There may come an absurd day when we become one of those people who suffer from having leftover Champagne, and choose not to slug it back in mimosas on New Year’s Day.
These two recipes call for the tail end of a bottle, and sound quite good.
NEW YEAR’S DAY CHICKEN
Blue Flame Kitchen
1/4 cup (50 mL) flour
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt, divided
1/2 tsp (2 mL) freshly ground pepper, divided
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
2 tbsp (25 mL) butter
2 tbsp (25 mL) oil
3/4 cup (175 mL) champagne
1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream
1/2 tsp (2 mL) tarragon, crumbled
1 cup (250 mL) seedless red grapes, halved
Combine flour and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and pepper in a large plastic bag. Add chicken to flour mixture and toss to coat.
Melt butter with oil in a large nonstick frypan over medium heat. Add chicken in batches and saute until golden brown and cooked through.
Transfer chicken to a plate. Add champagne to pan. Bring to a boil, scraping to loosen browned bits. Return chicken and any accumulated juices to pan. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
Stir in cream, tarragon and remaining 1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and pepper.
Simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in grapes; cook for 1 minute.
“This is another simple dish that can be prepared in advance and put in the oven as your guests enjoy the appetizer. I believe in the principle of eating fish once or twice a week. But I notice lots of unpracticed cooks are intimidated by the notion of preparing fish, especially whole, so I’m always on the lookout for quick and easy preparations. You can substitute flounder, sole, monkfish, salmon, cod, bass, or swordfish for the halibut in this recipe. The cooking time will be shorter with lighter fish, such as sole, and longer with meatier fish, such as swordfish
HALIBUT EN PAPILLOTE
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 fillets of halibut, about 4 ounces each
1/2 cup Champagne (Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut recommended)
8 sprigs fresh thyme
8 thin lemon slices
8 sprigs parsley
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Cut 8 pieces of parchment paper (or aluminum foil) into squares large enough to cover each fish fillet and leave a 2-inch border all around. Lightly brush 4 squares of the paper with olive oil. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Put each halibut fillet in the center of an oiled square and drizzle with Champagne. Add 2 sprigs of thyme, 2 lemon slices, 2 parsley sprigs, and 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds to each piece of fish. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Place the remaining parchment squares on top of the fillets and fold up the edges to form packets. Simply double folding each of the four sides is enough to seal each packet. Put the papillotes on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Serve by setting each papillote on a plate. Let your guests open their packets and spoon the juices over the fish. Voilà drama as well as flavor!
N.B. You can use dry white wine or vermouth instead of champagne.