French Bistro Chicken & Asparagus with Aigrelette Sauce

“The best way to execute French cooking is to get good and loaded and whack the hell out of a chicken. Bon appétit. ”
Julia Child

French Bistro Chicken Ready to Bake

~ Sunday dinner or or an easy elegant dinner party ~

A fresh baguette with warm brie sitting in a little puddle of white wine,  French Bistro-Style Chicken and Asparagus with Aigrelette Sauce was perfect, or at least to me worthy of a greater audience not just the two of us. Both dinner recipes adapted from Sarah Leah Chase, Pedaling through Burgundy and easy to prepare ahead of time. To the recipe shown below I used fresh tarragon and cut the recipe in half, plenty of leftovers.

French Bistro Chicken with Shallots and Artichoke Hearts

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 chickens, 3 to 3½ pounds each, cut into serving pieces
  • 1 pound shallots, peeled
  • 2/3 cup dry white vermouth
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons dried tarragon about 6-8 or so fresh sprigs for a milder flavor
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 cans (14 ounces each) artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
  • 1 cup chicken broth, preferably homemade ( I used a Chicken Flavor Boost packet, makes on cup and better chicken flavor addition)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.

2. Heat the olive oil and butter together in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the chicken pieces in batches, starting skin side down and turning, until nicely browned all over. Transfer the chicken to a large baking pan and arrange the pieces in a single layer.

3. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons fat from the skillet. Add the shallots and sauté until lightly browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the vermouth and lemon juice; cook, stir to deglaze, scraping up any brown bits clinging to the bottom of the skillet. Stir in the tarragon and season with salt and pepper. Add the artichoke hearts and toss to combine. Pour this mixture around the browned chicken pieces.

4. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake until very tender, about 45 minutes. Pour the accumulated juices from the chicken into a small saucepan. Add the chicken broth and boil until reduced by half, 5 to 7 minutes. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve at once.

Asparagus with Aigrelette Sauce

1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1-1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup peanut oil ( I was out of peanut oil so added canola oil)
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons white burgundy wine (Chardonnay)
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (Champagne Vinegar)
2 tablespoons chicken broth
½ cup assorted herbs, parsley, chives, tarragon, chervil, dill, cilantro and or basil
Sea or coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 lbs asparagus, peeled

 In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, mustard, and lemon juice.  Slowly whisk in the oils to forma thickened emulsion.  Whisk in the wine, vinegar, and broth.  Season with herbs and salt and pepper.  Refrigerate to room temperature before using.

Place the asparagus spears in a wide saucepan and add water to cover.  Bring the water to a boil and cook the asparagus until crisp tender, 3-4 minutes.  Drain well and immediately sauce with enough sauce to coat the spears lightly and evenly.

Refrigerate sauce and serve hot or warm.