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Poulet à la crème comme en Bresse (Creamy Chicken)

Canada is buzzing with excitment... an euphoria so different from the sombre mood that kicked off the Winter Olympic 2010 on 12 February, with the loss of life of a 21 year old Georgian luger, Nodar Kumaritashvili during a training run a few days earlier. For the first time in Canadian history, an olympic gold medal was won on home soil by Canadian mogul skier Alexandre Bilodeau. This is the 3rd Olympics held in Canada but the Canadians never won a gold in any of those Olympics. What a big celebration that must be for them!

We too, at BloggerAid, are buzzing with excitment of our own kind, cheering alongside all the athletes who have trained so vigorously and represent their respective countries. No, we aren't putting on our skiis or skates. Our sport is FOOD, so we'll be woking & whisking along with them in BloggerAid-CFF Culinary Olympics - an excellent idea by Val and Giz, the founders of BloggerAid :

« In many ways BloggerAid-Changing the Face of Famine (BACFF) members are also athletes. We represent over 60 international countries who have created and developed a communication and friendship that has brought our world a little closer together with a mission to raise awareness. What better way to come together than to create a Culinary Olympics where we can share our pride for our nations cuisine. »

Did we say FOOD? Now, you are talking to the right person. We, Singaporeans pride ourselves in knowing our food - it's sort of a National pride and past-time. Oh, an advice: never start a food conversation with a Singaporean. Go down that road if you dare but don't say I never warned you.:-) Cuisine of almost all cultures can be found on this tiny island called Singapore. Hence we earn ourselves the name 'Food Paradise'. Bon! Today, we aren't going to talk about Singapore but France - the country of LOVE and its haute cuisine - as it is the place that I call my home today.

I was pleasantly surprised to learn some interesting facts about the country I'm representing, like:

  • Pierre Frédy, Baron de Coubertin (1 Jan 1863 - 2 Sept 1937) founded the International Olympic Committee in 1894 and was considered as the father of the modern Olympic Games. He also created the official Olympic Rings & Flag, wrote the Olympic Motto, Oath and Creed.
  • The first Olympic Winter Games, originally known as "Winter Sports Week" (but was later officially recognized as "Olympic Winter Games" in 1926) was held in Chamonix, France in 1924. It was a great success attracting 10,004 paying spectators.

All these calories burning winter sports commands a good winter dish to energize us back in form like Cheese Fondue or the Poulet à la crème (creamy chicken) that I'm going to introduce to you today. This recipe is traditional of the Bresse region and is particularly simple to dish up - created by Eliza Blanc, a very talented cook famously known as la mère Blanc who cooked exclusively with only simple and fresh products found in Bresse. In 1929, She was awarded a Star by the Guide of Michelin. In 1930, she was bestowed 1st prize in le Touring Club de France's culinary competition. And in 1933, the Prince of Gastronomy, Curnonsky declared that la mère Blanc is the best cook in the world. She was also the grandmother of great French chef Georges Blanc.

Poulet à la crème comme en Bresse (Creamy Chicken)

(from Ma Cuisine Des Saisons by Georges Blanc)

Ingredients
  • 1.8 kg whole chicken (deboned & cut meat into medium sized pieces)
  • olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 to 3 tbsp plain flour
  • ½ litre (500 ml) thick cream or thick crème fraîche
  • 3 egg yolks (to mix with thick creme)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove
  • 1 small branch thym
  • ½ bay leaf
Poulet a la creme comme Bresse
Directions
  1. Put the chicken carcase in a pot with some water. Cover and let it brew. Keep some chicken stock aside.
  2. Salt and pepper the chicken pieces.
  3. Heat up some olive oil on a big pan or wok on high heat and lightly brown the chicken pieces.
  4. Add in the onion prick with a clove on it, thym and bay leaf.
  5. Add in a bit of butter or olive oil, stir in the plain flour. Mix, let it blend and cook for a minute or two.
  6. Add in some chicken stock, enough to cover the chicken pieces (half way) but not submerging it nor cover 3/4 of it.
  7. Stir and bring it to a boil. Stir to blend it together. Cover and cook under low heat for about 30 minutes.
  8. At the end of 30 minutes, take out the chicken pieces and put it aside - keep warm.
  9. Filter the sauce with sieve to filter out the herbs and spices n onions.
  10. Reheat the sauce, add in the thick cream already mixed with egg yolk. Stir to blend it. Cook it under low heat so that it doesn't boil.
  11. Adjust the consistence of the sauce according to your taste by diluting it with a bit more stock or thicken it with more cream.
  12. Adjust the seasoning according to taste and complete the seasoning with a light squeeze of lemon juice.
  13. Serve immediately hot with rice or pasta.
Poulet a la creme comme BressePoulet a la creme comme Bresse
The Verdict

This dish is very rich, creamy and deliciously aromatic. The chicken has to be top quality here, you'll taste the difference. I would highly recommend to add in morsels of mushrooms (morilles is my favorite with this dish).

