"True wine enthusiasts don’t collect wines.
They collect memories of wines shared with friends and family."

-Dario Zucconi

Monday, January 2, 2012

Flambé Chicken with Mustard and Mushroom Cream Sauce

To round out our 2011 holiday vacation and welcome 2012, tonight, I made one of my all-time favorite dishes. This is a dish that I refer to as my "comfort-food-craving-go-to-dish."  It's a dish that also confirms that true friends make lasting memories.  It is: Chicken flambéed with Brandy, then baked with a mustard and mushroom (fresh button and dried porcini) cream sauce.  I served it with steamed Jasmine rice and baby carrots, which I first steamed and then baked with a dash of molasses, brown sugar, and cinnamon.  It's a fun dish to make because the kids love to watch us flambéing the chicken -- they always get excited about the flame.

I must have made this dish more than 30 times.  As my husband says, "too many times to count."  But, every time I make this dish, it reminds me of two very important people in my life -- two people I consider to be not only lifelong friends, but also like sisters to me.  They are my friends Veronica and Tara.  This dish reminds me of Veronica because she first made this dish for Patrick and me when we were in college -- oh, 16-17 years ago.  She made this dish for us during one of our regular Friday night dinners that we used to have in college.  Veronica and I met on our first day in college at UC Berkeley.  She is one of my lifelong friends, and one of my culinary inspirations. She loves cooking, and she loves experimenting with food.  This was one of the special meals she made for us.  This dish is absolutely divine. I have made this dish so many times that I don't even look at the recipe anymore. I can make it in my sleep.  Veronica is now working on assignment in India for a non-profit consulting firm. I miss you so much, V!

This dish also reminds me of my friend Tara.  Tara and I met in college when we both went to work at the EEOC in Washington, D.C.  She and I also used to enjoy cooking together when we were both living in the Bay Area. (She is now getting her LLM -- Masters in Law -- in London.)  I think about Tara when I make this dish because once we almost burned down her apartment in San Francisco when we were flambéing the chicken.  We had a good laugh about it, though! And, we enjoyed the dish and some great wine too. I miss you too, Tara! I am so glad we were able to see each other when you visited for Christmas.

Tonight, as Patrick and I savored every bite of this dish, I dedicated this meal to you ladies -- two truly amazing women I know.  With this dish, we enjoyed a glass of a delectable Cabernet Sauvignon (Louis M. Martini 2007).  The great thing about this dish is that you can enjoy it with any wine that you wish. The flavors are incredibly versatile. 

Here is a toast to 2012 and to lasting friendship!

Until next time . . . Cheers! ZinAdel

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