Chicken Sauté Provençale

“French Cooking”

I asked my friends and fans, in My Wok Life FaceBook Club, if they would like to learn some French recipes, and here I am going to share my experience and recipe of simple French dishes, besides those I learnt at Palate Sensations.

For a Chinese cook, like me, to cook French cuisine at home was an unique cooking experience. I enjoyed the process, and the end result (the dish), too.

As I mentioned before, French cuisine uses lots of herbs and butter, to bring up the best flavour of French dish, the same goes to this dish I cooked. I liked its buttery sauce, with a hint of white wine. Between oregano and basil herbs, I chose oregano. The fragrance of oregano complements not only fish dishes, adding oregano into this chicken dish promotes the aroma of this chicken dish. But I am sure basil herbs will yield the same effect of another great flavour, too. If you like, try using it, and do let me know, ok (smile)?

I also realised French recipes often use brandy or wine, too. I loved the idea of adding wine (or liquor), too. It makes the dish tastes and sounds so “atas” (Singapore slang of high class) (laughing.. just kidding).

This French dish is a complete balanced dish which you have meat and assorted vegetables with different colours in it. Even for one who does not take bell peppers or onion, he/ she will love this dish and enjoy the vegetables in it as they were cooked till so soft with its irresistably natural sweetness. Not only for the taste, its colourful presentation will make the dish more appealing, too!

Oh yes, in my cooking of this dish, I chose skinless chicken fillet instead of the original chicken meat with skin (can be whole chicken or thighs, cut into pieces), for healthier cooking. But, of course, taste of skinless fillet will not be as tasty as chicken meat with skin. So, I’ll leave the choice of meat parts to you.

500 gram of chicken fillet, cut into bite sizes (Or, 1 chicken, chopped into 6 pieces)
1 medium red bell pepper aka capsicum, seeded and sliced into stripes
1 medium yellow bell pepper aka capsicum, seeded and sliced into stripes
1 large onion, sliced in rings
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 large tomatoes, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of white wine (about 250ml)
1 tablespoon of chopped oregano (or basil)
1 teaspoon of coarsely grounded black pepper
2 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons of butter (about 40g)
Pinch of salt

A touch of sugar (Optional)

Seasoning (for chicken meat):
1 tablespoon of grounded white pepper
1 tablespoon of coarsely grounded black pepper

Method
1) Pat chicken fillet/ meat dry and season with white pepper and black pepper for about 15 minutes.

2) Heat the oil and butter in a large and deep skillet (frying pan) over high fire. When butter foaming subsides, add chicken fillet/ meat (if meat with skin, the skin side down on skillet surface). Sauté for 3 minutes, or until lightly browned, on both sides. Remove from skillet, when done.

3) Reduce heat to low fire, add garlic, onion, capsicums and black pepper to the skillet, and cook until soften. Stir occasionally to avoid burnt. Return chicken fillet/ meat to the skillet and add wine, tomatoes and herbs, stir to mix well. Increase heat to medium fire, bring ingredients to a boil. Then, reduce heat to low fire to simmer for 30 minutes. Add salt and sugar to taste. Heat off, and serve with steamed rice.

This delicious dish yields aromatic buttery gravy that complements the hot steamy rice so well. Hence, make sure you have some rice to go with it.

Tips: You may use fresh herbs and chop it finely, or chopped herbs in bottle. I used fresh oregano leaves, and chopped it by myself.
* You may lightly coat both sides of the chicken fillet with some corn flour (before sauté), and it is important to sauté the chicken meat (especially if meat with skin) till light browned for better taste and mouthfeel. Mine done not brown enough. So, taste of the meat was a little bit more bland.