Creamed Chicken

2 TBSP butter
1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 TBSP butter
½ cup flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 ½ cups milk or half and half

In a large sauté pan, melt 2 TBSP butter until bubbly, then sauté chicken breasts until lightly browned and internal temperature reaches 170° F. Remove chicken from pan and chop. In the same sauté pan melt 4 TBSP butter over medium heat. Don’t worry about washing the pan first, the brown bits on the pan leftover from the chicken will dissolve adding to the richness of the sauce. Add flour to the butter and cook 2-4 minutes stirring constantly. Add chicken broth, then bring to a boil and cook until thick. Turn heat down, then add milk or half and half. Mix in chopped chicken and season according to taste.

Optional: Saute onions, carrots and celery to add to the mixture. Frozen peas also work well.

Serve this over rice or pasta, or in a puff pastry shell or combine it with a few vegetables for chicken pot pie or a casserole. Recipe adapted from Joy of Cooking.

Deglazing: When a piece of meat is roasted, pan fried or prepared in a pan with another form of dry heat, a deposit is left at the bottom of the pan with any rendered fat. Usually, the meat is removed from the cooking vessel, the dried and caramelized meat juices. The pan is returned to the heat, and a liquid is added to act as a solvent. This liquid can be plain water, vegetable or meat stock or any other liquid. This allows the cook to scrape the dark spots from the bottom of the pan, and dissolve them creating a rich sauce.

This method is the cornerstone of many well known sauces and gravies. The resulting liquid can be seasoned and served on its own (sometimes called a jus), or with the addition of aromatic vegetables such as onions or shallots. The sauce can also be thickened with a starch such as flour or reduced with a steady heat forming a richer concentrated sauce.

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