Feels Like Spring Groundhog’s Day


It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.
Vince Lombardi

Catching up with a few great dinner notes from the February stack and with a major house renovation about to begin any day now folks… I’ve chosen a favorite short on time dinner and with such a successful trip to Trader Joe’s successful I wasn’t too concerned.  With fresh wild arugula, roasted baby beets, and Roquefort for a salad I went to straight to the marked favorites from Wini Moranville’s little French cookbook Bon Femme then on to the Sauté, Deglaze & Serve section for something easy and good…Chicken à la Diable just a few ingredients and such a delicious sauce in the end.  If you don’t own that wonderful book, you need to if you love to cook and like easy French cooking.

I love salads and this time of year is a challenge at times, but there are several that I have tried from Wini’s book and I haven’t been disappointed.  I have learned over the years to use new and different ingredients that include fruit, vegetables and nuts.  Lightly seasoned dressings are perfect with additions of different oils, vinegars and nuts.  Bonne Femme has great choices the salads aren’t loaded with the creamy dressing calories, but just as flavorful as they can be (I know I’m trying to get someone around here off the creamy dressing train and I think that he has been very surprised with all of the fruit additions as well.


Chicken à la Diable slightly adapted from Bon Femme Kindle version
Serves 2
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, butterflied and pounded thin or 4 chicken cutlets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large shallot, finely chopped
¼ cup dry white wine
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
½ teaspoon freshly ground
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped chives

I started with whole boneless chicken breasts and sliced them in half horizontally, but feel free to use prepared chicken cutlets.   Season the cutlets with salt and pepper, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a sauté pan over medium high heat and sauté cutlets on both sides for 6-8 minutes.  Remove cutlets from pan and keep warm.  Add the shallot to the skillet and briefly sauté until translucent. Add the wine, vinegar, tomato paste, and peppercorns to the pan, whisking to loosen any browned bits from the bottom of the pan and to dissolve the tomato paste. Bring to a boil and boil until the liquid is reduced by half,  Add the stock to the pan and boil until the sauce is reduced and coats the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes.  Whisk in 1 additional tablespoon of butter to thicken the sauce. Whisk in the herbs.

Plate the chicken cutlets and spoon the sauce over the chicken, and serve.

Moranville, Wini (2011-10-04). The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day (p. 106). Harvard Common Press. Kindle Edition.