Notes

Alternatively, you can simply chop up the chicken pieces with bones on it and cook as per above but just add water instead of chicken stock. If you use a good quality chicken for this recipe, you won't need any commercial chicken stock to make this dish taste good. I didn't take out the chicken and sieve to filter out the spices from the sauce.

Poulet a la creme comme Bresse

The members of BloggerAid-Changing the Face of Famine have published a cookbook BloggerAid CookBook where 100% of the proceeds target children and education through the World Food Programme called School Meals. The highly successful BloggerAid-Changing the Face of Famine Cookbook continues to be available through the Create Space e-store. The e-store is a direct connection of Amazon but the book cannot be found directly on the Amazon.com site. We have chosen to deal exclusively with Create Space where our children in the School Meals Programme will benefit the most! This professional cookbook makes an excellent gift for family and friends. So let's keep the momentum going. Tell your friends, who will tell 2 friends, who will tell another 2 friends...

BACFF
17 comments.
#1, by Lyndsey (02/19/2010)

Your dish looks fantastic! Perfect comfort food in my eyes! I love your photos!

#2, by Ching (02/19/2010)

Lovely dish, I love anything creamy especially with chicken or vegetable.

Oh how i love this dish. I make a similar version but without the eggs and I always have mushrooms... I used to serve this to my siblings a lot growing up...was always one of their faves! Will try yours next time round.

#4, by diva (02/20/2010)

very creamy delicious dish and great if u're playing winter sports I agree. Unfortunately, I barely move my ass. Do I still qualify for this gorgeous poulet a la creme?! x

#5, by The Cooking Ninja (02/20/2010)

@Lyndsey: Thanks:-) I love your photos on your blog too. They are gorgeous.

@Ching, Little Corner of Mine: This is very good. When my MIL first made this, I fell in love with it immediately. Went home and made it a few days later. LOL!

@Bethany (Dirty Kitchen Secrets): Let me know how it turns out if you got around to try it.:-)

@Diva: Of course you qualify for it. We weren't doing any winter sports at all when we ate this like happy little pigs. LOL! It's a great dish.:-)

#6, by Sarah, Maison Cupcake (02/20/2010)

Mmm that looks nice, I like creamy sauce with tagliatelle. Onions studded with cloves always make me think of Christmas!

#7, by tigerfish (02/21/2010)

Woo...I thought you would make Singapore chicken curry :O

#8, by The Cooking Ninja (02/21/2010)

@Sarah, Maison Cupcake: LOL! I put a wee bit too much cloves - was translating French recipe to English and I doubted my French, hence so many cloves in the pic. This dish only needs 1 clove for 1 onion.:-)

@tigerfish: Oh...I wanted to but I have already blog about the famous Singapore Nyonya Chicken Curry and Char Kway Teow.:-p

#9, by Kitchen Butterfly (02/21/2010)

Love the creaminess of this chicken....and with mushrooms. Yum.

#10, by meeta (02/23/2010)

oh simply yummy! my mum makes something similar but with a lot of garlic!

#11, by katie (02/23/2010)

The French do have a way with chicken and cream, don't they? Looks wonderful!

#12, by Rebecca @InsideCuisine.com (02/23/2010)

I love this classic dish ... and even more the generosity of Bloggers Aid - lovely post by the way too x

#13, by Mrs P (02/23/2010)

This look delicious:-)

#14, by Barbara Bakes (02/23/2010)

The chicken looks so creamy and delicious on top of the noodles!

#15, by mycookinghut (02/25/2010)

This looks so yummy!! I like this kind of dish.. will bookmark!!

#16, by The Cooking Ninja (03/02/2010)

@Kitchen Butterfly: Oh yes...it's a fantastic combination. If I have not lived in France, I wouldn't have experience this lovely dish.

@meeta: ooh...I wonder how different is that with lots of garlic. I love garlic.

@katie: Oh yes. They do have lots of yummy creamy dishes.

@Rebecca@InsideCuisine.com: Thank you. Thanks for dropping by my blog.

@Mrs P: Thank you for dropping by my blog.

@Barbara Bakes: I prefer it with pasta than rice.:-) THanks for visiting my blog.

@Mycookinghut: Let me know how yours turns out if you ever make it.:-) Thanks for dropping by.

#17, by Jeanne @ Cooksister! (03/15/2010)

Oh my - that looks heavenly! Not much can beat creamy chicken on a bed of pasta...