Chicken Angelique

My family had this special dish that my mom found in a magazine. She always called it Chicken Angelique and I have never seen it in a cookbook. It was small bite sized cubes of chicken breast fried until browned and done inside. You make a lovely French sauce of celery, green onions, garlic, bacon, broth and milk. Serve it on top of fluffy white rice and have a side dish of steamed fresh asparagus and it was a meal for royalty. My mom made it only for company like my grandparents or aunts and uncles. She served it on her and my father’s twenty fifth wedding anniversary when I was a kid. When Mom turned 100 my sister Karen and I made it for her birthday supper and it was a good as I ever remembered it. A small labor of love for our lovely mother and she was thrilled to enjoy it on that momentous occasion. 

Notes: The raw chicken cuts into cubes better if it is partially frozen. I had frozen it for 5 days and I cut it up before it thawed fully.  Do use the entire scallion minus the roots of course! It adds a nice hint of scallion to the sauce. My sister put enough of the green leaves that her sauce was pale green; quite lovely actually. That one slice of bacon is very important; adds a special bit of flavor. Do not use anything less than 2 percent milk in the sauce. I prefer whole milk which is what my mom used. We had a milk cow, and she used a mechanical separator machine that gave a stream of milk and a lesser stream of thick cream. Use tender celery and real butter for the best flavor. I used rice flour, but you can use all-purpose flour if you don’t need to be gluten free.  Enjoy!

This is the only picture I took of it, the one of it in the pan was slightly out of focus; I was just too busy cooking and wasn’t thinking much about sharing pictures.
I did take a picture of the rice! Lovely fluffy basmati rice.

Mom’s Chicken Angelique,  serves 4-5

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts

½ tsp. salt and 3 Tbsp. rice flour (pepper is optional)

1 Tbsp and 1 tsp. butter

1-2 Tbsp. mild olive oil or canola oil

Sauce:

1 slice cold bacon; mince it up

1 smaller rib celery chopped finely

4 green onions chopped finely

1 small clove garlic minced

1 Tbsp. mild olive oil

2 chicken bouillon cubes dissolved in 1 cup boiling hot water

1 small bay leaf

1/8 tsp. thyme, skimp it a bit

2 Tbsp rice flour or slightly less all purpose flour

1 cup plus 3 Tbsp. whole milk

1 medium egg yolk (I used the smallest egg out of a dozen large ones) Stirred up a bit

8 oz fresh small mushrooms; slice them medium thin after cutting of the bottom of the stem

1 tbsp butter and 1 tsp. oil

Make the sauce first. Using a large sauce pan; heat it; add oil, bacon, celery, green onions; cook 2-3 minutes; add the garlic and cook another minute. Light brown; not dark brown. Add the hot bullion, the bay leaf and the thyme. Simmer it covered for 15 minutes. (while the sauce simmers, slice the raw mushrooms and cook them in a tablespoon of butter and a dash of cooking oil. Turn off when they look done. Back to the sauce: you can then blend it in a blender until smooth but we never bother with that step. Mix a tablespoon of flour with half a cup of the milk and add to the sauce; heat on medium stirring constantly until it starts to thicken. Put the rest of the flour in with another half cup of milk; add to sauce and cook a few moments. Add a half cup of the sauce into the cup with the stirred-up egg yolk to warm it up and then dump it all back into the sauce pan. Stir well as you add the rest of the milk. It should be like slightly thick gravy. Add the sautéed mushrooms to it. Turn to the lowest setting to keep it warm while you make the chicken.

The chicken should be skinless; cut it up into 1-inch cubes. Roll in flour that you salted a bit. Heat a large saucepan, add the oil and butter. I did my chicken in 3 batches. There should be a bit of space between the cubes. Turn them 1-2 times to brown the sides. I used a dinner fork to do that. I put the done ones into a bowl, and you will probably need to add another tablespoon of oil for each batch.  When they are all browned you are ready to bring It together with the sauce. You should have made some white rice to serve with them. And a vegetable like asparagus, peas or whatever you enjoy. Pour the hot cooked cubes into the sauce and serve it on a bed of hot rice. Some people sprinkle some paprika or fresh parsley on top, but I don’t really bother with that. Enjoy!

Eggplant Potato Moussaka: Opa!

It being fall, the garden is winding down but there are still eggplants to pick in my garden.  Kinda tired of the usual stuff I make with eggplants so I did some research and came up with moussaka, a Greek eggplant casserole.  I made it once long ago and remembered it as tasty. This recipe is from food network and is by Emeril Lagasse, he of the “Bam” exclamation.  It is a fair amount of work; took me about 90 minutes to put it together, 45 minutes to bake and another 50 minutes of resting time before you can cut into it.  Gotta say it was worth the effort. Everyone who ate it were crazy about the flavors.mousakka-014

My alterations: I used a mixture of ground pork and ground lamb (recipe is 50/50 ground beef and ground lamb) and subbed in white wine for red as that was all I had.  Ditto in my subbing of a red onion for the yellow onion and chopped fresh tomatoes for the crushed tomatoes.  Sometimes I am unwilling to make a second run to the grocery store to spend $ for something if I can sub in a different but similar ingredient.  To make it gf I used white rice flour; it was okay; next time I am trying brown rice flour or a flour blend to see if it sticks tighter and browns better. Worked but not sure white rice was the best flour choice.  I used brown rice flour in the sauce but I am guessing any gf flour will work.  The cheese I used was fresh grated Parmesan; three choices are provided.  Never heard of Kefalotiri and I am allergic to Romano.  Plus: that’s what I had in the cheese drawer.

I read some of the comments people made on the recipe; I’m thinking about roasting my eggplant slices if I am in a hurry. I used less oil than the recipe and some of my oil was canola as I was running out of olive oil; couldn’t tell the difference in the final product. I might add a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg next time too, and there will be a next time as this tastes amazing.  PS: I used a mixture of whole milk and 1 percent for the béchamel sauce.

This recipe is too involved to put in my post; here is a link to the recipe.  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/eggplant-and-potato-moussaka-recipe.html

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Have fun making it; a great recipe for 2-3 folks to work on together.  Super entrée choice for a family gathering.  Enjoy!