Poulet au Citron

When this meal hit the table Hubbard said it was one of the best I had cooked all year.  My friend, Dixon, loaned me “Simple French Food” by Richard Olney.  This is the only recipe I have tried from the book.  But, it’s already on my Christmas wish list.  Of course, I changed the recipe a little… only a little.

20-25 large garlic cloves, peeled without crushing, parboiled for 5 minutes and drained
2 1/2 cups chicken or veal stock (oh, yeah.  i’ve got tons of veal stock around.  not.)
4 chicken legs (I’m assuming the leg includes the thigh here.  I didn’t have legs.  I had six large thighs and used that.)
salt, pepper
3 tablespoons butter
1 lemon, peeled (all white inner peel removed), thinly sliced, seeds removed
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 dry white wine

After you parboil the garlic cloves, you poach them in the stock for 40 minutes, just at a simmer, covered.  Meanwhile, salt and pepper the chicken and brown it for 20-25 minutes in the butter.

Set the browned chicken in the casserole dish.  Take the garlic cloves out of the broth (straining is the easiest way) reserving the broth.  Put the cloves and the lemon slices in the pan with the chicken.  My lemon was a little small.  So, I squeezed in the juice of another small lemon.

Pour off most of the fat in the browning pan, leaving enough to absorb the 2 tablespoons of flour that you’re going to add.  Cook the flour and grease for a few minutes to take away the raw flour flavor.  Add the wine to deglaze the pan.  Then, start adding the broth, whisking to combine. 

 At this point the recipe calls for putting the sauce in a small saucepan to heat and skim off the fat.  I really didn’t have much fat in the sauce and figured once it cooked with the chicken there would be plenty.  So, I heated it to be sure the flour was incorporated and then poured it over the chicken.  Cook the casserole, covered, at 375-400 degrees for 45 minutes.  I chose 385 degrees. 

When the chicken was done, I poured the sauce into a small saucepan and simmered to bring the fat to the top and thicken the sauce a little.  Skimmed off the fat.  Added a little salt and white pepper.  Fantastic flavor.

We had our chicken with mashed potatoes.  Plate a couple of pieces of chicken with garlic cloves.  The garlic with be completely creamy.  It becomes something totally different from what you started with.  Spoon some of the sauce over everything.  Amazing, really.  And very easy.

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6 responses to “Poulet au Citron

  1. That looks delicious! I made chicken pot pie today – but I just made the chicken and veggies in a veloute and then took the easy way out and topped each plate with a square of puff pastry.

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  2. This meal was very, very good!

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  3. Ohh Margie that looks really yummy!

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  4. I love the use of all of the garlic. Looks good!

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  5. This is an excellent recipe… in fact, we made this recipe when I studied in Paris in our third week of class. I bring it out a few times a year, and it always excites my guests. I do, however, suggest that you reduce the sauce before placing in the oven. It will give the sauce a chance to merge its flavors, and does make a difference… not a lot but some. Trust me, the French are very picky about their sauces…

    Another good side dish is some greens. Saute some kale with onions, carrots, and a sweet apple. Great food for a cold Winter’s night.

    Keep the faith and keep cooking

    keep the faith and keep cooking.

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  6. Oh, one other thing… if you have the time, you should make your own broths, and stocks. To do it right takes the better part of a day; however, it is SOOO worth the time and effort. Actually, you can make a big batch, and freeze some to use later. It will sit will in the freezer for a couple of months.

    Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

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