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, her recipe 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 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!
Grandma Edith’s Chicken Piquant
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
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
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup water
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 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
After simmering, add cornstarch to 1/4 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, season with salt and pepper to taste.
*Chef notes: If using bone-in chicken, simmer for 2 hours.
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