The Declaration of American chicken

During the turbulent years of the French Revolution, Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the USA and author of the Declaration of Independence, was ambassador to France. While stationed there, he collected recipes and culinary techniques. After bringing the recipes home, he americanized them. The following recipe was found in one of his diaries. The ingredient list and their quantities have not been altered. The cooking method, however, has been modernized.

3 lbs chicken pieces
1 Tsp salt
1/2 Tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 Tsp black pepper
1/2 Tsp paprika
3 Tbl flour
2 cups water
1 cup of dry white wine
3 Tbl butter
1 onion
2 cups fresh small mushrooms
1 Tbl fresh sage leaves
1 Tbl fresh parsley
1 cup half and half
olive oil
Chop the onion finely. Clean and quarter the mushrooms. Chop the sage and parsley. Dry off the chicken with paper towels. Sprinkle all sides of the chicken with salt, pepper, nutmeg and paprika.

Heat up a Dutch oven over a medium-high flame. Brown the chicken in oil on both sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and de-grease the pan. Reduce the flame to medium-low. Melt 3 Tbl of butter in the pan, add the flour, whisking until the roux becomes golden brown in color. While whisking, pour in 2 cups of water and 1 cup of wine - until the gravy becomes smooth. Return chicken to the pan, bring the liquids to a boil and cover. Reduce heat to a slow simmer. Braise for 45-50 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces, frequently.

About 10 minutes before the chicken is braised to perfection, locate a 12 inch skillet. Melt 2 Tbl of butter in the skillet, add the onions, and saute until lightly browned. Add the mushrooms, sage and parsley, sweating them down. Place the contents of the skillet into the Dutch oven. Bring the sauce up to a simmer. Introduce the half and half. Reduce the sauce over medium-low heat, until it coats the back of a spoon. Check for seasoning. Serve this dish over steaming, hot rice.