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I recently had the opportunity to stand idly by with camera in hand and watch my sister and her husband cook dinner. I’ve found that this is one of my favorite things to do, standing idly by while someone else cooks. I highly recommend it.
I had never heard of Chicken La Maison but I was informed that it is a classic French dish. Translated it means “The House Chicken” or “Chicken of the House” or “It’s Chicken, Homie”. I’m not really sure. Those online translators really aren’t very reliable. What I do know for sure is that it is a wonderful, rustic chicken “stew” that is made in one pot and is sure to please your entire family. It includes simple ingredients that I almost always have on hand and it’s quick and easy.
Let’s rewind a bit and start at the beginning. Time warp!
My sister Linda and her husband Bill, circa 1969, in the front yard of the house where Linda and I, and the rest of our great big family grew up. Note my mom’s retro cool Chrysler Imperial in the background. Aaahh, memories. It was a time of bell bottoms, long hair, and no seat belts, and yet, somehow we survived. Cute kids aren’t they?
Fast forward to 2012.
Stranded, without a car, in a strange city. That’s the situation I found myself in after things wrapped up at IFBC in Portland last weekend. I had a few hours to kill before heading to the airport for my flight that evening. That’s where Linda and Bill come in. They retired and moved to Portland a couple of years ago and I had not yet had a chance to visit.
They came by to pick me up and we did a quick tour of the city with Bill as tour guide. The man really could get a job at this, seriously. I settled in to the back seat of the car and soaked it all in. I was so thankful since I had pretty much not seen the light of day since I checked in at the hotel for the 3 day conference with a packed tight schedule.
Portland is a laid back town with an emphasis on food. And it is everywhere. Literally. Smack in the middle of residential neighborhoods you’ll come across popular little hole in the wall restaurants that have made a name for themselves. Then, of course, there are the “pods” of food carts that line the streets downtown and the outlying areas. You could spend days eating your way through Portland and sample pretty much every cuisine imagineable.
We headed to lunch at Kenny and Zuke’s Delicatessen. A Jewish deli known for their pastrami and matzoh ball soup.
I had the best pastrami sandwich of my life and the Hungarian mushroom soup, a creamy, smoky blend that was out of this world good.
After a very scenic drive through their neighborhood we got to their beautiful new house.
This is the view from their front door. Portland is gorgeous, lush, and green. Not a bad view.
Time to get cooking. So let’s do it like the French do and make some Chicken La Maison.
Linda gets started by searing the chicken in some oil. She seasoned the chicken with a little salt and pepper and pretty generously with paprika.
Let this go about 5 minutes on each side, till nicely browned.
In the meantime, see if you can round someone up to take care of the veggies. Here is Bill at work on the potatoes. They used small red potatoes but Yukon Golds are nice in this too.
Someone is very interested in what is happening in the kitchen. Meet Rufus.
Remove the browned chicken to a plate and let’s get working on the veggies.
Add a little butter to the pan and in go the onions. Then the carrots.
And, finally, the potatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Sprinkle in the flour and stir to combine.
I apologize, I may have missed a few photos but I was very distracted by this face. What a face! I believe he has perfected this look and it’s working.
Now, grab a really beautiful bottle of white wine like this one. A less pretty bottle will also work. Just make sure it’s a nice, dry white like this Sauvignon Blanc.
Turn up the heat and pour in the wine and bring to a boil. After about a minute add the chicken broth and return to a boil.
Here is Linda using her very scientific method of measuring in the herbes de Provence. A really good cook knows exactly how much spice can be held in the palm of her hand. My mom taught her girls well.
Return the browned chicken to the pan. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and let it go for about 30 or 40 minutes. The veggies should be fork tender and the chicken cooked through with no pink remaining.
Just enough time to sit and get caught up. Rufus has a lot to add to the conversation.
Serve it up and dig in and don’t let the remaining white wine go to waste. That would be a terrible thing.
Thank you so much big sis and brother in law Bill. You were incredibly gracious hosts and made my trip complete.
- 1-1/2 lbs. bone-in skin-on chicken breasts, cut in half if needed
- salt and peper to taste
- 1-1/2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 small Yukon Gold potatoes or small red potatoes cut in half
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 4 or 5 carrots chopped
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons herbs de Provence
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- In a Dutch oven or large heavy pan with cover, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chicken pieces and season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with paprika. Saute chicken about 5 minutes per side, or till nicely browned. Cook in batches if necessary. Transfer browned chicken to a plate.
- Add the butter to the pan. When melted, add onions and cook for about 5 minutes, or until softened and translucent. Add potatoes and carrots and saute for and additional 10 to 15 minutes or till just barely fork tender.
- Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and stir to combine. Turn the heat to high and pour in the wine. Bring to boil and allow to boil for 1 minute before adding the chicken broth. Season with the herbes de Provence.
- Return the mixture to a boil and return the chicken, with juices, to the pan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and cook for 30-40 minutes or until vegetables are tender and chicken is cooked through with no pink remaining. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.
- Adapted from Foodie Kitchen