Chicken Pontalba Recipe

From Nola Cuisine

This is the last of the fancy New Orleans Chicken dishes that I’m going to feature for awhile, and I finished with my absolute favorite.
This dish was created by the great dutch Chef Paul Blange during the early days of Brennan’s Restaurant. It’s named for the Baroness Micaela Pontalba, famous for supervising the construction of the Pontalba buildings on the uptown and downtown sides of Jackson Square, and for the beautification of the square itself in 1848.
Legend has it that her friend Andrew Jackson, once failed to raise his hat to the Baroness, so when she funded the statue baring his likeness she insisted that sculptor Clark Mills depict Jackson forever raising his hat toward her apartment building. Probably not true, but it’s one hell of a fun story.

The Recipe:

Chciken Pontalba Recipe

2 Boneless, skinless Chicken Thighs, lightly pounded
1 Large Baking Potato, cut into 1/2 inch dice
3/4 Cup Ham, Diced
1 Small Onion Diced
1 1/2 Cups Mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 Tbsp Garlic, Minced
1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
2 Tbsp Italian Parsley, Minced
1/2 Cup All purpose Flour
Kosher salt & Black Pepper
Cayenne
4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, in all
Vegetable Oil
1 Recipe Bearnaise Sauce

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F.
Toss the Potatoes in 2 Tbsp Vegetable oil and season liberally with kosher salt and black pepper. Layer on a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes or until golden and crispy.

In the meantime, season the flour with salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Season the thighs also, then dredge them in the flour.

When the potatoes are almost ready, heat 2 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil in a saute pan. When the fat is hot, brown the chicken quickly on both sides, place on a ovenproof dish and finish in the oven.

In the same saute pan, add the ham and onions, saute until golden brown and the onions are tender. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and a Tbsp more butter. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the wine, and cook until the alcohol evaporates.
Fold in the brabant potatoes from the oven and 1 Tbsp of the parsley, taste for seasonings. just before serving incorporate the last Tbsp of butter.

Split the potato mixture between two heated plates. Top each with a chicken thigh, and finish with a generous portion of Bearnaise sauce. Garnish with minced parsley.

Serves 2.

More fancy New Orleans Chicken dishes at Nola Cuisine:

Chicken Clemenceau
Chicken Bonne Femme
Chicken Rochambeau

Chicken Rochambeau Recipe

From Nola Cuisine Images – (reedited)

Since I mentioned the fancy New Orleans chicken dishes in my Chicken Clemenceau post, I figured I would feature a few more. This is a favorite at Antoine’s* though they use a Brown Rochambeau Sauce, where I use Marchand de Vin.

*Note* – Antoine’s reopened December 29th.

Chicken Rochambeau Recipe

2 Chicken Breasts about 4-6 ounces each
2 Slices French Bread, 1/2 inch thick rounds, toasted under the broiler on both sides
2 Round Slices of Ham, lightly browned in butter
1/2 Recipe Marchand de Vin Sauce
1 Recipe Bearnaise Sauce
Parsley, finely chopped for garnish

For the Poaching Liquid:
3 Lemon slices
1 sprig Parsley
1 Bay leaf
1 tsp Black Peppercorns
1 tsp Kosher Salt

Place the lemon slices, parsley, peppercorns, the bay leaf, and salt in a large saucespan. Cover with water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to the point where the water is just steaming, just under a simmer. Add the chicken breasts, poach until they are just cooked through.

To assemble:
In the center of two heated serving plates, place the french bread rounds. Next, place the ham and top with a generous portion of Marchand de Vin. Place the chicken on the Marchand de Vin, finish with a generous portion of Bearnaise. Garnish with the chopped parsley.

Makes 2 Servings

Be sure and check out my ever growing Index of Creole and Cajun recipes which links to all of the recipes featured on this site!

Related Posts:

Chicken Bonne Femme
Chicken Clemenceau

Bearnaise Sauce Recipe

Bearnaise Sauce is wonderful on most types of seafood, and equally as good on meats and poultry.
In his Les Halles Cookbook Anthony Bourdain said something like, “Bearnaise can smell fear.” It’s true! If you haven’t made it before, be confident and pay attention, or the sauce will break on you. Pay careful attention to the bowl the sauce is in, if you need a towel to hold it, it’s probably too hot. You will learn an instinct as to when to pull the bowl from the heat after making it quite a few times.
In my humble opinion the best way to learn this sauce is to really mess it up once, you’ll make it right every time afterward.

