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Stewed Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce

From Van Gogh's Table at the Auberge Ravoux
Recipes From the Artist's Last Home and Paintings of Café Life

Stewed chicken:
1 roasting chicken (3-1/2 to 4 pounds), rinsed
2 medium onions, quartered
2 carrots, cut into thirds
1 leek (white and light green parts), trimmed, washed and cut into thirds
2 celery stalks, cut into thirds
1 celery root, peeled and quartered
Several leafy sprigs fresh thyme
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
1/3 pound slab bacon (optional)

Mustard-cream sauce:
2 tablespoons unsalted imported or organic butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup hot chicken stock, strained
1/2 cup heavy cream
1-1/2 tablespoons moutarde de Meaux, or any grainy Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste


To prepare chicken: Put all of the ingredients in a large pot with enough water to cover the chicken. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until chicken is fully cooked, about 1 hour. Pour 3/4 cup of the chicken stock through a sieve and keep warm until ready to use for the sauce.

To prepare sauce: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan; whisk in the flour, mixing vigorously for 30 seconds. Pour in the reserved hot stock, a little at a time, and continue to whisk until the mixture thickens, about 45 seconds. Stir in the cream, the mustard and season with salt and pepper. Stir to blend thoroughly, then transfer to a serving bowl.

Remove the chicken and vegetables from the cooking liquid. Cut the chicken into quarters or eighths. Transfer to a serving platter or onto individual plates along with the vegetables and spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of the sauce over. Good served with rice pilaf.

Optional: Additional vegetables, such as cabbage and turnips can be added to this dish. Just be sure to wash, trim and quarter them; add to the chicken during the last 30 minutes of cooking.

Yields 4 servings.


(Updated: 10/28/08 SN)

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