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Poached Chicken in Cream Sauce
One of the most basic dishes in French cooking that is a favorite in the Franey family. The original recipe calls for a 2½ pound chicken which is difficult to find these days. So you will want to adjust your cooking time with a larger chicken.
INGREDIENTS1 2½ pound chicken, trussed
5 cups water or chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 small onion with two cloves
¼ teaspoon allspice
1 large carrot, peeled, trimmed and cut in half widthwise
3 large celery ribs, trimmed, each about 6 inches long
Salt to taste
2 springs fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup rice
3 cups chicken broth (broth in which chicken is cooked here may be used)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup heavy cream
Juice of half a lemon
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne
PREPARATION1. Place the chicken in a small kettle or large saucepan and add the water, bay leaf, onion with cloves, allspice, carrot, celery, salt, peppercorns, and thyme. Bring to the boil and partly cover. Simmer 30 minutes (more for a larger chicken).
2. Place the rice in a saucepan and add 2 cups of chicken broth (the rice may be cooked before or after the chicken is finished). Bring to the boil and cook 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour, using a wire whisk. When blended, add remaining cup of chicken broth, stirring rapidly with the whisk. Cook about 5 minutes and add the cream. Simmer about 10 minutes. Add salt and the remaining ingredients.
4. To serve, untruss the chicken. Remove the skin from the chicken (except the wing skin). Carve into 10 pieces.
5. Arrange the hot rice on a dish. Cut the carrots and celery into two-inch portions. Place the chicken on the rice, along with the carrots and celery. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve.