Luxembourg – officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (Luxembourgish: Groussherzogtum Lëtzebuerg), is a tiny, landlocked country in Western Europe. Luxembourg has a population of about 525,000 and an area of 2,586 square kilometres (998 sq mi), making it one of the smallest sovereign nations in Europe. As a representative democracy with a constitutional monarch, it is headed by a grand duke and is in fact the world’s only remaining grand duchy.
Despite its small size, it has its own language (Luxembourgish) which is a dialect of German that is rather difficult for native German speakers to follow. As the grand duchy just celebrated their Duke’s birthday this week, Luxembourg is an ideal candidate for today’s “small country Saturday” recipe posting here on TFD!
Luxembourg’s cuisine is heavily influenced by German, French and Belgian culinary styles, due to their close proximity to the country. In some of the recipes of Luxembourg, there are also traces of Italian and Portuguese influences.
Luxembourg recipes includes a variety of starters, fish and meat dishes, snacks as well as desserts. Some of the more famous dishes of Luxembourg include Gromperekniddelen (Potato Dumplings), Brennesselszopp (Nettle Soup), Hong am Rèisleck (Chicken in Riesling) and Quetschentaart – Luxembourgish Plum Tart.
As the country is famous for its Riesling wine, many dishes include this delicious varietal in their preparation – the most beloved of which is Hong am Rèisleck. Essentially a chicken fricassee made with a creamy and luscious wine-based sauce and served with noodles, this is both easy and flavorful. My version of the recipe adds a touch of optional chervil, as I find it adds an additional layer of complexity to the flavor – feel free to omit if you prefer.
Battle on – The Generalissimo
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) butter, divided
1 (4-5 pound) chicken, broken down into 8 pieces
6 shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1.5 ounce (3 tablespoons) Cognac or Sherry
1 cup Riesling wine
1/3 cup chicken stock
6 ounces mushrooms (cremini or button), chopped or sliced
1 tablespoon flour
4 fluid ounce heavy cream
1 large egg yolk
freshly ground pepper
freshly grated nutmeg
small handful parsley, roughly chopped
1 tbsp minced chervil (optional)
hot wide flat noodles, for serving
Heat half of the butter in a large, wide pan with deep sides over high heat until hot. Season chicken with a bit of salt and pepper and add to the hot pan, skin side down. Sauté until skin has browned, then flip over. If your pan isn’t large enough to hold all of the chicken at once, do this in two batches, removing the first batch to a plate and returning it with the juices it’s released back to the pan before the next step. Add shallots and garlic to the pan, and continue to sauté for another minute or two.
Carefully add the Cognac to the pan and allow it to almost evaporate. Add the Riesling and chicken stock to the pan, turn heat down to a gentle simmer, and allow to cook for about 20-30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked all the way through.
While this is cooking, put the remaining butter into a pan and sauté the mushrooms until they just begin to turn golden in spots. Add them to the pan with the chicken. Whisk together the flour, heavy cream, and egg yolk; pour over and around the chicken while stirring/moving everything around, and immediately turn off the heat. Season to taste with a bit more salt and pepper, and a few grates of fresh nutmeg. Stir in the parsley and chervil (if using).
Serve hot over hot buttered noodles with vegetables of the season.