Wednesday, September 8, 2010

weekend dinner party

In continuation of keeping things simple, this weekend's dinner party menu is nearly effortless--but with plenty of pay-off. A classic French comfort food dish of chicken with a mustard-tarragon cream sauce which can be made the day before, or the day of (depending on your schedule). And as the nights (regrettably) begin to turn slightly chilly, I can't imagine a better dish to cozy up to.

chicken with mustard-tarragon cream sauce
served over steamed white rice
bibb lettuce salad with lemon-chive vinaigrette
2009 Forstreiter Gruner Veltliner

As for the wine alongside, might I suggest a bottle of Gruner Veltliner from Austria? I was playing around with the bottle below this past weekend and think the slight frizzante quality and decent acidity would play particularly well with the creamy and anise-flavored sauce. The white flowers, nectarine, and undeniable green-ness that was wafting from my glass could have convinced me to pair this with almost anything. Pool side lounging could quite possibly be this wine's best pairing. But chicken with mustard-tarragon cream sauce will fit just as pleasantly.

Anyone notice my (dare I say admirable) attempt at floral arrangments? You did, didn't you? Your mind has been blown. I can tell. All I did was add a handful or two of small rocks to the bottom a glass cup then filled it up half way with water. I then cut off a few small bunches of hydrangeas and placed them in the glass. Place a few of these arrangements down the center of the table. Flowers: Done.

I bet you're wondering what other amazingly impressive tricks I have up my sleeve. To which I say: stay tuned.

Chicken with Mustard-Tarragon Cream Sauce

Recipe Courtesy of Martha Stewart

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6 ounces each)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup dry white wine, or chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon

Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken; saute until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes, turning once. Transfer to a plate; keep warm.

Pour wine into hot skillet; cook, stirring, until reduced by half, about 1 minute. Whisk in cream, mustard, and tarragon. Cook, whisking, until thickened, about 2 minutes.

Pour any accumulated chicken juices into sauce. Right before serving, drizzle cream sauce over chicken.

Serve over steamed white rice.

Lemon-Chive Vinaigrette Recipe

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