Bearnaise Sauce Recipe

2 tsp Tarragon Vinegar
2 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
3 Egg Yolks
2 tsp Finely Chopped Tarragon
1/2 Cup Clarified Butter, warm
Kosher Salt & Cayenne Pepper
1 Dash Hot Sauce
A few drops Worcestershire Sauce

Place the vinegar, lemon juice, and egg yolks in the top deck of a double boiler. The water in the lower deck should be hot but not boiling.
Whisk slowly until you see the yolks start to coagulate on the sides. If the pan gets too hot, remove it from the heat for a minute, whisking constantly.
Whisk while cooking, minding the bowl temperature, until the yolks are lighter in color and do not leave yellow streaks when the whisk goes through them. If you see any signs of scrambling, remove the bowl from the heat.
When the yolk/acid mixture is good and thick, remove from the heat, add the Tarragon, and slowly drizzle in the clarified butter, whisking constantly, until incorporated.
Add the hot and worcestershire sauces, and season to taste with the salt & cayenne. I also like to add a squeeze more of lemon juice here also.

If the sauce is a little too thick, you can thin it down with a few splashes of hot water.

Makes about 2/3 Cup

Kitchen Invitation Meme

I was tagged by Carolyn at 18thC French Cuisine with this kitchen invitation meme in October and forgot about it until I was reading through her wonderful site today. Sorry Carolyn, better late than never I guess. :-0

I guess this is kind of like the food bloggers version of MTV cribs, so come on into my humble kitchen. Here is the view of most of the kitchen, nothing fancy, just well organized and clean. We have a pot rack over the fridge to utilize that space:

This is my main work station for cutting, prepping etc., right next to the stove of course. Also my favorite kitchen tools, good sharp knives, I’m also very fond of my hand held immersion blender (not pictured). I installed a large fluorescent light underneath the counter, I go crazy working in a kitchen with no light:

My pantry cupboard with all of my little bottles and jars of this and that, I love collecting spices and such:

Finally, my favorite ingredient. My Andouille Sausage, this one is from the batch I made awhile back. I make a large batch then vacuum seal it and freeze for later use:

I would like to tag my friend Bill Moran at Texas Chef to carry on this meme with the following rules:

1) Show us your kitchen (a picture) and tell us what is it about this place that reflects your own personality.
2) Open a cupboard (the one you feel to open), take a picture and tell us what we see.
3) Present us your favorite kitchen-based electrodomestic tool.
4) Take out the ingredients you like the most, the ones you always keep stored.
5) Present us to your favorite cooking/baking receipient.

I also owe B’Gina from Stalking the Waiter a meme as well, I will do that one next.

Crystal Hot Sauce News

It looks like Baumer Foods, makers of the Crystal line of products, may be staying in New Orleans after all! They were in talks of moving out of “the area.” Here is the latest article from the Times-Picayune, and the thread on the topic at Mr. Lakes Non-Pompous New Orleans Food Forum.
It will be very good news if they stay, I love their products.

Here is the article that said they were leaving.

Chicken Clemenceau Recipe

From Nola Cuisine Images – (reedited)

This dish is one of the famous Chicken creations of New Orleans, along with Chicken Bon Femme (different from the French), Chicken Pontalba, and Chicken Rochambeau. It’s named for Georges Clemenceau (1841-1929), a French statesman who became the French Premier in 1906.
I’m not sure who created this dish, but Galatoire’s serves a wonderful version, which this one is loosely based on. It’s generally made with a whole cut up chicken, but I’ve used chicken breast here because it was just my wife and I for dinner, and that is what I had handy.
Brabant Potatoes, are usually fried, but I baked them here with great results.
Although I generally object to anything army green in my cooking, I prefer the canned baby peas (petit pois) for this recipe. They don’t look as pretty as fresh or frozen, but I think the flavor and texture are better, and more authentic.

Chicken Clemenceau Recipe

4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, in all
2 Chicken Breasts, lightly pounded
2 Cups Mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 Small Onion, chopped
2 Green Onions, sliced
3 Large Cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil, in all
1 Large Russet Potato, 1/2 inch dice
2 Tbsp Italian Parsley, minced
1 Cup Small Green Peas, canned (Petit Pois)

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F.
Toss the diced potatoes in 2 Tbsp of the oil and season liberally with kosher salt and black pepper. Place on a baking sheet, and into the oven for 45 minutes, occasionally turning them with a spatula for even browning.

When the potatoes are almost golden brown, heat 2 Tbsp of the butter, and 1 Tbsp of the oil in an ovenproof skillet. When the fat is bubbling and hot, add the chicken breasts, which have been seasoned with kosher salt & black pepper, brown quickly on both sides, remove to a plate.

