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Elegant Eating from Downton Abbey: Orange Scented Cognac Chicken

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Downton Abbey parties can be a great deal of fun. Dressing up in costumes from the era (season 4 goes into the Roaring Twenties) and enjoying the food. Most people enjoy the simpler parties and preparing the various High Tea foods. The internationally bestselling cookbook entitled Edwardian Cooking: 80 Recipes Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals, even has two sections of High Tea dishes, both savory and sweet.

If, per chance, you might be having a dinner party to celebrate the new season of Downton Abbey, you might want to give this simple,yet elegant, entree a try. Orange Scented Cognac Chicken truly is a dish to impress and delight, just as Downton Abbey itself!

For more on the food of Downton Abbey, visit the free Facebook page called The Food of Downton Abbey!

Ingredients needed to make Orange Scented Cognac Chicken (serves 4):

  • 2 whole chicken breasts, halved, skinned and boned
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup Cognac
  • 1 tsp. grated orange zest
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ground cardamom
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil


  1. Place the chicken breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound to 1/8-inch thickness. Place the breasts in a shallow baking dish.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the orange juice, Cognac, orange zest, nutmeg and cardamom. Pour over the chicken and turn to coat. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and marinate 30 minutes at room temperature.
  3. Place the flour on a plate. Place the eggs in a bowl. Place the breadcrumbs on a plate.
  4. Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry. Dredge the chicken in the flour, then dip into the eggs and finally coat with the breadcrumbs.
  5. In a large sauté pan or skillet melt 3 Tbs. butter in the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and fry until golden on both sides. Remove the chicken to a serving platter and keep warm.
  6. Remove all the fat from the sauté pan. Add the marinade and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir in the remaining butter and cook 3 minutes.
  7. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve.

The internationally bestselling cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards, "Edwardian Cooking: 80 Recipes Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals," is now in it's third printing and available worldwide in both hard cover and e-book versions. The paperback version will be released March 4, 2014.