coq au vin, which involves lighting something on fire. Exciting.
You know how you have those relationships in which one is the giver and the other is the taker? One person does most of the talking and the other does most of the listening? Well, I think with Liz, I'm the taker-talker. I hope I'm not too bad, and at least I bribe her with food, but she's such a great listener and totally lets me go off on my storytelling tangents including lots of hand motions and vocal outbursts. I'm glad I've got people around to humor me.
Chicken Stewed in Onions and Cream: from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, serves 4
2 chicken breasts, bone in
2 chicken legs, bone in
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
3/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups whipping cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Dry the chicken, apparently this is absolutely necessary. I don't know--I had never tried it before tonight. Melt the butter in a fire proof pot. Saute the chicken for about 5 minutes just so the outside stiffens. I think this is to trap in the juices a bit, so turn it as she goes. Remove the chicken and set aside. Saute the onions, covered, for 5 minutes until their softened but not browned. Spread salt, pepper and curry powder on the chicken to season. Place chicken back in the pot, cover and cook for 10 minutes, turning once. In a separate pot, bring the cream to a soft simmer.
Pour in the wine, bring to a rapid boil to reduce the volume of the liquid. Once the liquid is almost gone pour in the cream. Stir to combine and reduce heat so the liquid simmers lightly. Baste the chicken by spooning the sauce over it. Cover and cook for 30 minutes. Remove the chicken to a serving platter. Bring the sauce to a boil to thicken it. Add the lemon juice and more salt and pepper to taste. Sauce is done when is coats a spoon. Add more cream if the sauce is still chunky. Pour sauce over chicken and serve.