Serves 4 to 6 Equipment: large heavy skillet with a lid, tongs Preparation Time: 10 minutes if the chicken is in pieces; 20 if not Cooking Time: 40 minutes max Difficulty Level: simple
This is a dish from a farm in the Dordogne, where the walnuts are sweet, fat, and buttery tasting, and they make a perfect complement to poultry. This is the kind of dish that you settle down to with comfort and anticipation, because it’s got all the right elements, from cloves of garlic bursting with their sweet flavor to the golden chicken and walnuts and the tang of lemon that lifts the dish out of the ordinary. Serve this with a lovely Chardonnay.
2 tablespoons olive oil
One 3½- to 4-pound (1.8 to 2 kg) chicken, cut into 8 pieces (2 breast pieces, 2 wings with portion of breast attached, 2 legs, 2 thighs), giblets reserved
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1½ to 2 cups (375 to 500 ml) white wine, such as a sauvignon blanc
12 garlic cloves
1¼ cups (140 g) walnut halves or large pieces
Fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs for garnish
Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, brown the chicken pieces, seasoning them liberally with salt and pepper, until they are golden, about 5 minutes per side, using tongs to turn the chicken pieces.
Add the lemon juice, ½ cup (125 ml) of the wine, and the garlic cloves to the skillet. Lower the heat to medium, cover, and cook until the chicken is nearly cooked through, about 15 minutes. Then stir the walnuts into the skillet, along with the giblets, cover, and continue to cook for about 8 minutes. Remove the cover from the skillet and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the pan juices have evaporated and the chicken, walnuts, and garlic are golden, 5 to 8 minutes. Be sure to watch the walnuts, for they tend to brown easily. If they are getting too brown at any point in the cooking, remove and return them to the pan just before serving.
Transfer the chicken, garlic, and walnuts to a warmed serving platter and deglaze the skillet with the remaining wine, scraping the bottom to loosen any caramelized bits. Begin by adding the smaller amount of wine; if you need more, top it up with the remaining wine and cook until the sauce is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Then pour the sauce over the chicken, garnish with the parsley sprigs, and serve immediately.
Recipe from Plat Du Jour – French Dinners Made Easy by Susan Herrmann Loomis. Used with permission.
Mr. Fitzmorris says it took him about 50 tries to match the flavor of Antoine’s recipe. So if you want to give it a try, I’d say he saved you a good deal of time and expense.
2 cups celery, chopped
1 1/2 cup scallion tops,chopped
2 cups parsley leaves, chopped
1 cup fresh fennel, chopped (bulbs,stalks and/or fronds are fine)
1 cup watercress, chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic, chopped
3 anchovy filets, rinsed and chopped
Liquor from 4 dozen oysters plus enough water to make 2 cups of liquid
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
2 drops green food coloring (Fitzmorris says this is optional, but authentic)
1/2 pound butter
1 cup flour
1 1/2 cup very fine fresh bread crumbs
4 dozen oysters
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Combine the vegetables and anchovies in small batches, and process to a near puree in a food processor, using enough of the oyster liquor/water mixture to keep things moving.
Combine the vegetable/anchovy mixture with the rest of the liquid in a saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring every now and then, until the excess water is gone, but the greens reman very moist. Add the sugar, ketchup, salt, white pepper, cayenne, Worchestershire, bitters and food coloring.
Make a blond roux with the butter and flour. Blend well into the greens, until the sauce takes on a lighter texture. Mix in the bread crumbs.
Place the fresh oysters into oyster shells, small ovenproof ramekins or gratin dishes. Top each oyster with a generous tablespoon (or more, if you like) of the sauce. Bake fifteen minutes, until the sauce barely begins to brown. Serve immediately.
Note: If you bake the oysters on shells, serve on a bed of rock salt to keep the shells steady.