This chicken dish, one of the best from the Landes, is garnished with pine nuts, cèpes, and country-cured ham. (Goudalière is a Landais word for a gastronomic society.) Today the Landes region is filled with pine trees, planted over a hundred years ago to hold back the erosion of marshy areas. It is not surprising, therefore, to find pine nuts in many local recipes. The tiny nuts are used in cookies and cakes, sautéed with grilled wild birds, and, as in this recipe, simply sprinkled over the dish.
The original version of this dish calls for a sturdy local wine, Tursan, which tasted to me like a mixture of vermouth and lemon juice—a combination I have employed for the base of the sauce. A well-reduced demi-glace is very important to the success of this dish: The richer it is, the less butter will be needed to thicken the sauce. The method of cooking chicken breasts in a reduced demi-glace is an unusual technique but one that results in an extremely succulent, silky piece of meat.
The Cooking of Southwest France by Paula Wolfert. Copyright © 2005 by Paula Wolfert. Photographs copyright © by Christopher Hirsheimer. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.