Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Jacques Pepin

I'm 30 years old so I figured it was about time that I challenged my comfort zone and attempted a few new non-Swutch style recipes. I started reading Jacques Pepin's autobiography, "The Apprentice" a few days ago and discovered an excellent meal he concocted over 60 years ago called Poulet a la Creme, (Chicken with Cream Sauce). It was actually the first meal he produced by himself when he was only 14 years old. I tried it on my usual Guinea Pigs Mark and Aimee. The result was that Mark loved it, I loved it, but Aimee surprised me with her new vegetarianism so she couldn't eat it. That's fine though, means I can further explore the unexplored world of fish.

Here are the ingredients (serves 4):
  • Butter
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 Chicken (cut into 4 pieces - 2 legs, 2 breast all with bones)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 cup of fruity white wine (Chardonnay)
  • 1 cup of good chicken stock (I like Kitchen Essentials - it's a yellow box)
  • 1 small onion (peeled, split in half)
  • 1 Bouquet garni - Parsley (leave sprigs in), 2 Bay leaves, Thyme. I also put in Rosemary and pepper flakes.
  • Flour
  • 1 Cup heavy cream
  1. Melt a tablespoon of butter in a sturdy, big saucepan along with some good olive oil on medium high heat. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and place in the hot pan skin side down. Brown the chicken on both sides.
  2. Once the chicken is browned, add the wine, chicken stock, onion and bouquet garni. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cover with tin foil for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is tender. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and cover with tin foil to keep warm.
  3. Add kneaded butter, about a tablespoon, with flour, also a tablespoon and whisk into sauce. Whisk aggresively. Bring to a boil and than add the cream and boil for another 5-10 minutes to thicken the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. While the sauce is boiling, you may want to remove the bones and the skin from the chicken. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve over the chicken and serve immediately.
Along with the chicken, I made brown rice (which I always cook in chicken stock) and added parsley to the rice. I also made my mom's salad dressing with arugala, avocado, yellow pepper, corn, tomatoes, and some other stuff I can't remember. Add a baguette to dip in the sauce.


Anonymous said...

This meal was fantastic! Mark

Jenn said...

The first French food I'd ever tasted was Poulet a la Creme.

Your Blog is very interesting. I shall have to read more as I've only just stumbled across it.