This is definitely a comfort food dish. To me it’s like a warm crackling fire, comfy couch and a favorite blanket. I like to make this after a long cold day, après-ski, accompanied by a basic rice pilaf and crisp green salad with a light vinaigrette. Pair this dish with a Viognier, which has a lush, soft character and a bone-dry finish. The Viognier grape has a slightly higher alcohol content which perfectly compliments the rich sauce. As chefs, this is something we whip up for ourselves because it is quick and very rewarding.
Poulet à la Crème
- 4- lbs skinless chicken thighs with bones in (optional)
- 2 tbsp butter unsalted
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1/2 white onion julienned (I used red on this day, it's not that important)
- 3 stalks of celery chopped
- 1/3 leek thoroughly cleaned and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves finely minced garlic fresh
- 8-10 oz crimini mushrooms cleaned and sliced
- 2 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 1½ cups Viognier or other dry white wine
- 2½ cups chicken stock
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- salt and ground white pepper to taste
- For the Sachet - use a bit of cheesecloth tied up with butcher's twine and include the following: 5 peppercorns crushed; 3 sprigs thyme; 1 bay leaf
- Herb Garnish: 3 stems each of parsley chive, and tarragon, finely chopped
- Being by preparing all cut vegetables.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Heat up the pan with the 2 tbsp of oil over medium high heat.
- Add the chicken and sear until browned on both sides, then remove and reserve.
- Next, add onion, celery, leek and garlic (and some butter and oil if necessary), then saute vegetables until tender. Once complete, remove and reserve with the chicken.
- Add mushrooms to the pan and cook until well browned.
- Stir in the flour and mix for 1-2 minutes.
- Deglaze with white wine.
- Once the wine has almost cooked out, return the vegetables, chicken and add the cream along with the sachet of herbs. Bring back to a simmer and place a lid on top.
- Cook the chicken until done, testing with a meat thermometer. The chicken should be around 170-180 degrees and very tender to the touch.
- Remove the sachet of herbs and discard.
- Add the remaining garnish herbs and serve over cooked white rice.