Parlez-vous Francais?

I grew up in a house of eight people, the second of six kids. As expected, there was very little my siblings and I agreed on, especially meals.

My mother told us many times our kitchen was not a restaurant. We either ate what she made for dinner or we didn’t eat.

It’s sounds worse than it was. Usually ‘not eating’ meant having a bowl of cereal or a sandwich we made ourselves instead of the family meal. There was the wheat macaroni incident, though, that resulted in my older sister and I sitting at the kitchen table for an hour, as we both refused to touch it.

Apparently we had pushed our mother to her limits that day.

There were some meals, though, that everyone loved. Spaghetti (although mom did have to make non-meat sauce for my older sister and my dad when they went through their vegetarian phase). Tacos. Roast chicken. Turkey. Hamburgers. Steak. Pizza. Chicken Elegante.

Yes, our family would be fans of a French dish.

Chicken Elegante is not nearly as difficult as the name would suggest. It’s basically herbed chicken in a white wine sauce, served inside a crepe. I learned to make it when I was 12 and make it at least once a month for my family now.

My daughter loves the crepes and loves the chicken, but won’t touch the sauce. My son won’t have anything to do with any of it.

I need to adopt my mom’s ‘The kitchen is not a restaurant’ mantra.

CHICKEN ELEGANTE

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (roughly 1 lb.)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 1 tbsp tarragon
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 16 crepes (recipe below)

Melt butter in a large skillet. (You can do this on the stove top, but my mom always used an electric skillet for this recipe, so I do, too. I like that I can better control the temperature.) Add garlic. Stir. Before garlic burns, add wine and chicken broth. Add chicken, pepper, parsley and tarragon. Cook on medium low until chicken is cooked through.

Remove chicken from the skillet and slice into bite-sized pieces. Keep warm.

Turn up heat to skillet. Add heavy cream. Stir. 

Whisk egg yolks together in a small bowl. Add some of hot cream mixture to temper eggs, then pour into the skillet. Whisk continuously for a few minutes. Sauce will thicken. (You might need to get someone else to do that for you as you assemble the crepes since this recipe is best served hot! My husband used to be my whisker. Now it’s my daughter.) 

To assemble crepes, place some of the diced chicken in each crepe. Add some sauce. Roll up the crepes, then pour more sauce over it. A salad or steam asparagus is the perfect side to this dish.

BASIC CREPE RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

Whisk eggs and salt together. Add flour and milk, alternating one cup at a time and whisking each time. Add melted butter last. Stir. Refrigerate for one hour. 

To make crepe, heat a crepe pan (A small skillet works fin if you don’t have a crepe pan). Lightly grease. Measure about 1/4 cup batter into pan. Tilt pan to spread batter. Once crepe has lots of little bubbles, loosen any edges with spatula. Flip crepe over. This side cooks in seconds. Slide crepe from pan to plate. And start the process again.

A tip! My first crepe is always a bit of a mess. The process becomes easier as the pan adjusts to the heat. Don’t get discouraged if it takes you time to get the knack of it. You will soon and it is worth it.

Bon appetite!

Advertisements

One response

  1. Yeaaaa..love chicken elegante’..and did I really make you eat wheat macaroni? Wow..I must have been going through my health for the family phase..even I don’t eat wheat macaroni now! And YES you did begin making chicken elegante at age 12..You were and are an incredible cook and your Dad and I benefited from your skills as you would always create a wonderful Anniversary Dinner for us every August!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s