Saturday, 27 August 2011

Creamy Garlic and Herb Chicken with Green Beans and Rostini



When I put this on the table for the family dinner the other night, there was a hushed silence. So used to shepherd's pies, bolognese and other easy meals sloshed into bowls, this elegant little number knocked them all sideways for a bit. I could almost sense my husband wondering if he'd forgotten our anniversary.

But, as much as it is tempting to say that this took all day to make and was actually complicated, it really wasn't. In fact, it was so simple that I ended up twiddling my thumbs through most of it, while it took care of itself.

You may remember that I received a box of goodies from Vaucluse in Provence, including lavender, herbes de Provence and fresh bay leaves to experiment with. I made a lemon and lavender tart with the lavender and decided to make a creamy chicken dish with the herbs, which I served with fried gnocchi and sliced green beans. I promise you this is easier to make than it looks, and the whole family enjoyed it. If you are lucky enough to have some leftover chicken, take it out of any remaining sauce, slice it into herb-speckled strips and use to fill sandwiches and baguettes or toss into a crisp, green salad.

Find out more about the Vaucluse region of France on the official website or why not join their Facebook page for updates?

Here goes...

Recipe for Creamy Garlic and Herb Chicken with Green Beans and Rostini
Serves 4

Ingredients
  • 1 x 500g pack gnocchi
  • Drizzle olive oil
  • Knob of butter (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 8 boneless chicken thigh fillets
  • 175ml dry white wine
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • scant one teaspoon herbes de provence
  • couple of small bay leaves
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 100ml single cream
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large non-stick pan and toss in the gnocchi. Fry gently until the gnocchi are sizzling and golden and tip into a roasting dish. Put in the oven to finish crisping up and keep them warm.
  2. Drizzle in a little more olive oil into the now empty pan, and add a knob of butter (about a tablespoon). Cook the chicken thighs on a medium heat, turning over once or twice until they are just cooked and starting to colour. With tongs, transfer to a plate while you make the sauce.
  3. If you're having green beans with this, put them on to boil now.
  4. Take the pan you just cooked the chicken in, and carefully tip away all but a tablespoon of the buttery liquid. Return to the heat, and slosh in the wine. Gently scrape the bottom and sides of the pan with a spatula or wooden spoon to incorporate any of the caramelised chicken back into the sauce.
  5. Let the wine bubble and reduce to about half, before throwing in the herbs, bay leaves, garlic and salt and pepper. Return the chicken to the pan to heat back through.
  6. Swirl in the cream and leave to cook for a few more minutes.
  7. Take your gnocchi, which should now be sizzling and golden, out of the oven and drain your green beans. Serve the chicken with the creamy sauce spooned over the top.
Have you been to Vaucluse or maybe Provence? Tell us more about it!

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