Way back in October I drove the hour and twenty minutes down to Naperville, IL to meet the wonderful Dorie Greenspan. Dorie of course, if you don’t already know, is the author of Baking From My Home to Yours and her newest book Around My French Table. I met up with a couple of blogger friends too and had every intention of making something from my newly autographed book right away. So here we are 4 months later and I’ve finally taken the time to open the book and dive in.
After thumbing through this gorgeous book I decided to make Chicken Breasts Diable (page 217) and Garlicky Crumb Coated Broccoli (page 334) for dinner last week (recipes below). I didn’t make any changes to the chicken dish and was really glad that the sauce was separate from the meat. My husband and some of my kids get a little squirrely when I douse their dinner with a foreign saucy substance, so I only drizzled it on mine and served the rest of the sauce on the side.
|Me and Dorie|
As Dorie mentions is the preface of this recipe, diable means “devil” in French. She goes on to explain that the French don’t often use hot, spicy condiments and that if a dish indicates it will be hot, as this one does, it simply means there’s probably some strong Dijon mustard in the mix. Whie the French don’t really know what hot is, this is definitely a delicious dish with a spicy, mustardy sauce. For the broccoli dish, I substituted panko bread crumbs and everyone devoured it! All in all a wonderful dinner, but I didn’t expect anything less from Dorie. :)
|Renee, me and Michelle|
I mentioned above that I met up with a couple of food blogger friends for the book signing. From left to right — Renee of Kudos Kitchen, me, and Michelle of Big Black Dogs. I’ve never met Renee before so it was lots of fun finally meeting her in person! You must check out her site and see some of the amazing custom tiles that she creates.
I’ve met up with Michelle a couple of times before for another book signing and when I had my computer fixed. Each time we’ve met we’ve enjoyed a meal and some conversation. This time was no exception. We met up early and grabbed a booth at Hugo’s Frog Bar and Fish House. I’m pretty sure we were sitting in one of those booths on the right in the picture above? The food was really great but it was kind of hard to carry on a conversation with the overzealous, and perhaps bored wait staff constantly asking if we were okay and how our meal was. I think it was because we came to eat early, before the rush. There were an awful lot of waiters and waitresses hovering around just waiting for something to do! I suppose it was better than being ignored, and they were very polite, but good golly back off already! Just sayin’.
I really enjoy getting to meet up with other food and craft bloggers, though for me all alone in southeast Wisconsin, I don’t get to do it very often. So it’s definitely fun when it happens!
Chicken Breasts Diable
from Around my French Table by Dorie Greenspan
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves pounded lightly, at room temp
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
About 1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 medium shallot, finely chopped, rinsed and patted dry
1 garlic clove, split, germ removed, and finely chopped
1/3 cup dry white wine (I used Vermouth)
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoon Dijon or grainy mustard, preferably French
1-2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 200 degrees.
Pat the chicken breasts dry. Put a large skillet over med-high heat and add the butter and olive oil. When the butter is melted, slip the chicken breasts gently into the pan. Adjust the heat so that the butter doesn’t burn. Cook the chicken until its well brown on the underside, about 4 minutes. Turn the pieces over and cook until the other side is also well browned and the chicken is cooked through. If the pan dries out, add a touch more oil. Transfer the breasts to a heat-proof plate (one with a rim to catch juices), season with salt and pepper, cover lightly with a foil tent, and keep warm in the oven.
Lower the heat to medium, toss the shallot and garlic into the pan and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until just soft, about 2 minutes. Pour in the wine, and when it starts to bubble, stir it around the skillet. Let the wine boil for a few seconds, then pour in the heavy cream. As soon as it reaches a boil, stir in the mustard and 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce. Taste and decide if you want more mustard, Worcestershire, or pepper.
Remove the chicken from the oven, pour any juices on the plate into the skillet, and stir the sauce again. Serve the chicken with the sauce.
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