Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Surpemes de Volaille Archiduc (Chicken Breasts with Paprika, Onions, and Cream)

Three years ago I had the pleasure of visiting France for the first time. I had the amazing luck of staying in Lyon, the Capital of French Food, for a week. My friends who lived in downtown Lyon took me everywhere and showed me the best Lyon had to offer. Let me tell you, churches were nice, fashion was exquisite, but the best was its heavenly food.

In returning to the US, I bought Julia Child's The 40th Anniversary Edition of Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Last night, I attempted her Chicken Breasts with Paprika, Onions, and Cream recipe. (Pg. 268-269)

"Supreme" in French cooking is the "breast of chicken when it is removed raw from one side of the bird in a
skinless, boneless piece". During the day I had joked with Reneed that the chickens are "Supreme" or heavenly, which she totally agreed because the end result is so heavenly. :-)

Step 1: - Since I made Chicken Cordon Bleu last week, all of the ingredients were already in my fridge. Amazing! I substituted lemon with lime juice and port with vermouth. (Thank god we drink martinis!)

Step 2: - I thawed the chicken and rubbed it with lime juice, salt and pepper.

Step 3: - I blanched the minced onions and cooked it with butter, salt, and paprika, for 10 minutes on low heat, with pan covered.

Step 3 (con'd): - After 10 minutes, the onion should be translucent, but not browned. All the liquid have evaporated by now.

Step 4: - In the bowl I mixed chicken bouillion (instead of the beef bouillon the recipe asked for) and vermouth. In the measuring cup is the heavy whipping cream.

Step 5: - Melt butter in the oven-proof pan and roll the breasts in the butter.

Step 6: - Add the cooked onion and paprika to the pan and lay breasts on top.

Step 7: - Cover the pan with tight lid (or tin foil) and bake in high heat. The recipe did not give a temperature, so I tried 400 degrees. I put it in for 6 minutes as instructed, but it was still a bit raw, so back in the oven they go for another 3 minutes. "When the meat is springy to the touch it is done." (I think mine took longer because I covered with tin foil instead of something tight that could hold in the heat better.) The safe way is to put in for 6 minutes and check. If not done, then try 2 minute durations. By the time the chicken was done, it was genuinely "springy to the touch".

Step 8: - I pour the chicken bouillon and vermouth to a pot with butter and boiled over high heat until liquid is syrupy. Then added the whipping cream until the new mixture is thickened too.

Step 9: - Lay the breasts on a plate, along with the sautéed onions. Add any side vegi dish you desire.

Step 10: - Pour sauce onto the breasts and now you have yourself a dinner!! A delicious one I hope...

... because we did! ^_^
A side note: I used cauliflower for side dish. Not knowing exactly what to do with it, I
--> Cooked it in boiling water for couple of minutes
--> Drained the water, added a small stick of butter, added parsley, basil and mixed.
--> They were still a bit hard and not tasty, so I added them into the sautéed onion & paprika pan (which by now is empty but had enough sauce still lingering), added 1/4 cup of water and let it simmer in medium-high heat. After the water is boiled away, the cauliflower was soft and the leftover seasoning added a real nice complimentary flavor too. Not bad for winging it. :-)

Bon Appetit!



Danny said...

I especially like the part where you were dancing to the stereo while stirring the sauce.

I think the sauce dance is key. :)

Danny said...

Next Time:
(forgot to mention) we plan on making the sauce with Port instead of vermouth next time because we weren't sure if the vermouth was overpowering the sauce or not... so if we try Port, we can compare the different tastes.