It’s delectable. It’s ever-so satisfying and a fantastic meal for weeknight, date night or anytime! The inspiration for this French Country Chicken came from watching Julie and Julia this week, a movie I’ve seen many times before. But this time, watching the iconic television chef and the food blogger who cooked one of Julia Child’s meals every day for one year, made me go hunting through my recipe collection for some of my favorite French classics. This French Chicken with Vermouth Sauce would make both the professional chef and the home cook rock stars in the kitchen! I taught this dish at one of my recent cooking classes at Sweet Basil Gourmetware and Cooking School in Scottsdale, and it was a joy to see the students sop up the succulent sauce with a piece of fresh crusty French bread. As Julia would say, Bon Appétit!
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 pounds boneless chicken thighs
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
- 1/2 rib celery, finely chopped
- 2 ounces prosciutto or country ham, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup Vermouth
- 3/4 cup homemade or low-salt canned chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream, at room temperature
- Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 cups rice for serving with chicken
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook it in the skillet on the skin side to brown it and to render the fat from the skin, about 15 minutes. Turn the chicken over and cook on the bone side for about 5 minutes. Remove and reserve the chicken. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pan. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and prosciutto or ham and sauté until the onion is browned and the vegetables are softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the vermouth and chicken stock to the pan and stir to combine with vegetables. Put the chicken back into the pan. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover the skillet with a lid, and simmer the chicken in the sauce until cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Make the rice. In a pot, add rice and fill with water just to one inch above the rice. Cook over medium heat with lid on. Do not remove lid or stir the rice during the cooking process. When rice is done, fluff it gently. Remove the chicken from the pan, turn the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the volume of liquid by half, about 5 minutes (or 6 to 7 minutes if you want a thicker sauce). Add the cream, stir to combine, and return the chicken to the pan. Simmer until the chicken is coated and hot. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley. Serve over pasta or a bed of rice.