Yet another kitchen disaster made good in the name of invention. The recipe was created in 1930 by the wife of the Deputy Mayor of Dijon, Gaston Gérard. She was cooking for an esteemed guest, Maurice Edmond Sailland, AKA Curnonsky, a celebrated food writer dubbed The Prince of Gastronomy. Gravity intervened and she accidentally dumped a load of paprika into the chicken dish Madame Gérard was cooking. To rectify it she added crème fraiche, white wine and a dollop of mustard. Curnonsky loved it, and he named the dish after his host. It is now a Dijon classic.
Suggested Pairing: While Chardonnay and our Hildegard Estate White share similar traits, Hildegard has a more expressive fruit character and crispness that makes it incredibly food compatible. Its velvety mouthfeel and bright citrus notes are a heavenly pair with creamy, rich chicken dishes.
- 6 chicken breasts
- 3 Tbsp Olive oil
- 3 Tbsp butter
- Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 1/4 cups dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ¾ cup Crème Fraiche (or sour cream if creme fraiche is unavailable)
- 3/4 cup grated Comté or Gruyère cheese
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (optional), leaves removed and chopped
- 3 Tbsp dry breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Rinse chicken and pat dry. Salt and pepper the chicken pieces. Heat oil & butter in skillet until butter is sizzling and frothy. Brown the chicken breasts; about 3-4 minutes each side.
- Transfer the chicken to a baking dish and then place in the oven to finish cooking, about 10-15 minutes.
- In the same skillet, sauté the shallot until golden then add white wine, simmering until wine is reduced by about half. Lower the heat and add to it the creme fraiche, mustard, thyme and paprika and let simmer a few minutes more.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle with grated cheese then top with breadcrumbs.
- Return to oven to warm chicken and melt cheese.
- Serve immediately with a baguette (or wild rice), mixed green salad and a glass of Hildegard.