Typically, I shy away from trying two new recipes at the same time. Yet these carrots were so bright, flavored with onions and chicken bouillon, they simply demanded that they be paired with another new recipe; Chicken Breast Tarragon. While the Chicken is initially cooked in a pot with carrots and shallots, those are discarded from the final dish, used instead as a flavoring agent.
I considered several carrot recipes I’ve cooked up in the past (Roasted Baby Carrots with Nutty Browned Butter or Brown Sugar Kahlua Glazed Baby Carrots), yet neither of those seemed the right fit. A recipe can be wonderful, but not right for the overall dining experience. My Chicken Breast Tarragon is a recipe I had originally picked up from a French cooking site, so something equally French seemed appropriate. That’s when I settled on Carrots Lyonnaise. (Just an FYI: French (à la) lyonnaise in the manner of Lyons, France – prepared with onions. First Known Use of word: 1846). The most common Lyonnaise recipes floating about the internet are Lyonnaise Salad and Potatoes Lyonnaise. Naturally, the different drummer in me had to go in a slightly different direction.
The original recipe for Carrots Lyonnaise called for 1 cup of fresh water to be used to create the sauce. I’ve never been one to cuddle up to sauces made with water. Not that I have anything against water – it’s just that water lacks an important component – flavor. Rather than use fresh water, I elected to use the water used to cook the carrots. Unlike fresh water, cooking water contained two important elements – flavor and nutritional value. Why waste those, right? I think the carrot-water also brought a deeper color to the finished dish because it was brighter than the photograph on the recipe card, but that just might be photo editing.
Kiddo is NOT a carrot eater. I was surprised when, without a little push from me, he helped himself to some carrots. (I’ve noticed if he’s involved in the preparation, it sparks just enough curiosity that he will try the dish. Hum, maybe I should put him in charge of vegetables more often). He smiled with his first “sampling”, and added more to his plate. I love it when a new recipe receives the stamp of approval from both my guys.
1 lb fresh carrots, julienne cut
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/3 cup butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup cooking water
Parsley for garnish
In a large pot, bring 1 inch of water to a boil. Add carrots; cover and cook for 5-8 minutes or until crisp-tender.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute onion in butter until tender.
Once carrots crisp-tender, remove from pot using a large slotted spoon, and keep warm. Measure out 1 cup cooking liquid, discard the rest.
Stir in the flour, bouillon, salt and pepper into onions until blended. Gradually add cooking water from carrots. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add carrots to skillet; stir into sauce.
Transfer carrots to a warm serving platter, garnish with parsley and serve.
Just a quick footnote regarding the Chicken Tarragon posting – when Kiddo read it, he said he would have made one minor change – the reference to “back seat” – he’s not a back-seat driver because he always calls shotgun. Yeah, he’s right there.