Subject: The Declaration of American Chicken: A Jeffersonian fricassee!
Date: Tuesday 18th September 2007 13:40:56 UTC (over 9 years ago)
The Declaration of American Chicken: A Jeffersonian fricassee! Thomas Jefferson, the 3rd President of the USA and author of the Declaration of Independence, was ambassador to France, during the turbulent years of the French Revolution. He picked up some recipes and learned various culinary techniques while assigned there. After bringing the recipes back with him, he, suitably, americanized them. The following recipe was found in one of his diaries, and has not been altered, except for the descriptions in the cooking method. Jefferson, also, while traveling in Southern Italy, purchased a large batch of Cannabis Indica seeds; He brought them back with him and planted them in a 'special plot' at Monticello. At least, America started out correctly: There were no McDonalds and no narc squads, pervading thru-out... 3 lbs. chicken pieces 1 Tsp salt 1/2 Tsp ground nutmeg 1/2 Tsp black pepper 1/2 Tsp paprika 3 Tbl flour 2 cups water 1 cup dry white wine 3 Tbl butter 1 onion, chopped finely 2 cups fresh small mushrooms, quartered 1 Tbl fresh sage leaves, chopped 1 Tbl fresh parsley, chopped 1 cup half and half (1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup whole milk) 2 cups raw rice, prepared to package directions olive, peanut oil or butter Rinse off the chicken pieces with water and dry them off with paper towels. Sprinkle all sides of the chicken with salt, pepper, nutmeg and paprika. Heat up a Dutch oven over a medium-high flame. Brown the chicken in oil, severely, on both sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and de-grease the pan. Reduce the flame to medium-low. Melt 3 Tbl of butter in the pan, add the flour, and whisk until the roux becomes golden brown in color. Whisk in 2 cups of water and 1 cup of wine, gradually, until the gravy becomes very smooth. Return chicken to the pan, slowly bring the liquids to a boil, tightly cover the pan and reduce heat to a slow simmer. Braise this dish for 45-50 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces, periodically. Remove the chicken from the pan and place into a large bowl. Pour the braising gravy over the chicken. Melt 2 Tbl of butter in the Dutch oven, add onions, and saute until lightly browned. Add the mushrooms, sage, and parsley, and sweat them down. Pour in the braising gravy. Bring the sauce up to a simmer. Introduce the half and half. Reduce the sauce over medium-low heat, until it coats the back of a spoon. Check for seasoning. When perfectly reduced, add the chicken back to the pan and heat the chicken thru. Serve this dish over hot rice.