Poulet au Porto Recipe

Poulet au Porto Recipe

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Poulet au Porto [Roast Chicken Steeped with Port Wine, Cream, and Mushrooms]
Chicken, cream, and mushrooms occur again and again, as it is one of the great combinations. This perfectly delicious recipe is not difficult, but it cannot be prepared ahead of time or the chicken will lose its fresh and juicy quality. The chicken is roasted, then carved, flamed in cognac, and allowed to steep for several minutes with cream, mushrooms, and port wine. It is the kind of dish to do when you are entertaining a few good, food-loving friends whom you can receive in your kitchen.
Instructions
  1. Roast the chicken as described in the master recipe. Be sure not to overcook it.
  2. Meanwhile, trim and wash the mushrooms. Quarter them if large, leave them whole if small.
  3. Bring the water to boil in the saucepan with the butter, lemon, and salt. Toss in the mushrooms, cover, and boil slowly for 8 minutes. Pour out the cooking liquid and reserve.
  4. Pour the cream and the cornstarch mixture into the mushrooms. Simmer for 2 minutes. Correct seasoning, and set aside.
  5. When the chicken is done, remove it to a carving board and let it rest at room temperature while completing the sauce.
  6. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the roasting pan. Stir in the shallots or onions and cook slowly for 1 minute. Add the port and the mushroom juice, and boil down rapidly, scraping up coagulated roasting juices, until liquid has reduced to about ¼ cup. Add the mushrooms and cream and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, allowing the liquid to thicken slightly. Correct seasoning and add lemon juice to taste.
  7. Smear the inside of the casserole or chafing dish with butter. Rapidly carve the chicken into serving pieces. Sprinkle lightly with salt, and arrange in the casserole or chafing dish.
  8. Set over moderate heat or an alcohol flame until you hear the chicken begin to sizzle. Then pour the cognac over it. Avert your face, and ignite the cognac with a lighted match. Shake the casserole slowly until the flames have subsided. Then pour in the mushroom mixture, tilting the casserole and basting the chicken. Cover and steep for 5 minutes without allowing the sauce to boil. Serve.
  9. (*) Chicken may remain in its casserole over barely simmering water or in the turned-off hot oven with its door ajar, for 10 to 15 minutes, but the sooner it is served, the better it will be.
Recipe Notes

VEGETABLE SUGGESTIONS:
Nothing should interfere with these special flavors. It would be best to serve only potatoes sautéed in butter, or a perfectly seasoned risotto. Peas, or asparagus tips, or braised onions, could be added if you feel the necessity for more vegetables.

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WINE SUGGESTIONS:
Serve very good, chilled, white Burgundy such as a Meursault or Montrachet, or an excellent, chateâu-bottled white Graves.

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