LOOKING for: Spanish/Portuguese Chicken with bechamel

cookingrvcJanuary 27, 2008

This is driving me crazy. Many years ago there was a local Portuguese restaurant that served a wonderful chicken dish. It was a boneless chicken breast dipped in a thick bechamel sauce and deep fried (I think).

At a Spanish restaurant nearby, I had the same dish.

For the life of me I cannot remember the name of the dish and at a recent outing to a Portuguese restaurant saw nothing like it on the menu.

I think the name of the dish was 'Chicken V...'something. Anyone know what I'm talking about?


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Sue.....I think you may be looking for Chicken Villeroy which in Spanish would be "Pechugas de Pollo Villeroy" and yes I see there are many recipes on the web (I'm looking at the ones in Spanish) which just as you describe, coat the chicken breasts in bechamel, let them cool and then flour and deep fry them.

I will translate and type out a couple of the recipes for you later today or tomorrow.
I think the ones written in Spanish may be more authentic than English versions. Sounds delicious too!

Till later then....

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 10:03AM
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Sharon...that's it!!!!

God I love you...you have no idea how that was bothering me.
I look forward to your translation. thanks so much for taking the time!


    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 11:40AM
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I've looked at several Spanish websites and the recipe is more or less the same, varying only in the quantity of chicken breasts and all are very simple.

Chicken Breasts Villeroy

for 4 servings:

2 chicken breasts ...filleted into 4 pieces (2 fillets per breast)
2 eggs
cooking oil, salt and white pepper
fine bread crumbs

for the bechamel:

1/4 cup butter
1 cup flour

Prepare bechamel as usual, melting butter in saucepan, adding flour, mix and toast flour a few seconds, add milk gradually, keep stirring, add salt and pepper.

Sauté the fillets in a pan in hot oil, turning them over then putting them on a plate.
Coat with bechamel sauce and let them cool until bechamel has solidified.

Pass coated fillets through beaten egg, then breadcrumbs,
Fry in abundant oil and serve hot.


Hope that's enough Sue.....sounds like you already had the recipe figured out.....and I will try these myself too!


    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 6:30PM
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Sharon, do you think you could bake the chicken breasts instead of frying? I'm not much of a fryer, but I like the idea of a super thick white sauce coating underneath a crispy crumb layer. I'm thinking it would only work for the top of a chicken breast, sort of like when you use a coating of mayo covered with crumbs. I'd like to give it a try...

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 7:29PM
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That's exactly what I was thinking as the only thing we fry is calamari and that's once a year on Christmas Eve!

I think the trick is to make sure everything is chillded as directed and give it a shot.


    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 12:58AM
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No harm in trying it that way. I know I also bake much more than fry here as I don't need the extra calories.

Now checking out some more Spanish sites for this recipe, I see that some use the word "sauté" rather than fry (in the first step.) Once the bechamel, egg and crumbs are on I guess there's no harm in doing them in the oven. The only thing I can imagine is that you won't get that golden crispy crust outside that comes from putting them in very hot oil. The outside will probably be softer.


    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 5:26AM
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Sharon, you're right, it's hard to beat a nice crisply fried crust! But I've had pretty good luck lately with tossing bread crumbs or panko with a bit of oil before pressing onto chicken breasts or fish fillets that I'm baking. Much better results than the "drizzle with melted butter" instructions so many baked dishes come with. The drizzled part gets crispy while the un-drizzled part tastes blah. Spraying with Pam doesn't work all that well either. The spray just seems to blow all the crumbs away.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 4:11PM
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Shambo, I do something similar - I use a little softened butter or margarine (we usually use margarine in our house although I know many don't care for it) and mix it with panko and some herbs (or not) and press it onto fish or chicken and when I put it on the top rack of my oven, it comes out nicely browned and crisp.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 5:00PM
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I saw Daisy Martinez (Daisy Cooks) make this dish on her TV program. She calls it Crackerjack Chicken.

Here is a link that might be useful: Chicken and Beschamel

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 11:41PM
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Lisbet, I saw Daisy do that recipe on her show and it looked absolutely delectible! At the time I looked and looked for the recipe and couldn't find it so thanks so much for posting it. I'm so sorry that Daisy is no longer on my PBS station.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 5:52PM
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Your Bechemel (Basamella in Italian) must be very thick and lightly seasoned with salt and white pepper. Then you must cool it, and beat in one egg yoke per 2 cups (it will become thicker still) before heavily coating a "poached/cooled" chicken breast. Cool it down once again after coating and then roll it in beaten egg and unseasoned or lightly salted breadcrumbs. Cool it down again before either deep frying or roasting for 20-30 minutes in a hot oven (if roasting spray each breaded "Villeroy" with "Olive Oil Pam" first.

The many cool-downs are vitally important otherwise your coating(s) will fail you and you'll wind up with a huge mess and a ruined end result.

Good luck!

1 Like    Bookmark   December 4, 2008 at 1:49PM
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