Saturday, July 25, 2009

Julia and Me

Before Paula Deen and Rachel Ray, before Martha, there was Julia Child. My mom loved her show, and I was the lucky beneficiary of many delicious dishes based on Julia Child's recipes. One recipe for chicken breast stood out as my favorite. It's very simple and I still make it today, although I've simplified it a bit. I've searched through Julia's cookbooks and can't find the exact recipe, but I think she may have called it Chicken Supreme.


three chicken breasts or one package of chicken tenders
two tablespoons butter or olive oil
half a lemon
two tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Julia's original recipe called for butter. Over time, with the push to eat less saturated fat, I started using olive oil instead. Until I made it both ways for this blog, I was happy with the olive oil version.
  1. (Optional) Julia's recipe began with folding waxed paper over the chicken breasts and pounding them so that they are uniform in thickness. This is a great idea and will yield more consistent results, but I'm generally too lazy and skip this step.
  2. Heat a saute pan (or similar) over medium/low heat. Add butter or olive oil. Place the chicken in the pan and squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the meat. Cover the pan. (Julia Child's version called for covering the meat with waxed paper and then putting a lid on the pan. I don't see much difference when I do that.)
  3. When the meat turns white around the edges (about three minutes for chicken tenders, five to six minutes for chicken breasts) turn the pieces over, add the parsley, cover and continue to heat.
  4. Cook just until the middle is no longer pink (about three to four minutes for tenders, about six to seven minutes for breasts, depending on the thickness).
  5. Salt to taste and plate the chicken. Drizzle the juices from the pan over the meat and serve.
Rice is a perfect match for this dish and I can't help thinking that Julie's White House Worthy Rice would be excellent with it! While it tastes delicious made with olive oil, I have to admit that it's better with butter. It's exactly the kind of dish that Sophie, the protagonist in my Domestic Diva Mysteries, would serve to her friends on short notice.


  1. Chicken and butter and rice. Mighty nice. Would be a good winter food as well. Comfortable. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I loved Julia, too! What a wonderful personality she had. And this sounds like a delicious dish. Thanks for sharing it with us, Krista.

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  3. I love olive oil, but sometimes butter is better. Didn't Julia herself used to say that people shouldn't be afraid of butter and cream?

  4. Mmmm... this is going to make it onto my family's dinner table this week. I love recipes that are easy and delicious!

  5. I am grinning at your mention of Julia Child. You are definitly all set with the Julie & Julia movie coming out in August (I'll bet Meryl Streep gets an Oscar nom for her portrayal of Child). I respect butter. I do. But I'm going with your olive oil suggestion and chiclen tenders is a great idea. Hmmmm...maybe over a bit of angel hair pasta with some fresh cheese and pepper grated on top (Avery? What cheese?!.) Now I'm hungry.


  6. Julia Child's chicken supremes were a family favorite. My parents enjoyed THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING so much that our dog got seriously overweight from the scraps! The recipe is still one of my sister's favorites for special occasions. The full version includes delicious and obscene amounts of cream. Devine!

  7. WOW, that is what we had for dinner last night! Delish! The same recipe can be used to marinate the chicken and then grill (we say barbecue) it, slathering the butter on as it cooks. Yum!
    I can't wait to see the Julia movie, either - be back for more blogging!

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