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.
- 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
- 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.