I'm so excited! I won a book from BakeSpace, but for some odd reason, I wasn't informed "what" book I had won.
Well, Saturday I found out......the ever coveted (on my part)
Mastering The Art of French Cooking
Ooooooh my Gaaaaaaaaaaawd!!!
Yes, I've been wanting this book for ages but couldn't really spend the money. I hunted through 2nd hand stores but of course there wasn't a single copy in any of them (and trust me, Burbank has it's fair share of 2nd hand stores). So you can imagine how thrilled I was when I received my prize!
Do you know...this really is a cookbook that you can read! I've heard of people reading cookbooks. As much as I like to cook, a cookbook just is not my choice of reading material. Give me a trashy historical romance novel any day.
But honestly...this is a wonderful book. Not only is it full of incredible recipes, but the information! The explanation of techniques and food and equipment....it's amazing.
Babette.....Thank you so very much for the most wonderful cookbook I could ever hope to own!
Of course I had to make something from it, right? I mean I can't just sit here and read it. And of course the first recipe I used from it has to do with chicken. Cuz I'm that kind of gal and am known in some circles as the Chicken Queen.
Niiiice....my daughter is the Homecoming Queen
hmmm....lets move on. So, I made this fancy schmancy Poulet Saute aux Herbes de Provence, a.k.a. Chicken Sauteed with Herbs and Garlic, Egg Yolk and Butter Sauce.
Why? Because I had all of the ingredients. duh
What you'll need:
1/4 lb butter
2 1/2 - 3 lbs chicken, cut up
1 tsp thyme or savory (I used savory)
1 tsp basil
1/4 tsp ground fennel
Salt and Pepper
3 cloves unpeeled garlic
2/3 cup dry white wine
2 egg yolks
1 Tb lemon juice
1 TB dry white wine
2 - 3 TB softened butter
We're going to work on the chicken first....heat the butter in a 10" skillet until the butter foams, then add the chicken (you'll probably have to do this in batches. I used less chicken so I didn't have to worry about it). Cook the chicken for about 7 - 8 minutes, turning frequently and not letting them brown. You only want them to be a deep yellow color.
Do you know how hard that was for me to do? I mean, I'm all about the deep dark color....ya, lets brown that baby!! But nooooOOOOoooooo...Miss Julia wouldn't let me. Talk about chomping at the bit here.
If you are using a combo of white and dark meat, you will need to remove the white meat from your pan and season the dark meat with the herbs, salt and pepper (dont use all of the herbs cuz you want some for the white meat too), and add the garlic cloves with the skins to the pan.
Cover and cook over low heat for about 8 - 9 minutes. Then season your white meat and add them to the pan. Baste the chicken with the butter and cook for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally, and basting along the way until the chicken is tender and the juices run clear. Actually, this will probably take longer than 15 minutes...I think chicken parts are bigger these days than they were back then. (blame it on what ever you want...but you all know what I'm talking about).
Once your parts are cooked, remove to a platter and keep warm....
ya like my snazzy warming platter?
Ok...now....you see these little guys?
Smash 'em with the back of your spoon and watch that garlicky yumminess come slidin' right out. Mmmm.....now scoop out the skins....easy peasy.
Mash the garlic up....add your 2/3 cup of white wine and bring to a boil. De-glaze your pan and reduce the liquid by 1/2.
Now we're ready for the sauce. Let me preface this by stating that I was really scared of using the fennel. It has such a strong licorice aroma. But I was hoping that since the amount that was called for in the recipe was so small....that it wouldn't be an issue....cuz to be honest with you...I don't like licorice. At all.
Fear not...it was just fine! It was more than fine. It was awesome!!!
Beat your egg yolks in a small saucepan until they are thick and sticky. Hmmm....they kinda come out of the shell that way, don't they? Well...I beat them for a minute or so...and nothing changed and it was late so I went on to the next step...and that was to beat in the lemon juice and wine (1 Tb each). BTW...I really am embarrassed that I used bottled lemon juice but I didn't have any fresh lemons. If you can...please use the fresh stuff. It's much better. Really it is.
Now...take the liquid from the chicken...you know the one with the smashed garlic and reduced wine? And slooooooowly incorporate it into the egg yolk.....1/2 teaspoon at a time, beating as you go.
Yes...you heard me right....
You want your sauce to be thick and creamy. Think "hollandaise"
Then Miss Julia goes on to say that the sauce needs to be beaten over a very low heat for 4 - 5 seconds, to warm and thicken it. Remove from heat and add the 2 - 3 tablespoons of butter, 1 tablespoon at a time...beating as you go. If you'd like, add some minced fresh basil and or fresh fennel tops, or parsley. I didn't do it. The sauce had such an incredible flavor as it was, I didn't think it needed it. Well, in reality, I didn't have any of it. Which was fine cuz it didn't need it. honestly.
And now your sauce is ready to be spooned over your chicken and served.
Hmmm....I didn't think my sauce was thick enough
So I continued to heat and beat. and beat and heat. I stepped away for a few seconds, and....
You can tell by my "caption" picture at the top....that it still tasted good and I did pour it over my chicken and served it.
But why did this happen? Thats what I wanted to know. I needed to find out so I could prevent this from happening again. (you see, I had it happen not that long ago when I was making a curry sauce.). I headed straight for my computer and looked it up (hmmm....there might be an explanation in my brand spankin new cookbook, but I didn't think of that until just now). I did a search for "Broken Sauce" and what I ended up finding was....
How to RESCUE IT!!! YEAH!!!
Apparently this is something that can happen with egg based and mayonnaise based sauces (mayo is made with eggs, so there's that connection).
What I had to do was get another egg yolk and beat it with 1 TB of cold water then take that broken sauce, while it's still warm and slowly drizzle it into the new egg yolk, while beating the whole time. Heat the sauce over a double boiler until it thickens to your desired consistency.
Check that baby out!!!
And look how much better it is on my chicken...
All is safe and happy in my kitchen once again.