French statesman Georges Clemenceau (1841-1929) is credited with bringing France from the brink of defeat to victory in World War One. In part he did so by convincing the Allies to unify their efforts through the leadership of a supreme commander, previously unheard of among nations of the day. Equally unheard of was the amalgamation of chicken, fried potatoes, garlic, mushrooms, and canned peas into a single dish, as was achieved here at Galatoire's in the 1920's to delicious effect. The dish was named for Monsieur Clemenceau.
1 fryer chicken, cut into 8 pieces Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste 1 gallon vegetable oil 2 baking potatoes 1/4 cup clarified butter (pg 248) 1 pound large button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced 3 tablespoons minced garlic One 15-ounce can petit pois peas, drained Chopped curly parsley, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Rinse the chicken and dry thoroughly. Season it generously with salt and pepper and bake on a rimmed baking sheet for approximately 30 minutes, until golden brown, turning the pieces after 15 minutes.
While the chicken is baking, heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot to 350 degrees F. Peel the potatoes and dice them into 3/4-inch cubes. When the oil is hot, add the potatoes, about 1 cup at a time. The moisture content in the potatoes will make the oil boil up, so use a long-handled spoon when adding. Fry the potatoes in batches, about 7 to 9 minutes each batch, until golden brown, moving the cubes around with the spoon to ensure that all sides brown evenly. Remove the potatoes from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
Heat the butter in a large saute pan over high heat, then add the mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms for about 5 minutes, until tender. Add the garlic and the fried potatoes. Season with salt and white pepper and saute briefly to heat through. Add the chicken pieces and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, until the flavors marry. Gently fold in the petit pois and cook until just heated through.
Divide the chicken Clemenceau among 4 dinner plates using a slotted spoon to drain any excess butter. Finish the dish by sprinkling each portion with chopped parsley. Serve immediately.