Serving
(click to enlarge)

Chicken Chaudfroid
France
  -   Chaudfroid de Poulet
Serves:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
3 main  
***
10 hrs  
Must
Simmered chicken in a firm flavorful sauce, served at room temperature. This is an excellent party dish because it's made a day ahead and served without reheating. It needs at least 6 hours in the fridge to firm up the sauce. Note that this is French home style, much more practical than the highly decorative concoctions of pricey chefs. The photo specimen was a half recipe using just chicken thigh meat.




3-3/4
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3-1/2
10
1
6
4
2
3
1
ar
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1/2
1/4
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4
4
1-1/4
4
1/3
1/4
1/3
------
#
---
oz
oz
#
oz



c

---
t
t
---
T
T
c

t
t
c
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Chicken Meat (1)
-- Broth
Carrots
Turnips (2)
Leeks
Onion
Parsley sprig
Tarragon sprig (3)
Cloves
Wine, dry white
Water
-----------
Salt
Pepper
-- Sauce
Butter
Flour
Heavy Cream (4)
Egg Yolks
Salt
Pepper
Lemon Juice
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Prep   -   (25 min)
  1. IF using whole CHICKENS wash them, remove the stuff packed inside and excessive fat. Put them side by side in a heavy bottomed pot.
    IF using whole joints, such as thighs, cut them into convenient serving pieces. A razor sharp Chinese cleaver knife and soft faced mallet are perfect for this.
    IF using just meat (my recommendation), cut it into largish bite size pieces. Use chicken broth in place of half the water if possible.
  2. Peel CARROTS and cut into thick slices. Peel TURNIPS and dice them about 1/2 inch on a side. Trim Leeks, keeping only the white and light green. Split them in half and rinse out sand, then slice crosswise about 1/2 inch wide. For details see our Leeks page. Chop ONION coarse. Toss all these into the pot with the Chicken.
  3. Toss in the PARSLEY and TARAGON sprigs along with the Cloves, Wine and enough cold Water to cover everything.
Run   -   (1-1/2 hrs - 20 min work)
  1. Bring to a boil, skimming off any scum that comes to the surface. Season with Salt and Pepper. Simmer slowly for about 50 minutes for whole chickens or bone-in joints, a bit less for just meat. Let cool to handling temperature.
  2. IF using Whole Chickens, pull them out and remove the skin. Leave them to get cold, then cut into serving pieces, discarding inedible parts. You may wish to refrigerate it so the sauce sticks better.
    IF using Bone-in Joints Do the same as for whole chicken, except it's already cut into serving pieces.
    IF using Boneless Meat, just fish it out and leave it to get cold.
  3. Meanwhile:   strain Broth through a fine mesh strainer, discarding solids. Let it sit for a while to settle, then pour the clear liquid off, leaving any crud that sinks to the bottom. Defat the stock using your gravy separator.
  4. Boil the stock down by about 1/2 (you need 4 cups), then let cool.
Finish   -   (8+ hrs - 35 min work)
  1. Squeeze Lemon Juice
  2. Separate Eggs. Use whites for some other purpose.
  3. Measure out 4 cups of Stock.
  4. Fry Flour gently in Butter to make a blonde roux. Stir in just a little of the strained, defatted and cooled Broth. Stirring constantly, add more broth in small amounts until you have a smooth thin paste with no lumps. Stir in the rest of the Broth.
  5. Bring the Broth to a boil while stirring, and simmer stirring often for about 10 minutes.
  6. Let cool a minute, then stir in the Cream.
  7. Beat the Egg Yolks and stir in a little of the hot Sauce, then a little more until quite loose. Stir it all back into the sauce, stirring vigorously as you do so and for another minute or so.
  8. Season to taste with Salt, Pepper and Lemon Juice. Taste it as you do as you may not want all the lemon juice, depending on taste.
  9. Arrange Chicken Pieces in a serving dish. Pour the sauce over to coat well. Chill in the fridge overnight.
  10. Just before serving, scatter some tarragon leaves over the top.
NOTES:
  1. Chicken:   Weight is for skinless, boneless chicken Meat. This weight can be achieved by several means depending on how you wish to serve the dish. The pattern recipe called for two whole large chickens (about 8 pounds), cooked, skinned and cut into serving pieces. If you use whole, bone-in thighs (my recommendation for bone-in parts), you need about 7 pounds. You can also use just 3-3/4 pounds of thigh meat (which is how I make it). I wouldn't consider breast meat because that of North American factory chickens tastes like cardboard.
  2. Turnips   These are the spherical "white turnips" with the purple tops for those of you who live in countries or regions confused about what a "turnip" is. See our What is a Turnip? page. Select small ones, as large ones can be fibrous.
  3. Tarragon:   Unfortunately, here in North America, we have little choice but to use Russian Tarragon. French Tarragon has more complex and more intense flavor, but is very difficult to grow commercially.
  4. Heavy Cream   In France "Crème Fraîche" would be used, but that can be a problem in much of North America (Trader Joe's usually has it), so Heavy Whipping Cream may have to be used. While the two have different cooking properties, it should not be too much of a problem for this recipe.
  5. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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