• 1 stick unsalted butter
• 2 cloves garlic, chopped
• 8 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
• 1/2 cup hot sauce (recommended: Frank’s)
• 2 tablespoons honey
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 4 French-cut chicken breasts
• 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons ground cumin (8 teaspoons)
• Canola oil
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 1/2 cup creme fraiche
• 1/4 cup chopped parsley, plus some whole leaves for garnish
• 1 cup crumbled blue cheese
Preheat the grill to medium; make sure the grill is ready for cooking over indirect heat. Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the 2 tablespoons ancho powder and heat for 10 seconds. Stir in hot sauce and honey and season with salt and pepper. Remove about 1/4 cup for garnish, and keep both portions warm.
Season each side of the chicken breasts with 1 teaspoon each ancho powder, and cumin, and the salt and pepper. Drizzle canola oil over the both sides. Grill skin side down over medium heat, uncovered, until the skin is nicely charred.
Flip the chicken, moving it to indirect heat, and brush with a good amount of the hot sauce glaze. Cover and cook, brushing occasionally with sauce, until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Whisk together the heavy cream and creme fraiche in a medium bowl. Stir in the parsley and blue cheese and season with salt and pepper. When chicken is done, remove from the grill and spoon blue cheese sauce over each piece. Drizzle the 1/4 cup reserved glaze over and garnish with whole parsley leaves.
Crème fraîche is a slightly tangy, slightly nutty, thickened cream. Before the age of pasteurization crème fraîche made itself as the bacteria present in the cream fermented and thickened it naturally. Crème fraîche is widely available in Europe, but much less so in the US, where most all cream is pasteurized, and therefore has to be fermented artificially. There are commercially produced versions available in select gourmet shops, but it can be hard to find and fairly expensive. Considering how often it is called for in recipes these days, it is surprising that it is so rare.
Most people make a facsimile of crème fraîche by adding a tablespoon of buttermilk to a cup of whipping cream, heating it gently to 110°F (45°C), then putting it in a loosely covered bottle in a warm place and letting it sit for anywhere from 8 hours to a couple of days, until thick. Store it in the refrigerator, where it will thicken further, and keep for about three weeks. You can also whip it like whipping cream.
Enjoy, Dean Stefanic