Poulet a la Crème

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Poulet a la Crème or Chicken in Cream Sauce is a specialty of the town Bourg-en-Bresse. Originally, this simple recipe uses a whole cut-up chicken with water, a dash of flour, and a bit of cream to finish. In this version white wine and mushrooms are used to make the dish a bit more sophisticated, along with chicken thighs, which are the best part of the chicken. As a rule  of thumb, 1½ thighs per person should be a generous serving for a main course. A sprinkling of chopped tarragon finishes the dish, which is best served with rice pilaf.

Serves  4

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
6 chicken thighs
6 ounces mushrooms, washed and sliced
1½ Tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ cup chardonnay or dry white wine
¼ cup water
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup heavy cream
1 Tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh tarragon

Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the chicken thighs to the pan in one layer and brown over high heat for about 2½ minutes on each side.

Add the mushrooms to the pan and sprinkle on the flour. Turn the chicken pieces with tongs so the flour is dispersed evenly. Stir in the wine and water and mix well. Bring to a boil and add the salt and pepper. Cover, reduce the heat, and cook gently for 25 minutes.

Add the cream, bring to a boil, and boil, uncovered, for about 1 minute.

Garnish with a sprinkle of the chopped tarragon, and serve with rice pilaf.

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