It's been a while since I've done one of these... long overdue if you ask me; and I figured I'd make it a good one.
The recipe is actually a basic variant on chicken a la Francese (which is an italian dish, invoking a french feel), with my own little twists.
The basic chicken francese, has a lemon butter, and black pepper sauce; but I prefer this kind of a variant sauce Allemande with it (a Veloute, mixed with a Hollandaise, makes an Allemande... sort of).
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts with tenderloin attached (typically about 1.5lbs)Seasonings:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced (optional)
2 challots, minced fine (optional)
2oz parmagiano regiano
2 fresh lemons, juiced
1-2tblsp olive oil
1tblsp red wine vinegar, or vinegar based hot sauce
2 cloves garlicPreparation:
2 tblsp fresh parsley, finely chopped (substitute chervil for a more french flavor)
2 tblsp fresh coarse ground black pepper
1 tblsp fresh basil, finely chopped (substitute tarragon for a more french flavor)
1 tblsp fine ground white pepper
1 tblsp hot chili pepper powder
1tsp dried oregano
1tsp dried basil
1tsp garlic powder
1tsp onion powder
Salt to taste
First step, section the chicken breast into small cutlets or tenderloins, and pound thin; but not too thin. You want the chicken thin enough that it will cook quickly under gentle heat, but not so thin that it will either fall apart, or get tough when cooked.And be sure to check out:
Heat the oil, and the butter in a large, deep walled skillet, on medium heat; until the water boils off and the butter lightly browns. Let the nutty aroma develop, but don't burn the butter.
Smash the garlic (and if your using them, the shallots), and lightly saute in the butter on medium to medium-low heat.
Combine the dry spices, except the black pepper and half the cheese, with the flour; in a tray or container etc... large enough to dredge the chicken through. Beat up the two eggs in a vessel large enough to dip the chicken in; along with a teaspoon of vinegar, or a vinegar based hot sauce.
Turn the heat up a little bit on the butter and oil, but be careful not to burn it, or let it get too hot. You want it just hot enough to gently cook the chicken. Dip the chicken pieces in the egg, then heavily dredge them in the flour, and lay them in the hot butter and oil.
Fill the pan quickly and evenly, and gently cook 'til the edges just start to turn white; moving often, and adding additional oil or butter as necessary to maintain a shallow fry up the edges of the meat.
Add in the basil, and if you are using them, the mushrooms, then turn the chicken pieces, and cook as with the other side, again making sure not to burn the flour or the butter and oil.
Once the chicken is just barely cooked, pull it out onto a plate and cover with foil. DO NOT FULLY COOK THE CHICKEN IN THE PAN, the residual heat will carry over cooking on the plate.
At this point you should have the start of a solid roux in the pan. There should be 2-4 ounces of oil-butter in the pan, and a golden, or walnut roux forming. Make sure theres at least 3oz of the hot fat in the pan, and add enough of the leftover flour mixture to make at least a half cup of roux.
Add in the cracked black pepper, and cook the roux to walnut, or chocolate stage (depending on how you like your roux). Deglaze the pan with the broth and wine mixture, incorporating thoroughly.
Temper the sauce into the remaining beaten eggs, and then add it back into the pan, again incorporating thoroughly. Once it's smooth, add in the lemon juice, stir in til completely smooth.
At this point, the sauce should be very slightly custardy, but still flow nicely. The ideal texture is just a bit thicker than coating the back of a spoon. If necessary, you can cook a bit more, but be very careful about the heat, or the egg could curd up and the fats could separate.
Once the desired texture has been reached, take the sauce off the heat, and lightly toss in the parsley.
Plate the chicken, over rice or pasta; or if you're feeling really ambitions on a bed of fresh chunked tomatoes and cucumbers, with risotto.
Spoon the sauce over the the chicken (and the pasta or rice if you like), and garnish with parsley, freshly shredded cheese, and chunked tomatoes.
The recipe serves two; or if you use a smaller chicken portion with a large side or starch base, four.
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