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Chicken in a Bechamel Cream Sauce

Posted by on Jun. 14, 2009 at 6:45 PM
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Chicken in a Bechamel Cream Sauce (Frango com Natas)

Portuguese Homestyle Cooking. You can add shredded carrots to this dish as well.   

  • 2-3    pound chicken, cut up in serving pieces
  • ¼       cup  olive oil
  •  2        large onions, coarsely sliced
  • 1        bay leaf
  • 3        cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ¼       up white wine
  • 3        large potatoes,, cut in fine juliene
  • 4        cups (about)cream Bechamel sauce (see below)
  • Coarse salt to taste
  • White ground pepper to taste  

1.      Rinse and place the chicken in a large pot.  Cover with water and bring to a boil.  Add 1 tablespoon coarse salt to the water.  Reduce the heat to simmer and continue cooking until the meat is nearly falling off the bones, about 45 minutes.

2.     Transfer the chicken to a bowl and reserve until cool enough to handle.

3.     Debone the chicken, shredding the meat by hand and reserve the meat, covered.

4.     Heat the olive oil in a 4-quart pot.  Add the onions and sauté them until they are glassy.  Toss in the garlic and bay leaf.  Pour in the wine and simmer for 1 minute.  Mix the shredded chicken into the onion sauce.  Season carefully with just a touch of salt and pepper - not too much because you will have salt in the béchamel sauce.

5.     Peel the potatoes and cut them in a fine julienne or thin rounds.  Working in small batches, fry them in vegetable oil until golden. Drain well on paper toweling and add the potatoes to the chicken and onions. 

6.     Make the béchamel sauce.  Mix 1/2 of the sauce with the chicken mix and the cream. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, gently toss to coat everything.

7.     Transfer the chicken to a large baking dish.  Pour the remaining sauce over the top evenly.  Bake in a 350 degree oven until bubbly and slightly golden touches on top.

8.     Decorate with black Portuguese olives. 

Bechamel Sauce: 

  • 8        tablespoons butter
  • 2/3     cup tablespoons flour
  • 3        cups cold milk
  • 1        small, whole peeled onion, stuck with 2  whole cloves and 1 bay leaf
  • ¼       teaspoon nutmeg
  • Pinch white ground pepper
  • ½       teaspoon coarse salt. 

1.      Melt the butter in a saucepan.  Whisk in the flour making a paste. When it starts to foam and is pale yellow, it should fall from the whisk like wet sand. 2.     Gradually, while whisking, pour in the cold milk.  Add the onion studded with cloves and nutmeg, salt, pepper.  3.     While constantly stirring, cook over medium low heat, simmering for about 20 minutes until thickens like heavy cream. Do not boil.     

 I am not getting in the pan with them!!! They stink!


by on Jun. 14, 2009 at 6:45 PM
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