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Chicken with Pearl Onions and Mushrooms

Chicken with Pearl Onions and Mushrooms

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Serves 6 to 8.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from a recipe in the Le Cordon Bleu At Home cookbook.

The original recipe called for veal shanks, which are not easily found where I live. The meal is a simple dish described as “bourgeoise” because it is characteristic of family-style French cooking.


5 tablespoons unsalted butter (or regular butter if not too salty)
3 pounds (1.4kg) boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1–inch (2.5cm) pieces
¼ cup (1¼ ounces or 35g) all-purpose flour
3 cups (475ml) chicken stock, more as needed
1 Bouquet Garni (see below)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
30 pearl onions, peeled
¾ pound (340g) small (or large, quartered) button mushrooms, trimmed and cleaned
2 egg yolks
Fresh parsley leaves for garnish
Bouquet Garni:
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs fresh thyme
4 large sprigs fresh Italian parsley (including stems)
1 4-inch (10cm) piece of celery stalk with leaves
2 4-inch (10cm) pieces of leek green (or large green onion stalks)


Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large, deep frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the mushrooms and cover the pan. Cook until tender. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the chicken to the pan with 2 tablespoons of butter. Sauté until cooked through but not browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Reduce the heat to low and add the remaining two tablespoons of butter to the pan. Add the flour and cook about 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in about ¼ cup (60ml) of the chicken stock. Blend until smooth. Add more liquid and whisk again. Then add the remaining liquid and whisk until smooth. Return to the heat and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

Add the Bouquet Garni and simmer the gravy over low heat for about 15 minutes to thicken. If it becomes too thick, add a little more stock, or simmer longer for a thicker gravy. Taste for salt and pepper. Transfer about half a cup (120ml) of the cooking liquid to a bowl and set aside to cool a little.

Add the onions to the pan and cook until tender (6 to 8 minutes). Remove and discard the Bouquet Garni.

Add the egg yolks to the bowl of reserved liquid and whisk to blend. Stir this mixture into the liquid in the skillet and blend until smooth. Add the cooked chicken and mushrooms. Heat to serving temperature.

Place in a serving bowl and garnish with a little chopped fresh parsley, or spoon over cooked noodles if desired and garnish.

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