Saturday, February 13, 2010

Supremes de Volaille a la Milanaise, or Chicken Breasts Rolled in Parmesan and Fresh Bread Crumbs

Chicken Breasts Rolled In Parmesan and Fresh Bread Crumbs

4 Supremes (boned breasts from two fryers) –
¼ tsp. salt and a big pinch of pepper
1 c. flour spread on an 8 inch plate
1 egg , 1/8 tsp salt and ½ tsp olive oil beaten together in an 8 inch soup plate
½ c. freshly grated Parmesan  and ½ cup fine white, fresh bread crumbs mixed together in an 8 inch dish

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper
One at a time roll them in the flour and shake off the excess
Dip in beaten egg
Then roll in the cheese and bread crumbs, patting them in place with the flat of a knife
Lay the chicken breasts on waxed paper and allow cheese and bread crumbs to set for 10 to 15 minutes or several hours.

Sauté on both sides in clarified butter until resilient to the pressure of your finger.

Julia suggests serving with brown butter sauce, but the button mushrooms in the grocery store looked so good I couldn't resist, so I used the mushroom and cream sauce from Julia's recipe for Sauteed Chicken With Mushrooms and Cream

 Saute the mushrooms in 1 tablespoon butter, remove to a plate when finished browning

Add the 1/2 cup of wine to deglaze the pan, scraping the sides and bottom to incorporate all the seasoning into the liquid. Deglaze until the alcohol has burned off

Add cream and mushrooms to the deglazing sauce and incorporate; boil down rapidly for a minute or two, or until the sauce starts to thicken

Add the chicken and baste with the sauce and mushrooms
Cover and simmer 2-3 minutes to bring chicken back up to a hot temperature
Season again if necessary with salt and pepper

The other beautiful veggies in the produce aisle were the Brussells Sprouts, so I did Julia's braised brussels sprouts with butter, and added some diced pancetta (I know - not French, but yummy!), and I cut the sprouts in half.

1 1/2 quarts blanched brussels sprouts (partially cooked)
Salt and pepper
2 to 4 tablespoons melted butter
2 oz pancetta
A round of lightly buttered waxed paper

Arrange the blanched brussels sprouts heads up in the casserole or baking dish. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, and then with the melted butter.

Lay the waxed paper over the brussels sprouts. Cover and heat on top of the stove until vegetables begin to sizzle, then place in the middle level of preheated oven. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the sprouts are tender and well impregnated with butter. Serve as soon as possible.

All in all quite a good dinner! The  chicken was tender but crispy even with the creamy mushroom sauce which was so savory!

Wish I had taken a better picture!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Julia Child's Coq Au Vin

Who knew chicken could taste so good? Oh yeah, Julia did.

Here it is....then I'll tell you how I did it

A 3- to 4-ounce chunk of lean bacon
2 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 to 3 pounds cut-up frying chicken
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup cognac
3 cups young, full-bodied red wine, such as Burgundy, Beaujolais, Côtes du Rhône or Chianti
1 to 2 cups brown chicken stock, brown stock or canned beef bouillon
1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves mashed garlic
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf
12-24 brown-braised onions
1/2 pound sauteed mushrooms
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons softened butter
Sprigs of fresh parsley


Remove the rind of bacon and cut into lardons (rectangles 1/4 inch across and 1 inch long). Simmer for 10 minutes in 2 quarts of water. Rinse in cold water. Dry. (I used Smithfield "Pork side meat" which was unsmoked bacon w/ pepper, didn't boil)

Sauté the bacon slowly in hot butter until it is very lightly browned (temperature 260 degrees for an electric skillet). Remove to a side dish. (My son said this is the only way anyone sohould ever cook bacon)

Dry the chicken thoroughly. Brown it in the hot fat in the casserole (360 degrees for the electric skillet).

Season the chicken. Return the bacon to the casserole with the chicken. Cover and cook slowly (300 degrees) for 10 minutes, turning the chicken once.

Uncover and pour in the cognac. Averting your face, ignite the cognac with a lighted match. Shake the casserole back and forth for several seconds until the flames subside. (Ooh - Fun!)

Pour the wine into the casserole. Add just enough stock or bouillon to cover the chicken. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic and herbs. Bring to the simmer. Cover and simmer slowly for 25 to 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender and its juices run a clear yellow when the meat is
pricked with a fork. Remove the chicken to a side dish.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms.

Simmer the chicken cooking liquid in the casserole for a minute or two, skimming off the fat. ( I ended up using a gravy separator, there was a lot of fat!) Then raise the heat and boil rapidly, reducing the liquid to about 2 1/4 cups. Correct seasoning. Remove from heat, discard bay leaf.

Blend the butter and flour together into a smooth paste (beurre manié). Beat the paste into the hot liquid with a wire whip. Bring to the simmer, stirring, and simmer for a minute or two. The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon lightly.

Arrange the chicken in the casserole, place the mushrooms and onions around it and baste with the sauce. Serve from the casserole, or arrange on a hot platter. Decorate with sprigs of parsley.

Brown-Braised Onions:
12 to 24 small white onions, peeled (or double the amount if you want
to use tiny frozen peeled raw onions)*
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt to taste

* If neither frozen nor fresh pearl onions are available, substitute one large onion cut into 1/2-inch pieces. (Do not use jarred pearl onions, which will turn mushy and disintegrate into the sauce.)

While chicken is cooking, drop onions into boiling water, bring water back to the boil, and let boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and drain. Cool onions in ice water. Shave off the two ends (root and stem ends) of each onion, peel carefully, and pierce a deep cross in the root end with a small knife (to keep onions whole during cooking).

In a large frying pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil, add parboiled onions, and toss for several minutes until lightly browned (this will be a patchy brown). Add water to halfway up onions and add 1/4 to1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover pan and simmer slowly for 25 to 30 minutes or until onions are tender when pierce with a knife.

1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, washed, well dried, left whole if small,
sliced or quartered if large
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 tablespoon olive oil

Prepare mushrooms. In a large frying pan over medium heat, heat butter and olive oil; when bubbling hot, toss in mushrooms and saute over high heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned.

I did the mushrooms and onions first - and I'm glad I did, it took a long time to peel all those little onions.

Not the prettiest dish I've ever made but it sure was good!!!