6-35: Chicken Diable

Here’s a pretty basic “chicken with sauce” type recipe that can be fancy or not-so-fancy. “Chicken Diable” or “Chicken a la Diable”, as evidenced by the name, is essentially “the Devil’s chicken”, evoking images of spices and fire. As Serious Eats notes in their version of the dish, the French have a very different idea of spiciness than some other cultures.

6-35 Chicken Diable
Everyone’s got their version of this dish–here’s Bon Appetit’s, and Google turns up many more results. Whether it’s actually spicy is up to you–if you actually like things spicy, prepare to have to add some heat to this one.

6-35 Chicken Diable1
There’s no notes on this one, but the smudgy prints on it lead me to believe that someone (me or my mom) cooked this one and just didn’t write it down–it happens. This seems like something she would have liked–odds are she made this for dinner one night 20-something years ago.

Ingredients. I couldn’t find tarragon vinegar, and didn’t want to wait for it to come from Amazon or make it, so I did a bit of research and found that apple cider or malt vinegar along with some dried tarragon can be an okay replacement.

I had only 6 chicken breasts, and I had planned to make another recipe along with this one (6-49: Cheese-Glazed Chicken Rolls), so I took two of the larger ones and sliced them (roughly) in half to make 4 thinner breast pieces. Not exactly even or pretty, but it’ll do.

Sprinkled the chicken pieces with a bit of salt and pepper, greased them and the pan, and stuck them in the oven to bake as instructed.

After baking. This is a great bulk cooking method for chicken breasts–the restaurant I worked for did something very similar (and on a much larger scale) for a lot of dishes that called for cold cooked chicken (like salads and cold sandwiches).

Coating and dredging the cooked chicken breast pieces. I used panko crumbs for my coating–I like their crunchy texture much more than traditional breadcrumbs.

Preparing the sauce while I was waiting for the chicken to bake. It’s all about multitasking.

Chopping up some shallots.

Combining the rest of the sauce components.

Chicken is coated and ready to broil. I declined to drizzle with butter and went with a thin coat of spray oil over the chicken instead. It’ll serve mostly the same purpose–helping crisp the outside coating. This way will just do it more evenly.

Sauce is thicker and more consistent after some time on the stove.

After adding the cornstarch slurry, dried tarragon, & butter. Not a very attractive picture, but you get the idea.

After some time under the broiler. Light, but still very crispy.

Final plating, attempting to mimic their style of placing the sauce under the chicken. Their garnish game is way better than mine, though. This was a pretty good dinner dish–the sauce is very white-wine-80s-lightly-reminiscent-of-béarnaise-but-we’re-watching-our-calories, but it’s not bad.

Grade: B+

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