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La Belle Cuisine - More Poultry Recipes

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"To cook is to create. And to create well...
is an act of integrity, and faith."


Gigi's Chicken and Avocado Casserole



"Poultry is for the cook what canvas is for the painter."
~ Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

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La Belle Cuisine


Gigi's Chicken and Avocado Casserole

My mother, God rest her soul, truly loved to cook and was so excited
when she discovered this recipe (I have no earthly idea where). It became
one of her "standards". I distinctly remember serving it at a dinner party
( to raves) when my younger son was an infant. (Well, let's just say both
sons are now forty-ish and let it go at that...)

A 6-pound capon, quartered
* (What is a capon? see below...)
1 medium onion
Several stalks of celery
Salt, freshly ground pepper
5 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups light cream [half and half]
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of dried rosemary
Pinch of dried basil
Dash of hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco
12 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 ripe avocados, peeled, diced
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

* Capon - a rooster that is castrated when quite young (usually before
8 weeks), fed a fattening diet and brought to market before it's 10
months old. Ranging from 4 - 10 pounds, capons are full-breasted
with tender, juicy, flavorful meat...

 The New Food Lover's Companion:
Comprehensive Definitions of over 3000 Food,
Wine, and Culinary Terms
by Sharon Tyler Herbst.


This book, by the way, is truly a must-have - essential if you are
serious about cooking. If you're just curious, you still need it!

So you can't find a capon, huh? You know I haven't seen one for years either. No doubt they still have them somewhere, but you may just have
to substitute a good roasting hen. If you are fortunate enough to be able
to shop where there is an actual butcher, who knows about such things,
ask him! And be grateful...
Cook the capon/chicken slowly in a large pot with 1 quart water,
onion, celery, and salt and pepper to taste. When chicken is tender,
remove it from broth and allow it to cool. Remove meat from bones
except for wings and neck. Put bones wings and neck back into broth
and simmer 30 minutes. Strain the stock and allow it to cool. Skim
off any excess fat.
In a saucepan. melt 3 tablespoons butter, stirring, and add the flour, continuing to stir, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually add stock,
stirring constantly, then cream, continuing to stir. Cook over very low
heat, stirring, until mixture thickens. Add cheese, salt, rosemary, basil
and hot sauce.
In medium skillet, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter and in it sauté
the mushrooms. In the bottom of a large casserole dish place capon/
chicken meat and mushrooms. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour the
sauce over chicken and mushrooms and bake, covered, 25 minutes at
350 degrees F. Remove casserole from oven. Add the diced avocado
and bake, covered, 10 to 15 minutes longer, or until the avocado is
just warmed through. Just before serving, sprinkle with almonds.
Serves 6 to 8.
Gigi always served this dish with her Wild Rice and Celery (I can't
seem to locate that recipe at the moment) but I always serve it over
some sort of rice. A mixture of brown and wild rice cooked in broth
with some onion is my favorite! Or perhaps some yummy pilaf!

Featured Archive Recipes:
Gigi's Artichoke Chicken
Gigi's Oven-Fried Parmesan Chicken
Gigi's Pineapple Chicken
Gigi's Quick Chicken Paella
Gigi's Sesame Baked Chicken

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