As I mentioned when I made speculoos earlier this week, the French Fridays with Dorie selection for this week is the mutant child of chicken, creme fraiche, and cookies. Assuming that you already have speculoos on hand, Cinnamon-Crunch Chicken (pg 220 of Around My French Table) is super easy to make.
Before I really read the recipe, I expected the chicken to be battered by the cookies, but that's not the case. You cook chicken strips, and when they're just about done, add a mixture of creme fraiche, two crumbled cookies, salt and pepper. Let it boil for a minute. That's it.
Dorie says that store-bought speculoos are preferable for this recipe, and I suspect that relates to the "crunch" element. After a few days in a tin, my homemade cookies had softened up and lost their crunch. I re-baked them for a few minutes before I started cooking to try to crisp them up, but it didn't really work. I burned the first set I tried this on, so I'm sure I took them out too soon the second time. There was nothing crunchy about my chicken. No big deal, though.
Chicken B'stilla. Same sort of flavors, 1/100th of the hassle.
Matt said, "It tastes Asian-ish, but the cream makes it French-ish." Vague as that statement is, it seemed pretty accurate to me.
Conclusion: Liked it. We both thought this chicken was really weird, but really good. I
wouldn't go out of my way to bake speculoos just for this recipe, but if
I happened to have some in the house, I'd definitely make this chicken
Per Dorie's suggestion, I paired the chicken Lemon-Steamed Spinach (pg 331). Mix oil, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and a bit of nutmeg with the raw spinach, then steam it. This was fine, but nothing special. I'll stick with my norm of sauteeing spinach with oil and garlic.
Conclusion: Just okay.