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Chicken Bonne Femme



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Tom Fitzmorris's
Chicken Bonne Femme

Tom Fitzmorris's
New Orleans Food:
More Than 250 of the
City's Best Recipes
to Cook at Home

Copyright 2006 by Tom Fitzmorris
Stewart Tabori & Chang 2006

" 'Good woman's chicken' and its variations (chicken Clemenceau
chicken Pontalba) is one of the best dishes in the Creole cook-
book. There is little agreement on how it's prepared, but potatoes
and garlic are always part of  the recipe. This one evolved in my
kitchen from the very good version at Antoine's, with inspiration
from the super-garlicky, great bonne femme at Tujague's.”

 4 slices bacon, cut into 1 inch squares
Two 3 1/2-pound chickens, quartered
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup ham, cut into tiny dice
1 cup chopped green onion tops
1 cup chopped yellow onion
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco
Vegetable oil for frying
2 pounds white potatoes, peeled and
cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
8 cloves garlic, chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees [F]. Fry the bacon in a large skillet
until crisp, then remove with a slotted spoon and reserve, leaving
the fat in the skillet. Meanwhile, season the chicken with salt and
pepper, then dust lightly with the flour. Cook the chicken in the
rendered bacon fat over high heat until browned on all sides. Re-
move the chicken pieces to an ovenproof platter and keep warm.
2. Add the ham, green onion, and yellow onion to the skillet in which
you cooked the chicken and sauté until the onions turn translucent.
Add the mushrooms, wine, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco,
and bring to a boil. After a minute, reduce the heat to maintain
a simmer.
3. Pour the oil into a deep skillet to a depth of 1 inch and heat to 375
degrees [F]. Add the potatoes and fry until very lightly browned.
Drain them well and add to the skillet with the ham and onions.
This is the bonne femme garnish.
4. Continue simmering sauce until all of the liquid is absorbed; lightly
stir to distribute the ingredients. Remove from heat.
5. Heat the butter in a small saucepan until it starts bubbling. Lower
the heat, skim the foam off, and add the garlic. Cook the garlic in
the hot butter for about a minute.
6. Spoon the bonne femme garnish over and between the chicken
pieces. Spoon the garlic butter over the garnish and season to taste
with salt and pepper. Crumble the reserved bacon over the top.
7. Bake for 7 - 12 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces, redistribute the
garnish, and bake for another 5 - 7 minutes. If the white meat
is cooked, remove it from the pan and keep warm. Continue
cooking the leg quarters until the juices run clear when the thigh
is pierced. Return the breasts to the mixture, and serve with
lots of the garnish.
Serves four.

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Coq au Vin
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Gigi's Boeuf à la Bourguignonne
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