Monday, November 15, 2010

Poulet Saute Marseillaise

This traditional Marseille entree is so very light and delicious!  Healthy too. 
     In America, French food has a stereotypical reputation of being very rich and heavy with cream and butter.  That is far from the truth.  Provence and southern France boast some great mediterranean, warm climate cuisine that is light and full of great flavor. 
     This recipe of chicken that is cooked in the style of the port city of Marseilles is well over 150 years old!  So, the modern trend of healthy mediterranean cuisine is really nothing new to southern French people.  This is a quickly made saute recipe, so have the ingredients ready before starting to cook.  Traditionally this recipe is made with a boneless chicken breast filet.  I used 5 chicken tenders instead because that is what I had on hand.  Chicken tenders Marseillaise is a far better entree than the American fast food style breaded and fried chicken tenders with a dipping sauce.  One taste of this Marseille style sauteed chicken and you will see why!
     Recipe:  Cut the thick tendon off of the wide end of five chicken tenders.  (The chicken tender is the section of meat that is next to the breast bone and is easily separated by hand from the chicken breast filet.  I tend to save chicken tenders while butchering chicken and freeze them for later use.  Chicken tenders can be bought fresh at a grocer too.) 
     Heat a little bit of olive oil in a saute pan over medium high heat.  (Never allow olive oil to over heat and smoke or the flavor will become bitter.) 
     Saute the chicken tenders till they become lightly golden colored. 
     Add 3 cloves of fine chopped garlic. 
     Cut a plum tomato lengthwise in quarters.  Scrape off the tomato seeds. 
     Add the tomato quarters to the pan. 
     Add an amount that is equal to the tomato of fine chopped green and red bell pepper. 
     Saute the ingredients for a minute. 
     Season with sea salt and black pepper. 
     Add a generous splash of dry white wine. 
     Add generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice. 
     Reduce the sauce till it is nearly evaporated. 
     Set the chicken tenders on a plate. 
     Set the tomato quarters between the chicken tenders. 
     Spoon the fine chopped peppers and garlic over the chicken. 
     Sprinkle some chopped fresh parsley over the chicken.
     Serve with rice that is cooked in vegetable broth with a mixture of Herbes Du Provence, sea salt, black pepper and a pat of unsalted butter.  (Use a ring mold to plate the rice.)  Place some steamed buttered sweet snap peas on the plate.  Garnish with parsley sprigs and lemon slices.
     Light, lemony white wine flavored garlic and peppers is fantastic with chicken!  The tomatoes have a lot of character with the tasty skins still clinging.  The extra effort of fine chopping the peppers allows all the pepper flavor to be released.  Herb rice is a perfect accompaniment.  Fresh sweet snap peas can put a smile on any face.  Poulet Saute Marseillaise is not a "saucy" dish at all.  This is a delicious, healthy French entree!  Yum! ... Shawna            

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