GENEROSITY OF SPIRIT – THE ENTERTAINING SECRET
The true secret to entertaining is generosity. Generosity of your time, your thoughts, the food you prepare. When you cook for people, don’t be meager. Be hospitable: cook lovely, rich meals that are meant for special occasions, and serve an abundance of food carefully prepared. This is not the time to serve processed food. We know ready-prepared dips, salads, desserts are available, but whether you are entertaining your friends or feeding your family there really is no acceptable time to use processed food, food your prepare in your kitchen allows you to control salt and fat content and eliminate additives.
This recipe is easy to prepare for your family, but rich enough to make it the perfect dish for your next dinner party. It is typical French cooking home style. Serve it in wide bowls over noodles or rice.
FRENCH CHICKEN FRICASSEE IN WHITE WINE SAUCE – serves four to six
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 to 10 chicken thighs
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 – 3 fat cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot finely chopped
1/2 rib of celery finely chopped
2 oz. prosciutto finely chopped (if prosciutto is not available use country ham from your deli)
1 generous cup dry white wine
l generous cup of home-made or low salt chicken broth
a generous 1/2 cup of whipping cream
Melt the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook in the skillet skin side down to brown it and render the far from the skin, about 15 minutes. Turn the chicken over and cook on the bone side for about 5 minutes.
Remove and reserve the chicken.
Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pan. Add the garlic, onion, carrot, celery and prosciutto or ham and saute until the onion is translucent. Don’t hurry this. Allow this vegetable mixture to slowly braise.
Now add the wine and chicken broth to the pan . Savour the wonderful aroma as it combines with the vegetables. Simmer to reduce the liquid a small amount. Put the chicken back into the pan, skin side up. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover the skillet and simmer the chicken slowly in the sauce until cooked , about 25 – 30 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the pan and keep it warm in the oven. Turn the heat to high, add the cream and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the volume of liquid by about half, about 5 minutes (6-7 minutes if you want a thicker sauce). If you get carried away and reduce the sauce too much just add a little more cream and wine. Serve the chicken nestled in the delicious white wine sauce. Serve yourself a glass of wine. You deserve it.