Poulet à la Barthelasse

This recipe is courtesy of a nice helpful website called Chez Basilic.

As the website describes the dish;

The dish is named after the island of Barthelasse between Avignon and Villeneuve les Avignon. It’s one for garlic and parsley lovers. Persillade is one of the favourite seasonings in many Provençal dishes. I have added olive oil and a bit of lemon juice to the original Provençal Persillade recipe. It makes it taste even better as it reduces the pungency of raw garlic.

I have tweaked the recipe for the persillade from what is on the website. It is now more like a classic Provençal version. Overall, the recipe is basically the same but I’ve cooked it twice now and I think that it was better this time than the first, when I used the original recipe.

Ingredients:

2 whole boneless chicken breasts with the skin removed, split lengthways.
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of butter for frying
1 glass of dry white wine
Salt and pepper
The juice of one lemon
A bunch of flat-leaf parsley
Two or three fat cloves of garlic
A couple of tablespoons of white breadcrumbs

Preparation:

Prepare your persillade first.

Add the parsley, crushed garlic, salt and pepper to a blender with some olive oil and the lemon juice. Blitz this and add the breadcrumbs and mix it for a few seconds longer until it forms a smooth paste. Set this aside until the chicken is cooked. The persillade sauce is only warmed up over the chicken, not cooked in so that it loses its colour and texture.

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper lightly, since the persillade also contains salt and pepper. Warm the olive oil and butter over medium high heat in a sauté pan until the butter begins to foam. Do not let it burn. Sauté the chicken breasts until the pieces are nicely browned on all sides and cooked through so that the juices run clear. Add the wine, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon so that all the brown bits are dissolved. Add the persillade, turning the chicken breasts over in the wine and persillade mixture for a couple of minutes. Don’t over-cook at this stage because you want the parsley to retain its fresh green colour.

When you serve, spoon the persillade sauce over the chicken breasts.

To accompany this I steamed some new potatoes and wilted some spinach in butter.

I suppose that this dish suggests a white or rosé wine as an accompaniment and I would suggest that if you were choosing a white wine it should be one with a lot of body, maybe a Marsanne, Roussanne or Viognier, which are all local Rhône Valley white grape varieties. However, I think that this works equally well with a red wine, because of the garlicky sauce and I would recommend a Côtes du Rhône or a Côtes du Rhône Villages personally. You could even chill it slightly, if you wished.

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