New Recipe Note:
Poulet à la crème
8 October 2018

¶ Why haven’t I known of this dish for years? In fact, I never heard about it until it was mentioned in a novel by Elizabeth Jane Howard. Then I looked it up in Mrs David. As I recall, she wasn’t very keen on it — too creamy and drab. I ought to have borne that in mind. Instead, I downloaded a recipe in French. I learned three things from the recipe. Revenir means, among other things, “to brown.” A boîte of mushrooms is a tin of cooked mushrooms. And don’t use this recipe again. Way too creamy and drab. 

My second mistake was to try to sauté eight pieces of chicken in one batch. Inevitably (but I hadn’t sautéed chicken in a while), the pieces stuck to the pan and the skin tore off. So the dish was deprived of the revenu — the chicken wasn’t really browned. The third mistake was to cook a package of pre-sliced button mushrooms. The mushrooms were slightly tired-looking when I bought them, to be honest. And then there was the crème fraîche. Cream or even sour cream would have had more flavor. 

Next time, I’ll sauté the chicken in my twelve-inch nonstick skillet. I’ll choose better mushrooms, and substitute shallots for the onion. As for the cream, how about stirring in some grated pepper jack? 

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