Friday, September 4, 2009

chicken breasts with duxelles stuffing and supreme sauce

A while ago, when I was feeling ambitious, I sat down with B and a stack of my cookbooks to make a list of dinner recipes to try. I've never been much of a cook when it comes to dinner. Dinner, unlike dessert, is something I don't crave. So it never occurs to me to cook it until I'm starving and then I don't feel like waiting. So I usually just eat cereal or a sandwich. Given the dearth of dinner posts here in the last several months, you can see how long my cooking resolution lasted. Anyway, this is the one thing on the list that I did make.

This was probably the most complicated dinner I've ever made, what with the packet of spices and the mirepoix and sauce and the stuffing. The mirepoix was the first I'd made, which was fun, even though it wasn't very appetizing. I cheated and used bouillion for the chicken broth. I also used a bag of those microwave steamed vegetables.

The recipe was easy enough to follow; it just took forever on account of chopping and slicing a million tons of mushrooms. The only trouble I ran into was that, being tired after the mushrooms, I neglected to pound my chicken (breasts rather than supremes), so I had to finish my chicken in the oven after frying it. I won't skip that step next time. There's nothing as disheartening as spending four hours in the kitchen to produce a meal and then taking a bite and realizing it's still basically raw.

I hate mushrooms, so I made this one entirely for B's benefit. By the time I was done, I hated mushrooms even more. The kitchen stank of mushrooms, and they ruined the sauce for me. But B enjoyed the meal, so I suppose it counts as a success.

breast of chicken with duxelles stuffing and supreme sauce (The Professional Chef, 8th ed., Culinary Institute of America)
10 (7-8 oz) chicken supremes
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 lb duxelles stuffing
5 oz all-purpose flour, or as needed
6 fl oz. egg wash, or as needed
12 oz bread crumbs, or as needed
24 oz clarified butter or oil, or as needed
20 fl oz supreme sauce

1-Trim the chicken supremes and remove the skin, if desired. Butterfly each breast portion and pound between sheets of parchment or plastic wrap to even thickness.

2-At the time of service or up to 3 hours in advance, blot dry the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Fill each breast with a portion of the duxelles stuffing and roll the breast around the stuffing. Overlap the edges to form a seam.

3-Apply a standard breading: Dredge the chicken in flour, dip in egg wash, and roll in abread crumbs. (Refrigerate seam side down if breaded in advance.)

4-Heat .5" of the butter or oil to about 350 F over medium heat. Add the chicken to the hot oil seam side down first and pan fry for 2-3 min, or until golden brown and crisp. Turn once, and finish apan frying on the second side, 3 minutes more or until it reaches an internal temperature of 170 F. (Finish cooking in a 350 F oven once the ccrust is properly browned, if preferred.)

5-Blot the chicken on absorbent paper towels briefly before serving with the heated supreme sauce.

supreme sauce
2 oz clarified butter or vegetable oil
8 oz small-dice white mirepoix
12 oz blond roux
1 gal chicken stock
1 sachet d'epices
salt, as needed
ground white pepper, as needed
32 oz heavy cream
2 lb sliced mushrooms

Heat the butter or oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the mirepoix and stock, stirringa occasionally, until onions are limp and have begun to release their juices, about 15 min. They may take on a light golden color but should not be allowed to brown.

Add the roux to the mirepoix and cook until the roux is very hot, about 2 mi.

Add the stock to the pan gradually, stirring or whisking to work out any lumps. Bring to a full boil, then lower the heat to establish a simmer. (Use a heat diffuser, if desired, to avoid scorching.) Add the sachet and continue to simmer, skimming as necessary, until a good flavor and consistency develop and the starchy feel and taste of the flour have cooked away, 45 min. to 1 hr.

Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve. Strain a second time through a double thickness of rinsed cheesecloth, if desired, for the finest texture.

Return the sauce to a simmer. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add cream and mushrooms. Simmer, stirring and skimming the surface frequently, until it coats the back of a spoon. If desired, the sauce may be finished with 6 oz butter.

white mirepoix
2 parts onion or the white of leeks
1 part celery root or hearts
1 part parsnips

blond roux
3 parts flour
2 parts fat

Heat fat over medium heat and add the flour, stirring to combine. Cook to a golden straw color with a nutty aroma.

duxelles stuffing
6 oz minced shallots
2 oz butter
2 alb small-dice mushrooms
1 TB salt
2 tsp ground black pepper
8 fl oz heavy cream, reduced
8 oz fresh bread crumbs
1 TB achopped parsley
2 oz abutter, melted
20 fl oz supreme sauce

Sweat the shallots in the butter over medium-high heat until translucent, 2-3 min. Add the mushrooms and saute them until dry to create a duxelles. Season the duxelles with some of the salt and pepper.

Add the cream, bread crumbs, and parsley and mix well. If desired, the duxelles can be chilled and reserved for later use.

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