Cinnamon-crunch Chicken {FFwD}

Chicken, speculoos, crème fraiche, butter, salt, and pepper. That’s the entire ingredients list for this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe. And it’s all you need to make a spectacular, creamy, spicy dish that’s sure to be a hit.

Speculoos are spicy, sweet, crispy cookies that are popular in France but available elsewhere. I found them in the international section of the grocery store. The ones I bought were LU Cinnamon Sugar Spice Biscuits. They are also easy to make if you can’t find them in the store, although Dorie notes that she prefers the store-bought ones for this recipe.

I began by stirring crushed speculoos into homemade crème fraiche and seasoning with salt and pepper. Although the cookies are sweet, you don’t use a lot, and the tanginess of the crème fraiche combined with the salt and pepper makes the mixture more savory than sweet.

Next, I sliced chicken breasts into strips and sautéed them in butter until well-colored and almost cooked through. I seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper, stirred in the crème fraiche mixture, and cooked everything for a minute or two until the crème fraiche was warmed and the chicken cooked through.

I served the chicken with homemade bread and a salad for a quick and easy weeknight supper. As I was putting the dish together, I remember how my dad used to tease my grandmother for putting a dash of paprika on everything before it went on the table. What Nanny Faye understood and Dad didn’t was that we eat with our eyes before we eat with our mouth. 

I must have inherited some of Nan’s genes, as I was worried that the dish would look to blah on the plate. In fact, I was originally going to serve it with creamy rice, but I realized it would be a  nearly monochromatic meal. So I dressed the dish up with a few speculoo crumbs and by serving it on a colorful plate.

If the color was less than impressive, the dish itself was delicious. The slightly sweet, spicy tang of the crème fraiche and speculoos paired so well with the chicken. The cinnamon in the speculoos wasn’t at all cloying or overpowering — it reminded me of savory Indian or Middle Eastern dishes that I’ve had with cinnamon.

Perhaps because of the association with Indian food, I reheated the leftovers and served them over couscous the next day. It was as good reheated as it had been the first day, and it married perfectly with the couscous.

This odd-sounding combination of ingredients made for one of my favorite dishes so far from Around My French Table. And it’s definitely one that I’ll make again.

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12 Comments

  1. Betsy said,

    September 16, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Yeah, I’m one that didn’t love it. I’m glad it was a hit at your house though. I made the mistake of serving with the cardamom rice pilaf we made a few months back. Talk about monochromatic… Your cookie sprinkles are a great idea to add some visual interest.

    • gaaarp said,

      September 16, 2011 at 9:53 pm

      It certainly needed something to brighten it up.

  2. Elin said,

    September 16, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    I am with Kayte, when I go around looking at the other Doristas’ version, theirs were so creamy, I took out the book and re-read again the instructions LOL! anyway yours looks creamy and delicious..YUM!

  3. September 16, 2011 at 11:48 am

    I just added a note to my book to sprinkle dry cookie crumbs over my chicken before I serve it. That way it gets a little “crunch” and looks nicer. Your nana was absolutely right!

    • gaaarp said,

      September 16, 2011 at 6:33 pm

      Thanks. It needed a bit of color and crunch. The stirred in cookie bits got soggier than I hoped they would.

  4. September 16, 2011 at 11:12 am

    The sauce must have been great to sop up with the bread. Between no LU cookies other than Panky and no creme fraiche, I decided it was best to play catch up and bake speculoos (I didn’t join FFwD until February).

    • gaaarp said,

      September 16, 2011 at 6:32 pm

      Save some of those speculoos for this dish!!

  5. Kayte said,

    September 16, 2011 at 8:46 am

    This doesn’t look at all like I had pictured for some reason…I am going to have to get the book out and read about this, I thought it was going to be chicken with a crunchy cookie coating. This looks good and much easier than I had imagined as well. You did a nice job adding color and interest to it for the visual.

    • gaaarp said,

      September 16, 2011 at 6:31 pm

      It was ridiculously easy — saute chicken, stir in creme fraiche and speculoos, season and serve.

  6. Cher said,

    September 16, 2011 at 7:57 am

    This was certainly a pleasant surprise. I can see how it would complement Indian-style dishes.

    • gaaarp said,

      September 16, 2011 at 6:30 pm

      I was surprised to hear that a lot of people didn’t care for this one. I loved it!


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