I spend three months of my youth every year devoted for revision and exams, so intense to the point of getting so depressed, feeling so clueless and empty for many days once it’s over. It’s crazy how stressful one’s education could be. And so, in the heat of this insane period, my only sanity left now lies in the hands of food (and Tom & Jerry ^^). I spend most of my time in 3 places: library, bed and kitchen. Strangely enough, I always find peace and serenity by the hob (or oven), and so, as a method of relaxation, preparing food always takes me ages. There, another reason why I can’t quit my study and learn to be a professional chef. Who would want me when I spend 15 minutes chopping 1 onions????
Anyway, enough of the reason and back to the dish. This flambéed chicken with asparagus has been on my list for some time. I even made it once on Christmas Day and invite my friends over. The result came out quite lovely, though it wasn’t up to my expectation, since I lack some ingredients and hence substitute a few, for example, plain yogurt for crème fraiche, parsley for tarragon and quite little asparagus. I determined to make it one more time, and for the record, this is the first time I follow a recipe to the exact measurements. Normally when it comes to cooking, I always look at the main ingredients, come up with a few more myself or just keep it at that, taste and adjust everything to my liking. And I must say, I am very very happy I did follow this time, as the result turned out wonderful, the sauce is more creamy than I ever made, and tarragon made a lovely complement to the dish (How come I’ve never used tarragon in anything before?).
This dish is in fact very simple, the only twist and trick lies in the flambé part. Ooooh, needless to say how much I enjoy this show, looking at the burning pretty (little?) flame dancing. Just pour the brandy into the pot and trigger the flame with a blow torch, if you have one, or simply by a candle like me, but be extra careful or you’ll burn your precious hands. To do the flambé part, pour brandy into a ladle, hold it above the pot to heat it up a bit, then pour into the pot. Tilt the pot lightly to one side, carefully tip the candle or the blow torch close to the surface of whatever’s inside, I’d say about 2-3 inches higher above the surface, for the flame to ignite then stand back, watch it die slowly.
Flambéed chicken with asparagus
- 4 chicken thighs
- 1 tbs seasoned plain flour
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 tbs butter
- 4 shallots, finely chopped
- 4 tbs brandy
- 300 ml chicken stock
- 16 asparagus spears, halved
- 4 tbs crème fraiche
- 1 tbs cornflour
- 1 tbs chopped tarragon
- To prepare the asparagus, trim or snap the end of the stalks and discard. Hold the tip of the asparagus in one hand, on the other hand, use a peeler to peel of the outer skin from halfway to the end of the stalk. This is where the skin is very tough and hard. Halve and they’re ready for cooking
- Dust the chicken with the flour
- Heat the oil and butter over a large pan with lid until melted
- Fry the chicken until nicely browned
- Stir in the shallot and saute them with the chicken until soft but not yet colour, about 2 minutes
- Pour in the brandy, ignite and stand back, wait for the flame to die down
- Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook the chicken for about 15 minutes until tender
- Stir in the asparagus, cover for another 5 minutes
- Mix the cornflour with some cold water and gradually stir in the pot until the sauce reaches your desired thickness
- Add in the crème fraiche and tarragon
- Season and serve
I can’t have enough of this creamy chicken. Yum yum, the best meal I’ve had for 2 weeks now.
Hope you all have a good week with lots of good food :) And good luck to all of you students just like me ^^