In the same hot pan add the mushrooms, saute until golden brown. Add the onions and garlic, season with a little salt and pepper, saute until the onions are almost tender and have some color. Deglaze the pan with the white wine, cook for 2 minutes. Stir in 1 Tbsp of the parsley.
Place the chicken back in the pan and cover with some of the “sauce.” Place in the oven until the chicken is just cooked through.

To Assemble:
Divide the brabant potatoes between two warmed plates, making a pile in the center, place a chicken breast on each.
Melt the remaining butter into the sauce, and fold in the Petit Pois until just warmed through. Divide the sauce over the two chicken breasts and garnish with the remaining parsley.

Serves 2.

More New Orleans style Chicken Recipes at Nola Cuisine:

Chicken Bonne Femme Recipe
Chicken Pontalba
Chicken Rochambeau

Related Recipes:

Brabant Potatoes Recipe

Creole Mustard Vinaigrette Recipe

Here is my version of a Creole Mustard Vinaigrette, which I love for an accompaniment salad for Red Beans & Rice.
Creole Mustard can be found most anywhere these days, Zatarain’s makes a good one which is widely available. If you do need to substitute, use a good quality coarse ground mustard and add a touch of prepared horseradish.

Creole Mustard Vinaigrette Recipe

3 Tablespoons Creole Mustard (I like Zatarain’s)
2 Tablespoons Thinly Sliced Green Onions
2 teaspoons Honey
2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
Cayenne and Kosher Salt to taste

Whisk this up.

While whisking, slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup of Vegetable or Canola oil until emulsified.

Makes a little over a 1/2 Cup.

Dixie Beer

My recent find here in the Detroit area, go figure. It was a new shipment as well, my only guess is that they were in transit before the disaster, or in a warehouse. I’m going to squirrel away this last batch and just pull one out on a rare occasion.
The word on Dixie Brewery is still not official, but apparently there are big problems with their insurance.

Red Bean Soup Recipe

From Nola Cuisine Images – (reedited)

I think I’ve made my affection for Red Beans & Rice abundantly clear, and this soup is just as near and dear to my heart. All of the wonderful flavors of a pot of Red Beans in soup form, fantastic!
I use Pickle Meat in my recipe, because Red Beans without it, standard or in soup form, just isn’t quite right to me without the acidity that the Pickle Meat lends. I also used sliced Andouille, and I just can’t tell you how wonderful that last batch tastes.

Red Bean Soup Recipe

1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
2 Tbsp Creole Seasoning
1 Cup Onion, chopped
1/2 Cup Bell Pepper, chopped
1/4 Cup Celery, Chopped
1 Cup Andouille Sausage, thinly sliced
1/2 lb Small Red Kidney Beans (soaked overnight or for at least a few hours)
1 Cup Pickle Meat, Cubed
1 Tbsp Fresh Garlic, Minced
10 Cups Chicken Stock (You could certainly use water)
3 Fresh Bay Leaves
1/2 Cup Tomato Sauce
1 Tbsp Italian Parsley, Finely Chopped
1/4 Cup Green Onions, thinly sliced on the bias
Hot Sauce to taste
Worcestershire Sauce to taste

Mix together the Holy Trinity (Onions, Celery, Bell Pepper). Drain the beans.
Melt the butter over medium heat.
Add 3/4 of the Holy Trinity, 1 Tbsp of the Creole Seasoning, turn the heat to medium high. Cook this for about 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables start to get some color.
Add the beans and cook stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes, or until the liquid from the vegetables is absorbed.
Add the Chicken Stock or Water, Pickle Meat, Andouille, Garlic, Bay Leaves, the remaining Trinity and Creole Seasoning. Bring this to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let this simmer for 2- 2 1/2 Hours.
After the beans have cooked for two hours, add the Tomato Sauce, Parsley, Hot Sauce, Worcestershire, and 1/2 of the Green Onions. Cook the beans for another half hour. Puree 1/3 of the soup, being sure to avoid any pieces of Andouille, and bay leaves.

As is the case with most soups, if you make this a day ahead, the flavors will be immensely better. Add additional stock or water if necessary, it should not be too thick.

To Serve:
Remove the Bay Leaves. Serve with good crusty French Bread, and your favorite ice cold beer.

Other Red Bean Recipes:

Red Beans & Rice (with Andouille & Tasso)
Red Beans & Rice with Pickle Meat and Fried Pork Chops

Other Soup Recipes:

Pumpkin Soup with Andouille & Tasso
Turtle Soup Recipe