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We served this recipe for our New Orleans Sunday Brunch.    I also served it for Lunch Specials.  It Chicken Pontalbawas always a crowd favorite.

This dish was created by the great dutch Chef Paul Blange during the early days of Brennan’s Restaurant. It’s named for the Baroness Micaela Pontalba, famous for supervising the construction of the Pontalba buildings on the uptown and downtown sides of Jackson Square, and for the beautification of the square itself in 1848.

Legend has it that Baroness Pontalba's  friend Andrew Jackson, once failed to raise his hat to the Baroness, so when she funded the statue baring his likeness she insisted that sculptor Clark Mills depict Jackson forever raising his hat toward her apartment building. Probably not true, but it’s one hell of a fun story.   New Orleans is full of great tales like that.

This recipe serves 2 but you can scale it up to make more.

2         Large         Boneless, skinless Chicken Thighs, lightly pounded
1         Large         Baking Potato, cut into 1/2 inch dice
3/4     Cup             Ham, Diced
1        Small          Onion Diced
1 1/2  Cups           Mushrooms, thickly sliced
2        Tbsp           Garlic, Minced
1/2     Cup             Dry White Wine
2        Tbsp            Italian Parsley, Minced
1/2     Cup            All purpose Flour
                  Kosher salt & Black Pepper
4       Tbsp             Unsalted Butter
                     Vegetable Oil
1       Recipe         Bearnaise Sauce

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F.

1.  Toss the Potatoes in 2 Tbsp Vegetable oil and season liberally with kosher salt and black pepper. Layer on a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes or until golden and crispy.

2.  In the meantime, season the flour with salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Season the thighs also, then dredge them in the flour.

3.  When the potatoes are almost ready, heat 2 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil in a saute pan. When the fat is hot, brown the chicken quickly on both sides, place on a ovenproof dish and finish in the oven.

4.  In the same saute pan, add the ham and onions, saute until golden brown and the onions are tender. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and a Tbsp more butter. Saute for 2-3 minutes.

5.  Deglaze the pan with the wine, and cook until the alcohol evaporates.  Fold in the brabant potatoes from the oven and 1 Tbsp of the parsley, taste for seasonings. just before serving incorporate the last Tbsp of butter.

Split the potato mixture between two heated plates. Top each with a chicken thigh, and finish with a generous portion of Bearnaise sauce. Garnish with minced parsley.