I have nothing against Chicken or Veal Francaise. It's a wonderful recipe. "Francaise" is French, but it seems ever so popular in many Italian restaurants. It's not a difficult recipe, though there are dozens and dozens of them from which to choose. All start with dusting (2 lbs) of chicken cutlets (pounded thin) in flour, dipping them in (2) beaten eggs then frying in oil until golden brown- then the differences begin.... most believe that flour such as Wondra is a good thickener. Others swear by cornstarch. But a purist would tell you...no flour. You see, if you add cold butter (1/2 stick), a tablespoon pat at a time, to the white wine that has been reduced -the sauce will thicken. You do this by removing the hot pan from the burner and melting the butter. Place it back on burner if the pan cools and no longer melts the butter. On and off...on and off. So...remove the fried chicken to a platter lined with paper towels. Cover platter with foil to keep chicken warm. Then drain the excess oil from the pan. Saute a chopped shallot in pan and deglaze with (1 cup) of good white wine scraping together any brown bits. Reduce until it looks like a light syrup. Whisk in the butter as I previously explained until smooth. Add capers (1 T ), juice of 3 lemons (or less to taste), and fresh parsley. Some love a 1/4 cup of heavy cream added but that is truly an optional ingredient. That's all the best Francaise recipe requires. Note: if sauce is warmed too much, it will separate.
A true foodie is always looking for a new recipe, a way to tweak an old favorite or whatever it takes to satisfy our food lust. So there I was in my favorite supermarket perusing the shelves when I saw a display case with bright pink salmon in it. Hmmmm, I hadn't had salmon in a while... and what was that jar of sauce on the shelf above the cold compartment? I picked it up. Gia Russa Francaise Simmer Sauce. Huh, never heard of it. I'm always suspicious of jarred sauces, so I studied the ingredients....actually figuring I'd see a whole bunch of things I couldn't pronounced. Huh, again. Butter, white wine, garlic, lemon, chicken & vegetable stock, cornstarch, milk, parsley and a few spices I knew well. Huh. Pretty much all the ingredients in a Francaise recipe.
Then I noticed a recipe card....Mustard Dill Crusted Salmon. Now if a recipe is going to use a Francaise sauce why not call it Whatever Francaise? Well, maybe, not everyone is as familiar with this wine-lemon sauce as I first thought. Could be, right? So, I bought all the ingredients on the card, even for the recommended Tater-tot side dish, and left ever so happy.
The recipe was easy. Almost as easy as scratch Francaise. It was very tasty...buttery, lemony, with a hint of mustard and dill. There was only 210 calories per serving....very low especially if you skip the tater-tots and add sauteed veggies and a salad. With such a low calorie count....splurge with a warm, crusty loaf of bread.
If you can't find Gia Russa Francaise Simmer Sauce and really, really want to try this delicious fish dish...use my "Purist" Francaise Sauce above and substitute salmon (no frying) for the chicken. Don't use capers or parsley and definitely use the heavy cream (more if you want extra sauce). To cut cream calories...consider some vegetable or chicken broth instead of extra cream. Always salt & pepper to taste, if desire.
2 Tablespoons butter or herb garlic butter
2 Tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons spicy brown mustard
1 Tablespoon Dill relish
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 jar Gia Russa Francaise Simmer Sauce
2 salmon fillet about 1 1/2lb. skin removed
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Chop chives and set aside
Stir mustard, dill relish, breadcrumbs, chives into melted butter. Blend well.
Pour about a cup of the Francaise sauce into a 13X9 baking dish and spread it in the dish. Top with salmon. Pour the rest of the sauce over the salmon, then top with the buttered breadcrumb mixture. Bake for 20 minutes or until opaque and flaky. Serves 2 or 4 depending on size of salmon fillet.
Remember To Make Memories At The Table