Grandma Edith’s Chicken Piquant
Several months ago I received a gift from my mother of which I will treasure forever, a cookbook she acquired in 1976 from her Grandmother. Inside are some of her favorite recipes she collected along with my Grandmother, Great Grandmother and Great Aunt’s recipes. While I was thumbing through the collection of handwritten recipes, I found a recipe my mother wrote down from my Grandmother on my father’s side, “Grandma Edith’s Chicken Piquant”. My eyes lit up instantly when I saw this recipe and I couldn’t wait to try it out.
In case you have never heard the word “piquant” before, its origin comes from France and it literally translates to pricking. Translate it into culinary terms and its definition means “pleasantly stimulating, exciting to the mind or appetizing in flavor”. Some synonyms are spicy, tangy, peppery, hot, colorful, fascinating, exciting, or intriguing. Interesting isn’t it? If you start searching for chicken piquant recipes you will find many different variations of it. Some are spicy, such as jambalaya, some are more savory like chicken and dumplings, some have a variety of vegetables and some do not.
In my Grandmother’s version of chicken piquant, it is full of mushrooms, ginger, garlic, and Vin Rosé. It simmers for hours until the chicken literally falls apart and melts in your mouth. You can serve it with mashed potatoes, rice, pasta or steamed vegetables! I have also substituted the chicken with beef short ribs and used a cabernet sauvignon instead of a rosé, all of the other ingredients and steps are the same. Make this dish for Sunday supper and I promise you will not be disappointed!
So, let’s get cooking!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 hours
2 lbs boneless chicken breasts or thighs (I prefer the thighs)
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces fresh mushrooms sliced
1 garlic clove minced
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
3/4 cup Vin Rosé
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water
In a large pan on medium heat, sauté the mushrooms in olive oil until golden brown.
Add minced garlic and grated ginger, sauté for a minute longer stirring constantly.
Add Vin Rosé to mushrooms and deglaze the pan.
Add soy sauce, oregano, and brown sugar, bring to a simmer.
Add chicken, cover and simmer on low for 2 hours.
After simmering for 2 hours, add cornstarch to 1/2 cup of water in a jar and shake vigorously until completely combined.
Pour the cornstarch mixture onto the chicken and bring to a simmer. This will thicken up and create a velvety sauce. (You may need to add additional water to thin the sauce out to your liking.)
Shred the chicken while inside the pan before serving over rice, mashed potatoes or pasta.
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