Magazine article Sunset

Chateau Sierra Chicken? It Was a Tour De Force of the Back-Country Chef

Magazine article Sunset

Chateau Sierra Chicken? It Was a Tour De Force of the Back-Country Chef

Article excerpt

Originally devised as a gourmet's dinner for a back-country pack trip, Chateau Sierra Chicken called for preparation in advance. The chicken roulades were shaped, then ftozen and transported, well insulated, to tbe first night's campsite, where they were unwrapped and cooked over a fire. We present a somewhat more elaborate version here, for diners who prefer to have a floor under their feet. The basic chicken preparation is the same, but a pan sauce of broth, drippings, wine, and sour cream makes for additional richness.

Chateau Sierra Chicken

2 whole chicken breasts (about 1 lb. each), skinned, boned, cut in half

2 to 3 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded

3 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 clove garlic, minced or mashed

2 teaspoons chopped parsley

3 tablespoons dry white wine

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup regular-strength chicken broth

1/2 cup sour cream

Salt

Place each piece of chicken between sheets of plastic wrap. With a flat mallet, pound until chicken is about 3/8 inch thick. Top each piece with 1/4 of the cheese, 1 teaspoon of the butter, 1/4 of the garlic, 1/4 of the parsley, and I teaspoon of the wine. Roll chicken to enclose filling, and secure with toothpicks.

In a paper or plastic bag, combine flour, paprika, and pepper. Coat chicken pieces with flour mixture; shake off excess. Reserve flour mixture.

In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium heat, melt the remaining butter; add chicken pieces, Turn often until evenly browned on all sides. Add broth; cover, reduce beat, and simmer until chicken is no longer pink in center (cut to test), 6 to 8 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer chicken to a warm platter; keep warm. Blend remaining wine with 1 teaspoon of the reserved flour; mix with sour cream, then whisk mixture into pan juices. Stir over high heat until sauce just comes to a boil. Pour sauce over chicken. Add salt to taste. Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 375 cal.; 39 g protein; 20 g fat; 8 g carbo.; 260 mg sodium; 133 mg chol.

The central Asian steppes that gave us the Huns, the Tatars, and the Mongols also gave us garlic, which has extended its empire to lands of which Genghis Khan never even dreamed, Garlic invaded Europe and the Near East early; it was well known to the ancient Egyptians as well as to the Greeks and Romans. The last peoples to submit were the British, the Scandinavians, and their descendants, who were overcome by Trojan borse-like tactics-the garlic sneaking in while hidden in ethnic foods of nearly every kind.

We are all comfortable now with garlic as a seasoning, but it is still uncommon as a principal ingredient, as it is in Trent Anderson's sopa de ajo (garlic soup). Slow sauteeing modifies the garlic's native assertiveness, leaving the soup with just a hint of the warm flavor.

Sopa de Ajo

1 head garlic

1 1/2 tablespoons salad oil

6 cups or 1 large can (49 1/2 oz.) regular-strength chicken broth

1/4 teaspoon Oriental sesame oil (optional)

3 tablespoons each finely chopped red bell pepper and green onions with tops

Fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves Peel garlic; thinly slice cloves. In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-low heat, combine oil and garlic. Stir often until garlic is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, pour broth into a 4- to 5quart pan. …

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