A modern chicken Diane (without the flame)

Chicken or Steak Diane was that show-stopping dish served tableside in the fancy restaurants of my childhood. I had almost forgotten about it until I came across an old recipe card in my mother's files.

Traditionally, the rich cream sauce was spiked with brandy or cognac and set aflame in a flair of drama, but we never had the show at home. In fact, we didn't even have the cream. But I still remember the one-skillet meal with appreciation because the sauce was so fresh and exotic due to the Dijon, lemon and brandy.

I've added mushrooms to Mom's recipe and skipped the parsley in place of more onion. I also doubled the actual sauce amount, so that the chicken is plenty moist. I suppose the most difficult thing about the dish is not overcooking the chicken. But using cutlets (or chicken breast halves sliced in half) helps cook the chicken quickly and seals in the natural juices.

Suggested menu:

Modern Chicken Diane

Brown rice

Sauteed green beans

• Alicia Ross can be contacted at

Modern Chicken Diane

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.