Inspiring French Meal with Chicken and Artichokes

I prepared this meal for my husband this last Tuesday, and he absolutely loved it. “Wow!” he said. ” Thank you so much for spending the time to make me this excellent meal.”

I’m wishing we could include this recipe in our cookbook, but it has already gone to typesetting.  Yay!                     [RuthAnn]

Dale’s World:

Chicken with Artichokes, Mushrooms and Capers

This recipe has its origins in the Normandy region of France. Normandy is populated with as many cows as people, and many recipes from there call for rich cream and butter.

Calvados is an apple brandy from the same region and gives this recipe a little sweetness. If you can’t find Calvados, use cognac as a substitute.

You will have no problem finding an appropriate cut of the chicken because any part of the fowl will work here. Try it first with a whole cut up chicken, but if that is more than you need for your family, try it with thighs or breast fillets. Typical of traditional recipes, precise measurements are out of place. With these ingredients you can’t go wrong.

You will need:

Chicken for four                  4 to 6 mushrooms, more or loess

Salt                                         1 cup Frozen Artichoke Hearts

1/3 cup Flour                        1 cup Chicken Stock

1 Shallot                                3/4 cup cream

2 Cloves Garlic                      2 Tablespoons Calvados

3/4 cup white wine                3 Tablespoons Butter

1 pinch Nutmeg                       1 Tablespoon Capers

2 Tablespoons chopped Parsley

White Pepper

Preparation:

1. Cut the chicken into serving pieces.

2. Put the chicken pieces, 1/3 cup flour, salt, pepper in a paper or plastic bag and shake to coat the chicken.

3. Mince the shallot and the two cloves of garlic.

4. Slice the mushrooms.

5. There is no need to defrost the artichokes, just dump a few in a cup. Add more or use less according to your whim.

6. Chop the parsley. It’s your garnish.

Cook:

1. In a large skillet or saute pan, brown the chicken pieces in two tablespoons of butter. Don’t worry about getting them cooked through, because they will simmer in the sauce later. Just get them to a golden brown color. Take the chicken pieces out of the pan and set them aside.

2. Saute the garlic and shallot in the remaining 1 Tablespoon of butter, just until the edges become translucent. Do not brown or they will become bitter.

3. Return the chicken to the pan and add the mushrooms, artichokes, white wine, chicken stock, capers and nutmeg.

4. Bring everything to a simmer, cover it with a lid and let it cook slowly (probably at the lowest setting on your stove if your pan is heavy) for 30 minutes.

5. After cooking, remove the chicken and vegetables from the pan.

6. Add the 3/4 cup cream and 2 Tablespoons Calvados.

7. Turn your heat as high as it will go and reduce the liquids by 1/2.

8. Carefully taste the saunce (don’t burn your tongue), and make any adjustment to the seasoning. More salt or pepper? Can you taste that bit of nutmeg? It should be very faint, but you should be able to taste it. It is too late to add more garlic, but if you want more, make us of your garlic powder. That’s why you have it. What about the consistency of the sauce? It is not supposed to be like a heavy white sauce, but you could reduce it more, if you want it thicker. What about adding another tablespoon  of butter to enrich it further?

9. When the sauce has your signature on it, plate up the chicken and vegetables. Ladle the sauce over them. The sauce should make a pool covering the plate, to be sopped up with the meat or bread. Sprinkle the chopped parsley on top. Now all you need with this meal is a small green salad and a loaf of French bread. Hungry?                                 [Dale]

whole foods 046

Food for Thought:

United we Stand

I’ve always liked the idea of a one-skillet dinner. It sounds so easy, simple, a oneness—only one pan and everything contributing to the whole: pot roast with carrots and potatoes, stir fry with pork, green peppers, pecans. And talk about oneness, you must try Dale’s Chicken with Artichokes, Mushrooms and Capers for the optimum in synergism.

Since our upcoming cookbook is a collection of meals, it showcases one of Dale’s special talents—putting dishes together that compliment each other perfectly. The salad, main dish and side dishes make up a unity which delights.

Unity in almost any area lifts one’s spirit—a string quartet playing harmoniously from one score, a set of towels with different designs but the same blue colors, a doctor and nurse working in tandem, parents presenting a united front in the way they raise their young child. The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary defines unity as “The quality or condition of agreeing or being one in feeling, opinion, purpose, or action. Agreement, concord, harmony.”

My son-in-law’s step-father was recently telling me what an outstanding couple my daughter and his stepson were. I nodded in agreement and tried to express the fact that they had different gifts and personalities, but when you put them together they were wonderfully synergistic. I couldn’t think of the word synergistic, though. All I could come up with is synchronicity.

As a result, I’ve been thinking a lot about synergism, the idea that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. We see this in the body of Christ. It is made up of believers with different gifts but when they are all using their gifts the way God wants them to, they are a dynamo for the world.

In his matchless intercessory prayer in John 17, Jesus prayed that his disciples might be one as he and the father were one. And Ephesians 4 encourages us to endeavor to keep the Unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. When we do we can accomplish great things.

I believe that our mutual commitment to Christ has saved my marriage. It has given us unity of purpose, and a basis for our choices and decisions that keeps us both on the same track.

But there will always be a need to work at more unity in any relationship. Think about your different relationships. Where is there room for increased oneness? Consider these possible remedies: working on a project together, forgiving each other, finding a common interest, capitalizing on the parts of faith we can both agree on. Praying together, for example, often makes a palpable difference in a conflicted relationship.

“How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity. It is like the precious oil poured upon the head. . .as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore” (Psalm 133: 1-3). [RuthAnn]

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This entry was posted in Devotionals, Entreés, First Steps in Gourmet Cooking, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Inspiring French Meal with Chicken and Artichokes

  1. Marjorie Engle says:

    Fabulous! 🙂

  2. ruthann1 says:

    Dear Marjorie,
    It’s so good to hear from you. Yes, I thought this recipe was particularly fabulous too. I would love to hear more from you.
    Blessings,
    RuthAnn

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