Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Poulet Sauté Marseillaise

     Chicken In The Style Of Marseille!
     In America, French food has a stereotypical reputation of being very rich heavy food that is sauced with cream and butter.  That is far from the truth.  The regions of Provence and southern France boast plenty of light healthy Mediterranean style food that is perfect for warm summer weather.
     Today's recipe is well over 150 years old.  French recipes from the 1800's tend to be a bit complex and they were written descriptively, with no photos of the finished dish.  An experienced chef has no problem following such a recipe, but a home cook may just pass it up.  This is why I occasionally publish modern versions of classic descriptive recipes.  Writing a modern descriptive recipe that has accompanying photos helps modern cooks to see how an antique entrée should look.  The object is to inspire a reader to say "I can make that!"
     Poulet Sauté Marseillaise requires sauté and braising techniques.  This is a quickly made sauté recipe, so be sure to have all the ingredients ready before starting.
     Traditionally, this recipe is made with an Airline Chicken Breast (Frenched Chicken Breast).  An Airline Chicken Breast is a boneless breast with the wing drumette and skin attached.  I used 5 chicken tenders to make this recipe instead of a Frenched Chicken Breast, because that is what I had on hand.  Chicken tenders turn this classic recipe into a casual café style lunch item and this is okay.  For a dinner entrée, it is best to use a Frenched Chicken Breast and Sauté till the skin is crisp.
     Poulet Sauté Marseillaise:
     This recipe yields 1 entrée.
     The Chicken Tender is the section of meat that is next to the breast bone and is easily separated by hand from the chicken breast filet.  I tend to save chicken tenders while butchering chicken and freeze them for later use.  Chicken tenders can be bought fresh at a grocer too.
     This is a late 1800's version of Poulet Saute Marseillaise.  The tomatoes should not be peeled for this recipe.  This recipe could be considered to be a test of how long the tomato quarters can be cooked, without the skin completely falling off. 
     Step 1:  Cut the thick tendon off of the wide end of 5 chicken tenders.
     Step 2:  Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add the chicken tenders.  
     Sauté the chicken tenders till golden highlights appear.
     Step 3:  Add 3 cloves of finely chopped garlic.
     Cut 1 plum tomato lengthwise in quarters.  Scrape off the tomato seeds.
     Add the tomato quarters to the pan.
     Add 1/3 cup of mixed small chopped green and red bell pepper.
     Season with sea salt and black pepper.
     Briefly sauté till the peppers and tomato start to cook.  (About 1 minute.)
     Step 4:  Add 6 ounces of dry white wine.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice.
     Rapidly simmer and reduce till the liquid is nearly evaporated.  (Try not to disturb the tomato quarters, so they are not damaged.)
     Remove the pan from the heat.
     Step 1:  Place the chicken tenders in a row on a plate.
     Place the tomato quarters between each of the the chicken tenders.
     Spoon the soft peppers and garlic over the chicken.
     Sprinkle 2 pinches of chopped parsley over the chicken.
     Step 2:  Garnish the plate with parsley sprigs and lemon slices.
     Serve with rice pilaf and a vegetable of your choice.
     *The pilaf in the photos was flavored with vegetable stock and Herbs de Provence.  Steamed buttered sweet snap peas are a nice choice for summer.

     Light, lemony, white wine flavored garlic, peppers and tomatoes tastes great with chicken.  As one can see, Poulet Sauté Marseillaise is not a saucy entrée at all.  This is healthy French Mediterranean cooking!

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