I’ve developed quite the reputation for ordering “strange” things off of menus. Ask Em and her family about the “turkey dinner” at Gallaghers. Or what about the rib dinner at GlyHop? And while “spicy chicken” doesn’t sound so strange, everything changes when you can consider where it’s made.
Tartine, one of our favorite places in the West Village, serves really great and classic french cuisine. Add the fact that it’s BYO, and you can see why this place is packed on a nightly basis. The mussels and frites are amazing, the steak aux poivre is delicious, and the soups and salads never disappoint. But I always order the spicy chicken. Served with guacamole and french fries; so what the hell is this bizarre menu item?
The funny thing is, it’s not even spicy. And to add another twist, its made with sliced chicken breast which has the potential for multiple disasters; 1, the absence of chicken flavor and 2, the moisture content of a shoe. Somehow, Tartine bypasses these two disasters and produces a really delicious dish. One that I was craving hard-core last night….
So I attempted to whip up my own version of this dish! I find the key to sliced chicken cooking is to begin the process with the whole breast. By searing a seasoned breast before slicing it up and returning it to the pan, you somehow manage to retain the “chickenness”. Creating a pan sauce with garlic, shallots, and fresh tomatoes with a small spoonful of honey created that wonderfully simple yet comforting sauce that compared pretty closely to that of Tartine’s. With some fresh guacamole and some cucumber salad (would have been better with the frites) it was another craving squashed successfully!
What are your favorite menu items to replicate at home?