Growing up with a mother who was 50% Spanish (from Spain), I was thankfully introduced to the wonders of Spanish cooking at a young age. From Paella, to Arroz con Pollo to my absolute favorite, Chicken Villeroy – I got to experience some wonderful Spanish cooking, both homemade by my mom and my Grandma Mary and out at restaurants.
Ever since I was a kid, my parents took me into New York City quite frequently (I was born and raised on Long Island, in a town thankfully only a quick 30 minute drive from midtown Manhattan). One of our favorite restaurants to go to was this little place in the West Village called El Faro.
The story of El Faro goes as follows….
When my parents were dating, my dad decided to take my mom out to El Faro as a surprise (being that she was Spanish, he thought she’d really appreciate going to an awesome Spanish restaurant). When they arrived my mom responded with, “Oh, El Faro! I know this place!”
Apparently her grandparents had been going there for years….and that’s saying something, considering they had lived in Spain their whole lives. Despite my great grandparents liking El Faro, my great grandfather was always skeptical about El Faro’s kitchen being located in their basement…something about it he felt he couldn’t trust…but I digress.
So years later, when I was born and brought up on the many delicious restaurants that my parents frequented, El Faro became a personal favorite. Despite the restaurant’s chronically surly wait staff, the food was always top notch and delicious. In recent years, we have been frequenting a new Spanish restaurant located in Midtown/Chelsea called El Quijote. No matter which place we dine at, I will always order the Chicken Villeroy.
Chicken Villeroy is a whole, boneless Chicken breast, coated in a delicious and creamy Béchamel sauce, breaded and then deep-fried.
Sounds easy, but this dish takes time and patience, and a careful touch (as I learned quickly while crafting this poultry delight).
So last night, I decided to attempt to make this dish, and I must say, I am extremely happy with the result! Check it out – and if you’re ever in NYC try going to El Faro or El Quijote for dinner!
Chicken Villeroy (Pollo Villeroy)
Chicken Breasts with Béchamel Sauce Breaded and Deep Fried