Chicken friand, a classic French recipe, has always been a personal favorite. Its taste—a harmonious blend of tender chicken, creamy mushroom sauce, and flaky puff pastry—is nothing short of culinary magic. Perfect for a sophisticated dinner party or a cozy family meal, this dish never fails to impress. But what makes it so special? Let’s delve deeper.
Choosing the Right Main Ingredient
The heart of any chicken friand is, of course, the savory chicken. But how do you pick the perfect piece?
- Texture and Freshness: Always opt for fresh chicken. It should be firm to the touch, with a clean smell. Avoid any pieces with a slimy texture or off-putting odor.
- Source: If possible, choose organic or free-range chicken. Not only is it ethically sound, but it also often offers a richer flavor.
Seasoning: The Soul of the Dish
The right seasoning can elevate your chicken friand from good to unforgettable. But what should you include?
- Herbs de Provence: A classic French herb mix, it adds a fragrant touch to the chicken mixture.
- White Wine: A splash of white wine, especially when combined with tarragon cream sauce, enhances the dish’s depth.
- Garlic and Shallots: These aromatic ingredients infuse the chicken filling with a robust flavor.
Recommended Cooking Equipment & How to Use Them Effectively
Achieving that perfect chicken friand requires not just the right ingredients but also the right tools. Here’s a guide to ensure you’re well-equipped:
- Gas Grill: Ideal for giving your chicken a smoky flavor. Ensure it’s preheated and cleaned before use. Cook the chicken evenly on both sides until it’s golden brown and fully cooked.
- Skillet: Essential for sautéed mushrooms and creating the mushroom filling. Always heat the skillet before adding butter or oil. This ensures even cooking and prevents sticking.
- Baking Sheet: A must-have for baking your friands. Always line it with parchment paper or a silicone mat to prevent sticking and ensure even heat distribution.
- Oven: Preheat your oven to the recommended temperature. This ensures the puff pastry rises beautifully and turns a golden brown.
The Quintessential Chicken Friand Recipe
- 2 cups of savory chicken, diced
- 4 frozen puff pastry sheets
- 1 cup of cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup of heavy cream
- 2 tbsp of white wine
- 1 tbsp of herbs de provence
- 2 shallots, minced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 egg (for egg wash)
- 2 tbsp of butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chopped parsley, for garnish
- Prepare the Chicken Mixture: In a skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic, sautéing until translucent. Add the savory chicken, herbs de provence, and white wine. Cook until the chicken is well-coated and the wine has reduced. Set aside.
- Mushroom Cream Sauce: In the same skillet, add more butter if needed and sauté the cremini mushrooms until they release their juices. Pour in the heavy cream and let it simmer until it thickens. Season with salt and pepper.
- Assemble the Friand: Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Roll out the puff pastry sheets and cut them into squares. Place a generous spoonful of the chicken mixture in the center, fold the pastry over to form a triangle, and seal the edges. Brush with egg wash for a golden finish.
- Bake: Place the friands on a lined baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
- Serve: Drizzle the mushroom cream sauce over the friands, garnish with parsley, and serve hot.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 450Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 90mgSodium: 450mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 25g
Serving Suggestions & Suitable Side Dishes
A chicken friand, with its rich flavors, pairs beautifully with lighter sides. Consider:
- Arugula Salad: The peppery notes of arugula contrast the creaminess of the friand.
- Whipped Sweet Potatoes: A smooth, sweet accompaniment that complements the savory chicken filling.
- French Leek Soup: A delicate soup that enhances the overall French dining experience.
Cooking Tips & Common Mistakes to Avoid
- Puff Pastry: Ensure your puff pastry remains cold before baking. A warmer pastry won’t rise as beautifully.
- Chicken Filling: Avoid overfilling the pastry, or it might burst during baking.
- Storage: If you have leftovers, store them in the fridge. Reheat in the oven to maintain the pastry’s crispness.
Conclusion: The Joy of Chicken Friand
Chicken friand, a masterpiece of French culinary art, is more than just a dish—it’s an experience. Whether you’re a seasoned chef like Ina Garten or a home cook inspired by Sarah Baumeister, this recipe promises a journey of flavors. So, the next time you’re in the mood for a French pastry dish that’s both comforting and sophisticated, remember the chicken friand. Bon appétit!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a Friand La Madeleine?
Friand La Madeleine is a popular dish served at La Madeleine French Bakery & Café. It’s a savory pastry filled with chicken, mushrooms, and a creamy béchamel sauce, similar to the chicken friand recipe described above.
What is chicken freon?
“Chicken freon” is likely a misspelling or misunderstanding of “chicken friand.” Friand is a French pastry dish, while Freon is a brand of refrigerant gas. They are not related.
Is Freon harmful to humans?
Yes, Freon is harmful when inhaled in large quantities. It can lead to respiratory issues, organ damage, and in extreme cases, death. It’s crucial to handle Freon carefully and only in well-ventilated areas.
Why is Freon banned in the US?
Freon is banned in the U.S. due to its harmful impact on the ozone layer. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has phased out its use in accordance with international agreements like the Montreal Protocol.
Can I use rotisserie chicken for chicken friand?
Absolutely! Using rotisserie chicken can save time and add a different flavor profile to your chicken friand. Just make sure to adjust the seasoning accordingly.
What can I substitute for puff pastry?
If puff pastry is unavailable, you can use phyllo dough or a pie crust as a substitute. However, the texture and flakiness will differ from the original recipe.
Is chicken friand gluten-free?
Traditional chicken friand is not gluten-free due to the puff pastry and possibly the sauce. However, you can make a gluten-free version using gluten-free puff pastry and adjusting the sauce ingredients.
How long can I store leftover chicken friand?
Leftover chicken friand can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. For best results, reheat in the oven to maintain the pastry’s crispness.
Can I freeze chicken friand?
Yes, you can freeze chicken friand for up to a month. Wrap each friand individually in plastic wrap and place them in a zip-top bag before freezing. Thaw in the fridge before reheating.
What wine pairs well with chicken friand?
A light, crisp white wine like Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc pairs wonderfully with chicken friand. The wine complements the creamy sauce and enhances the overall dining experience.
I’m Calvin Lamb, an LA-based culinary enthusiast with a decade’s experience in five-star kitchens. My innovative dishes, inspired by seasonal flavors and sustainable practices, blend classic and modern cuisine. Besides crafting unique culinary experiences, I relish exploring new eateries and devising fresh recipes.