Flicking open Floyd on France again is becoming easy, there’s so many great and simple recipes from the classic background of French cooking. This version is a loose approximation of a dish of Chicken and Crayfish prepared by a grumpy chef in the Perigord region to which Keith and director David Pritchard did a humorous running commentary as the chef prepared the dish. The food itself looks pretty good even for the 80’s and the recipe in the book reads very similarly other than prawns being used instead of crayfish.
I began by preparing the chicken, breaking down the bird into breasts, legs, thighs and drums. Not a problem thus far apart from another cut finger, be careful with knives children! Sautéing the pieces in butter and a little olive oil to brown the skin gives the chicken a lovely colour and adds flavour. The chicken then goes into the oven to cook through.
The focus then shifts onto the sauce. Savouring the fragrant scent of prawn heads and shells sizzling in hot oil was a joy and then increasing the scent and flavour by adding carrots, onions and white wine reducing until almost evaporated. I then added a combination of chicken stock and heavy veal stock (in an attempt to replicate the chef’s demi-glace or fumet) and finally a fresh bouquet garni and diced fresh tomato.
I then poured the sauce over the chicken and left the chicken to cook through for a further 5-10 minutes before straining the sauce through a sieve.
To finish the dish I added a knob of butter to the slightly more reduced sauce and seasoned a little. I then added the prawns into the sauce to heat through before pouring over the chicken and garnishing with the tarragon. I have to say this looked inviting……
The dish is amazing, such a strange way the two powerful flavours of shellfish and meat come together in the sauce. The fresh tarragon really completes this, far from just a visual garnish there’s the freshness and flavour that ties the whole dish together. Along with perfectly cooked chicken it’s a cracking dish.
Floyd on France is available from Amazon