Recipe: Chicken Veronique
I’ve been making this Chicken Veronique dish since I was a teenager…. And quite honestly I don’t know where the original recipe came from… I do know… that I’ve tweaked it over the years (big surprise).
With Valentine’s Day next month I thought I would post an easy and quick chicken dish that really will look elegant and like you spent so much time preparing it… but only you and I will know that it went together in under 30 minutes… it’s very simple and quick to prepare.
There are many Veronique recipes out there… some use chicken, like mine.. others use various types of seafood…. they all have a few things in common though… tarragon seems the herb of choice… dry white wine (although you can make this using only chicken stock)…. and grapes… most use some sort of cream or thickening agent of some type..
I used to make my sauce for this solely with dry white wine… but since not everyone is a wine lover like me… I cut the wine quantity in half and used half wine and half chicken stock… the result is really delicious.. a light wine flavor seasoned with tarragon and sautéed shallots in butter…finished off with a little heavy cream and grapes……all the flavors light and just totally delicious…
Use a good dry wine of drinkable quality… avoid those “cooking wines” found in the grocery store. I used a Sauvignon Blanc…. I usually prefer American Sauvignon Blancs but decided to try a New Zealand one from Monkey Bay … I was very pleased with it…
When poaching the chicken .. have a gentle simmer or the chicken will be a tougher.
You can substitute a good margarine for the butter.
Try to use shallots and not substitute onion… shallots have a really delicate flavor that is perfect with this dish. Finely chop the shallots… I used my beloved mini chopper.
You can also use boneless chicken breast halves instead of cutlets.
Depending on the size and thickness of your chicken... I figure two per person… this recipe would serve 2.
You can make this slightly ahead… and reheat… but remember reheating sauces with cream in it can be tricky… the cream has a tendency to separate…. Re-heat in a low oven temp oven (200 degrees F) in an oven proof dish or in the microwave…. I re-heated the leftovers and had them for lunch… and they were as good as the first time… heat on 50% until warm… stirring periodically.
I served this with rice (brown rice is a good choice) cooked with chicken broth instead of water or couscous would also be good accompaniment and a small salad….
Recipe: Chicken Veronique
All you need:
4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves or thin-sliced chicken cutlets
4 tablespoons butter, divided
2 large shallots, finely chopped
1 ½ cups green seedless grapes
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup chicken stock, divided
3 teaspoons dried tarragon
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup heavy cream
All you need to do:
In a large skillet, melt three tablespoons butter over medium high heat.
Season the chicken cutlets with a sprinkling of salt, pepper and tarragon.
Add the chicken to the skillet and sear both sides until they are slightly browned.
Remove the chicken to a plate.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet.
Turn the heat down to medium and add the finely chopped shallots.
Cook the shallots until translucent.
Add the wine to deglaze the pan, scraping any bits off the bottom.
Add ¼ cup chicken broth, grapes and 3 teaspoons of tarragon.
Return the chicken to the pan and gently poach (low simmer) until the chicken is fully cooked… about 5 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken.
Remove the chicken and remove to an oven proof platter and cover with foil….keep warm in a low temp oven while cooking the sauce.
Turn the heat back up to medium high and add the cream.
In a measuring cup, mix the remaining ¼ cup chicken stock with 2 teaspoons cornstarch. Mix until smooth.
Add some hot sauce from the pan to the cornstarch and mix well.
Add the mixture to the sauce in the pan and cook until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon… (the sauce will boil)… stir frequently.
If for some reason the sauce doesn’t thicken to your liking… add more cornstarch to the measuring cup and add some of the pan sauce to it… mix well and add into the pan, stirring it well.
This process shouldn’t take more than about five minutes.
Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
Spoon sauce over the chicken and serve.
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