Friday, June 26, 2009

Rachael Ray’s Brandied Tarragon Cream Chicken (Chicken a la Vallee d'Auge), Camembert Rice and Beautiful Summer Salad

This is another one of those meals you could have over and over again! Sometimes I watch Rachael Ray’s 30 Minute Meals and want to make what she is cooking. This was definitely one of those times! The way she was describing the flavors, I felt like I could smell them through the TV!!!! I paired this dish with a simple summer salad I made, I was going to add mandarin oranges but the chicken smelled so good I forgot!

Rachael Ray’s Brandied Tarragon Cream Chicken (Chicken a la Vallee d'Auge) and Camembert Rice

3 tablespoons butter, divided

1 1/2 cups rice

3 cups chicken stock

4 ounces Camembert cheese, cut into small pieces (I found this next to the brie in my local grocery store and I removed the rind of the cheese before putting it the rice)

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

4 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breast (we only had 3 pieces, no biggie)

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 large shallots, thinly sliced

1/4 cup calvados or applejack brandy (I used applejack brandy)

6 large white mushrooms, thinly sliced (I bought the packaged sliced kind-one little packaged crate is enough)

1/4 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves (I used 2 ½ to 3 tablespoons, really brings out all the favors)

In a medium sauce pot over medium heat melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add rice and toss to coat, toast 2 to 3 minutes until fragrant.

Add stock and bring to a boil. (At this step I decided to pour in 1 ½ tablespoons of the Applejack brandy right from the bottle- it really gave this a great flavor and I plan to do this again the next time I make it). Reduce heat to a simmer and cook 18 minutes, fluff with fork and stir in Camembert to melt.

While the rice cooks, heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and dredge chicken lightly in flour and shake off any excess.

Brown chicken 3 to 4 minutes on each side.

Remove chicken and reduce heat a little and melt in remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Sauté the shallots 3 minutes until soft but not browned.

Remove pan from the heat, add the brandy and ignite with a long kitchen match until the flame subsides.

Return pan to the heat, add mushrooms and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add wine and reduce 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in cream and tarragon and slide chicken back into the pan.. Reduce heat to low and simmer 8 to 10 minutes. Place rice and chicken with sauce on a plate and enjoy!

Quick and Beautiful Summer Salad

1 package of Fresh Express Field Greens Salad (or whatever brand you can buy)

1 yellow bell pepper, julienned (not thin)

½ pint to 1 pint strawberries, sliced

1 cucumber sliced

1 package of cherry tomatoes, tomatoes sliced in half

Champagne dressing (enough to lightly coat the salad and to taste)

Salt and Pepper

Take a large salad bowl and combine all ingredients together until well combined, sprinkle salt and pepper to taste and then add the dressing. Yum!

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