Tuesday, May 30, 2006

God Bless France

I say praise the French. Hallelujah!

After several years of cooking, I have tried my first true Julia Child recipe, one pulled from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. As you might imagine, it really is all about the sauce, hot damn!

Ahhhh....help.....callll 9...1.........1!!!

OK, sauce induced heart attack over, yes there is one cup of heavy cream and 5 tablespoons of butter...big deal....moving on.

Yummy, pretty easy....and I'm so going to make it again!

Suprêmes de Volaille Achiduc
Chicken Breasts with Paprika, Onions and Cream

Serves 4

2/3 cup finely minced white onion
5 TB butter
1 TB fragrant red paprika
1/8 tsp salt

4 Suprêmes
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
Big pinch white pepper

1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup port, Madeira, or dry white vermouth
1 cup whipping cream
Salt & Pepper
Lemon juice as needed
2 TB minced parsley

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Drop the minced onions into boiling water for 1 minute. Drain, run cold water over them, and drain again. Cook the onions with salt, paprika and butter in a covered casserole for about 1o minutes over very low heat until the onions are tender and translucent, but not browned.

The onions, butter and paprika!

Meanwhile rub the suprêmes with drops of lemon juice and sprinkle lightly with salt & pepper.

Bring the butter to a high simmer, allowing the butter to foam. Quickly roll the suprêmes in the butter, place a lid on the casserole, leaving it slightly askew and place in hot oven. After 6 minutes, press the top of the suprêmes with your finger. If still soft, return to oven for a moment or two. When the meat is springy to the touch, it is done. Remove the suprêmes to a warm platter and cover while making the sauce.

Return the casserole to the stove over high heat. Pour the stock and wine into the casserole with the cooking butter and boil down quickly until the liquid is syrupy. Stir in the cream and boil down again over high heat until the cream has thickened slightly. Off heat, taste carefully for seasoning and add a few drops of lemon juice to taste. Pour the sauce over the suprêmes, sprinkle with parsley and serve at once.

Voilá! My precious, rich, delicious, decadent lovely!

OK, so you've been asking...suprêmes? Basically, those are boneless skinless chicken breasts! Those silly French! (Love you!)

The onions are boiled, I'm assuming to slightly cook them, but mostly to remove some of the sulfuric compounds that make onions bitter and you cry. I cooked them, it was fine, but I feel just soaking/rinsing in cold water accomplishes mostly the same thing...I do that when I make salsa and it works well....so my suggestion, no need to boil the onions, soak in cold water for a few mintues, and rinse.

My suprêmes actually took 20 minutes. Perhaps my oven wasn't hot enough. I wasn't worried, and wasn't in a rush...my rice still needed to finish!

Speaking of the oven and casserole...I used my medium sized oven safe skillet. I don't have a casserole that can go on the stove. I think Julia could have been referring to a Dutch oven, but that doesn't sound too French. My skillet worked very well!

I used a dry chardonnay, as I don't have port, Madeira or vermouth. I think it was fine.

I forgot to put a little lemon juice in at the end. It might have been more exciting, but it was still great without. And the lemon juice sprinkled on the suprêmes...I'm not sure that made much difference. I wouldn't worry if you dont' have lemon juice.

And I didn't have parsley, but since that is just a garnish, no worries.

Also, served this with plain rice...if I had the forsight, I would have prepared a basic risotto to go along with this. Sadly, that probably would have killed me! I would have died happy though


Dancer in DC said...

This is tasty without being too rich. But I had to draw a comparison to my mom's pork chop recipe which is basically simmered in a sauce made of paprika and cream of _____ soup. This is basically the fancy French version of that. :)

DC Food Blog said...

I think we should have a dinner party that is about duality (a la Tiffani from Top Chef) our duality would be Sandra Lee/Julia Child. I can see courses of salmon in aspic/tuna salad in lime jello. Being the wedding junkie that I am, at some point I would love ot hear a recap of your wedding (at least the food). If oyu are extra special nice, I'll email you the websites where we wrote recaps of our wedding.

ScottE. said...

DC Food Blog:

aspice scares me....!

In terms of the wedding...it was all on the cheap...we did the entire thing for about $2,500! And the food was a small part of that. We spent about $500 and had a small deli/lunch place prepare up deli sandwiches and cheese & veggie boards that were really wonderful! There was very little food left at the end and everyone was saying they were full and it was just right for our event. Then we had three cases of beer, two cases of wine, soda and water. The cake...well, the cake was three piles of rice krispy treats...plain, coco krispy and fruiti pebbles! I made those. That was what we did for 50 people. Would have loved to do more, but we just had no budget for it.

I think we have pictures of the krispy treats and food table.

DC Food Blog said...

OH. MY. GOD. My birthday was May 11th and I request as a late birthday present to see a picture of your rice krispy treat wedding cake. you two are rockstars.

ScottE. said...

It will take some looking, but I'm sure I can find some photos and put those up on the site.

ScottE. said...

OK, this is the end of the week in which I made this...I'm still thinking about it! Sublime really...it's that sauce. I really can't get it out of my mind. I think there must have been some crack slipped in because I'm addicted.