It’s been a long time since our resident chef made a guest appearance on the blog. It was not that we did not have culinary experiments during that time, it is simply that we did not bother to take pictures and write up recipes.
Correcting that oversight, here is rather modestly named chicken with shrimp (it sounds more sophisticated in French: Poulet aux Crevettes). Trust me, there is nothing bland about this dish.
- 3 pound chicken, cut into 8-10 pieces
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 12-14 large shrimp or live crayfish, with heads if possible
- 1 small onion, halved and sliced
- 2 tbsp flour
- ¾ cup dry white wine
- 2 tbsp brandy
- 1 ¼- 1 ½ cup chicken broth
- 3 medium tomatoes, cored and quartered
- 1 or 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- bouquet garni (bunch of herbs such as bay leaf, thyme sprigs, parsley stalks)
- 6 tbsp heavy cream
- salt, pepper
- fresh parsley, to garnish
Here is what it looks like in the pan when ready:
- Wash the chicken pieces, then pat dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
- Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole and cook the shrimp or crayfish over high heat until they turn a bright color. Remove the shrimp or crayfish, cool slightly and then peel away the heads and shells and reserve. Chill the peeled tails.
- Add the chicken to the casserole, skin side down, and cook over medium until golden brown, turning to color evenly and cooking in batches if necessary. Transfer the chicken to a plate and pour off all but 1 tbsp of the fat.
- In the same casserole, cook the onion over medium-high heat until golden, stirring frequently, then add the wine and brandy and bring to the boil, stirring constantly.
- Add the broth, shrimp or crayfish heads and shells, tomatoes, garlic and bouquet garni with the chicken pieces and any juices. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to very low. Cover the casserole and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is tender and the juices run clear when the thickest part of the meat is pierced with a knife.
- Remove the chicken pieces from the casserole and strain the cooking liquid, pressing down on the shells and vegetables to extract as much liquid as possible. Skim off the fat from the cooking liquid and return liquid to the pan. Add the cream and boil until it is reduced by one-third and slightly thickened.
- Return the chicken pieces to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Just before serving, add the shrimp or crayfish tails and heat through. Arrange on warmed plates, pour over some of the sauce and garnish with fresh parsley.
Here is what it looks like served on a plate:
Have pieces of bread prepared to wipe off the sauce from your plate! You will not be able to resist!