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A Delicious Start to 2020

Jan 2, 2020

There are so many traditions surrounding New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Fancy meals out, snacks on the sofa, oyster stew, Chinese food, pizza, movies, board games, heated pitch tournaments, watching the ball drop, house parties, joining friends at the local watering hole, kisses at midnight, toasts of champagne, Hoppin’ John, resolutions, hikes, jammie day and Alka Seltzer. Everyone has their own way of celebrating the passing of Father Time and the birth of a new year.

Personally, I don’t have any set-in-stone traditions. We have hosted parties and gone out with friends; eaten fancy meals and grazed on snacks; counted down and slept through midnight. Our celebration, or lack thereof, is subject to whatever strikes our fancy, and of course, in South Dakota, the weather.

We chose to see 2019 out with an array of snacks on the coffee table, a couple of movies, and going to bed early. It has been a rough year, and the last winter storm of 2019 was a doozy that wore us out. We didn’t even open the bottle of champagne … until I got ready to make Champagne Chicken on New Year’s Day.

I guess Champagne Chicken could be considered semi-traditional for us. Gleaned from some long forgotten online source, I first made this dish back in the early 2000s when I had champagne (or some kind of sparkling wine) leftover from toasting the New Year. For a while, it became my go-to recipe for a special occasion dish. The tang that the wine imparts to the cream makes the sauce stand out from the usual herbed, sauced chicken. It is delicious over angel hair pasta, but I initially always served it with rice and asparagus on the side.

Champagne Chicken on New Year’s Day was a deliciously hopeful start to my 2020.


Leftover bubbly is a sparking addition to Champagne Chicken.

Champagne Chicken


4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1⁄3 cup flour

kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

1⁄4 cup butter

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 cups champagne

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped VERY finely

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped


Using a meat mallet, pound each chicken breast between 2 sheets of plastic wrap to an even 1/4-inch thickness.

In a shallow bowl, combine the flour, 1-2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. In batches of 2, dredge the chicken in the flour, shaking off any excess and place in the hot butter/oil mixture. Cook, flipping once, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes total. Transfer chicken to a plate and continue with remaining chicken.

Add the champagne to the butter mixture and scrape any browned bits from the skillet. Return the chicken to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and continue to cook for about 6-8 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

Again, remove the chicken from the pan and whisk the cream and rosemary into the champagne. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer lightly until sauce thickens. Return the chicken to the pan and coat with sauce.

To serve, nestle the chicken over a bed of pasta or rice and ladle sauce over the top. Garnish with parsley. (Serves 4)


Fran Hill has been blogging about food at On My Plate since October of 2006. She, her husband and their three dogs ranch near Colome.


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