This is one of my favorite dishes but also one of the hardest to photograph. The best photo setup would probably have the chicken in some kind of rustic clay pot or stoneware, surrounded by the lemon ginger sauce with a sprinkling of bright green cilantro and colorful ramekins containing chutney and raita on the side. Unfortunately, I don’t always have such luxuries at my disposal. But this doesn’t stop me from making amazingly delicious Indian food (and it shouldn’t stop you either).
Almost anything can be made into a wrap. When I came across a recipe titled “Tangore Chicken” in my grandmother’s cookbook, “The Art of Good Cooking,” the spices and ambiguity of the titled seemed to lend itself well to a simple wrap. I’m familiar with Tandoori chicken and I’ve even seen a few recipes for Tanjore chicken but I’m not sure where Tangore chicken came from. My guess is that this is a hybrid word my grandmother used for this Indian inspired poultry. This is similar to other ethnic recipes from her book that were so new and different in the 1960’s no one was quite sure of the correct terminology or what to call these dishes. So I decided to re-name this chicken and turn it into a tasty little wrap. When in doubt, wrap it.
Have you heard of a little hot sauce called Sriracha? This Asian inspired chili sauce phenomenon continues dominate condiment sales across the US and seems to be a never ending trend. I’m a big fan so it was only a matter of time before this tasty spicy sauce made into one of my recipe posts. Combining an old fashioned classic BBQ sauce with hot sriracha seemed like a natural step. The sweet and spicy flavors of this sauce and tender pieces of chicken are like long lost friends. This pairing was meant to be.
This is not your average chicken dish. It may look fairly ordinary in the photos but this chicken is particularly royal. Drenched in a champagne mushroom sauce, it’s fit for a King…or a special occasion such as New Years. I would recommend making this with leftover champagne after new years but for many of us, “leftover” champagne is usually non-existent. In this case, get the party started early by opening that bottle while cooking new years eve dinner and toast to the chef.
This recipe comes from “The Art of Good Cooking” and can easily be halved. Sparkling wine may also be substituted for the champagne, making it a bit more the budget friendly. The chicken is actually cooked in the champagne (or wine) sauce, absorbing its sweet fruity tones. Mushrooms are added and the sauce is then thickened further with egg yolk and cream (substitute half and half if you would like). And since it wouldn’t be a Paula Peck dish without fresh parsley – the sauce is finished with chopped fresh parsley as well as tarragon. Simple yet deliciously rich, this chicken is the perfect side- kick for that champagne toast. Happy New Year!
1/2 cup unsalted butter
6 chicken legs, skinned
6 chicken thighs, skinned
1/2 cup chopped shallots
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
salt and pepper
2 cups champagne or sparkling wine (approximately)
1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced and sauteed 2 tablespoons butter
1 cup heavy cream or half and half
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
Melt butter in a broad heavy pan over medium heat. Add chicken legs and thighs and sauté slowly, turning frequently, until chicken loses its pink color on the outside. Add shallots and continue to sauté until they are soft. Remove chicken and keep warm.
Stir flour into pan. Cook for a few minutes over low heat, stirring constantly. Add dried tarragon, salt, and pepper. Remove from heat and whisk in champagne. Return chicken to sauce. Cover and simmer about 20 minutes, until chicken is just tender and juices run clear when pierced with a fork. Remove chicken pieces to a platter and keep warm.
Add sauteed, sliced mushrooms to sauce. If sauce seems thin, raise heat to reduce it a little, while stirring, being careful not to scorch the sauce. Remove from heat.
Whisk cream and egg yolks together. Stir this mixture into sauce. Replace over low heat, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens a little more. Add tarragon and half the parsley. Taste for seasoning and pour over chicken.
Adapted from “The Art of Good Cooking,” by Paula Peck.