Family Tradition Our Winner!
If you have read anything I have written personally, then you know family is a constant theme in my stories. I mean essentially, family is where I get the basis of all of my stories. Many of them have been passed down through cooking, just like the next story I am about to share from one lovely SCV local.
“My name is Paulette Harris and I am submitting this recipe of my mother-in-law, Agnes Harris of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. I am from a Lebanese home where our dishes are rich with spices and tradition. I learned to cook watching my mother and grandmother cook. We considered “American” food to be unimaginative and bland. When I married my husband, now 45 years ago, we were invited to his parents for Easter dinner. That meal changed my attitude. His mother Agnes made this dish, which she called “Sparkling Chicken” but which we came to call ‘Sparkling Aggie.’ It has become a birthday tradition in our family.”
Mimi’s Sparkling Chicken
Preparing: 30 minutes
Cooking: 45 minutes
4 chicken breast pieces 2 tablespoons flour
1/2 tsp. salt 1 cup dry Champagne
1/2 tsp. pepper 1/2 cup light cream (or milk)
1/4 cup sliced almonds (toasted) 1/4 pound sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots 4 T butter (or more)
Melt 2 T butter in a shallow baking pan. Place chicken breasts, with thinner end tucked under thicker end, in pan and brush with the melted butter; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake 375 degrees 30 to 40 minutes. Meanwhile, melt remaining butter in saucepan. Add shallots and mushrooms; sauté until shallots are tender, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with flour. Add cream, stirring constantly. Simmer until thickened. Add Champagne and heat but do not boil. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Place chicken on heated platter; pour half the sauce over all of it. Pour remaining sauce in a pitcher to pass around. Sprinkle almonds on top and garnish with parsley.
Serve with rice or egg noodles. I place rice on the serving platter, top with chicken, pour sauce over, sprinkle with toasted almonds and sprinkled with parsley. A green vegetable encircling the platter adds a nice touch of color.
To prepare ahead: bake the chicken and refrigerate. Make the sauce and store in fridge. Before serving, cover chicken with foil, heat. Heat sauce and serve.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
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