Chicken En Papillote from “A Treasury of Great Recipes” by Vincent & Mary Price
Okay, so this isn’t the prettiest piece of chicken your going to eat, but you will rave about the flavors for a long while. The shallots, mushrooms, ham and fresh tarragon cooked in a dry white wine and brown sauce really elevates the chicken to a new level. I lost my sense of smell a few years ago, so bold flavors and texture are really important to me in a dish. This one does not disappoint. Pair this chicken dish with a nice Pinot Noir to complete the experience.
I found this recipe in my Vincent & Mary Price cookbook called “A Treasury of Great Recipes”. For those of you who own this cookbook, the recipe is called Poularde En Papillote (Chicken with White Wine Sauce in Paper) and is derived from the Paris restaurant La Tour d’Argent. I was a little over eager to try this recipe. Tour d’Argent is a restaurant I recommend quite often to my concierge customers at work when they are traveling to Paris. I was thrilled to have an opportunity to try this recipe and taste a bit of history from this amazing restaurant in my own kitchen. The only variation of this recipe is that I used chicken stock instead of brown stock. I also used chicken breasts instead of cut up fryer chicken. If you prefer to use brown stock instead of chicken stock, I have provided the recipe in the notes section below.
I love reading this cookbook because I can hear it in Vincent Price’s voice. Here an excerpt from the cookbook regarding this recipe;
“At the Tour d’Argent the chicken in paper is brought to the table in its spectacular wrapping which has puffed up like a balloon. Deftly the waiter cuts it open, releasing a steamy cloud of fragrance. The advantage of cooking in paper is that the moisture of the food is retained in spite of the oven’s heat. Actually, you can get the same result in a tightly covered baking dish, but it does not make nearly as good a show and besides, “en papillote” sounds so much fancier. “
Poularde En Papillote isn’t on the menu any longer, but I can just imagine Vincent’s suave look of delight upon receiving his chicken dish. That just makes me smile.
Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and saute in 1/2 cup butter over low heat until lightly browned on both sides. Remove chicken parts and keep warm
Add to your pan the chopped shallots and cook for 1 minute
Add to your pan the chopped mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. Add the white wine, dry vermouth and cook until wine is reduced by half. Add the chicken (or brown) stock and replace chicken parts.
Cover and cook for 20 minutes
Remove chicken from your pan and keep warm while you make your sauce
Add to pan the finely sliced cooked ham and fresh tarragon.
Take 1 Tablespoon flour mixed to a smooth paste with 1 Tablespoon soft butter.
Add the flour/butter mixture bit by bit into your pan, stirring, until sauce is smooth and has thickened.
Cut parchment paper large enough to envelop a piece of chicken.
Place a piece of chicken on one half of the paper and cover with 3 or 4 Tablespoons of the sauce.
Bring edges of the paper together, fold over in a double fold and crimp to seal tightly.
Bake in the oven for 10 -15 minutes. Serve the chicken in its paper wrapping, and let each guest unwrap his own portion at the table.
Brown stock is a classic french sauce using bone marrow, beef, beef bones, carrots, and celery. Here is the recipe from "A Treasury of Great Recipes" If you would prefer to use the traditional brown stock instead of the chicken stock I used in my recipe.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Spread on a flat baking pan: 2 pounds beef shin, cubed, 3 pounds veal knuckle, cubed, and 1/4 pound lean raw ham, diced. Sprinkle with: 2 Tablespoons cooking oil and bake for 45 minutes stirring occasionally.
Add: 3 carrots, sliced, 2 onions, sliced, 2 stalks celery, sliced, and 3 cloves of garlic, and bake 15 minutes more.
Transfer meat and vegetables to a large soup kettle. Rinse baking pan with 2 cups water and add to kettle. Add: 4 1/2 quarts water, a bouquet garni of parsley, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, and 2 large bay leaves, 1 teaspoon crushed peppercorns and 2 teaspoons salt
Bring water to a boil and skim well. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 hours. Cool, remove fat from surface, and strain through a fine sieve lined with cheese cloth. pour into containers and freeze.