French Chicken in Cream Sauce “Mère Blanc”

This is the “French Creamy Chicken Rice” served in the Parisian University Restaurants (Les Réstaurants Universitaires) once a month in the 80s.

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The celebrated recipe below is from Michelin 3-star chef Georges Blanc of Bourg-en-Bresse and Vonnas:

Serve 4:

1 Bresse Chicken (~ 1.8 kg)
Pepper and salt
8 tablespoons butter
1 onion, quartered
10 white mushrooms, quartered
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled, smashed
1 bouquet garni
1 cup dry white wine
4 cups heavy cream
1 lemon

Steps:
1. Joint the chicken. Cut off wing tips and discard. Cut wings in two. Separate drumsticks from thighs. Cut through breastbone to obtain 2 fillets. Season the chicken pieces.
2. In a large skillet, melt butter and sauté chicken pieces over high heat. Add onion, mushrooms, garlic, and bouquet garni. When the chicken is well browned on all sides, about 15 mins altogether, add white wine to deglaze. Let wine reduce, then add cream. Cook over low heat 25-30 mins. Remove chicken and keep warm.
3. Strain sauce through a sieve. Add a squeeze of lemon juice. Adjust seasoning.
4. Put chicken pieces on serving plates, and coat with wine/cream sauce. Serve with steamed rice.

Bresse Chicken: this lucky cock with 2 hens, are the best chicken breed in the world. The French protect them from export. Americans have their ‘imitation’‘Blue-Foot” chicken a close cousin of the Bresse.

Bresse Chicken:
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American Blue-Foot Chicken:
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Note:
In Singapore, I emulate this nostalgic student day’s favourite dish with the chicken cooked in Hainanese-style (more QQ 弹牙 or tender meat), add instant coating from the canned white mushroom cream (Campbell’s). Served with the fragrant Hainanese Chicken rice. I admit this is only 88.8 % close to the original French dish, but our Hainanese chicken is on par with the Bresse chicken.

Hainanese Chicken:

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[Source] French Country Cooking by Françoise Branget.
All recipes in this book are contributed by the deputies in the French Parliament of their French regions.

Available at most branches of the Singapore National Library (Ref Number: 641.5944)

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