Oops, this was last Thursday’s meal. Bad, lazy correspondent.
Mastering the Art of French Cooking, vol. 1
Suprêmes de Volaille Archiduc, pp. 268-9
Chicken Breasts with Paprika, Onions and Cream
I need some sort of braising dish — “a flameproof casserole dish” isn’t something we’re currently equipped with. On the other hand, what’s wrong with my kitchen workhorse, the cast-iron skillet? Nothing, so that’s what I’ll stick with, and maybe use the sheckels saved for a copper egg-whipping bowl.
Anyway: these are chicken breasts braised in butter with (blanched) onions and paprika. JC says six minutes in the oven should cook the chicken but I do that three times (18 minutes) before I figure they’re done enough. While the breasts are resting (I will never hear a song from The Supremes on the radio and not think, “hee! French titties”…), a sauce is made with the pan juices, vermouth, stock and cream. Wow!
I should have paid attention, though, and boned the breasts. (That sounded really, really dirty; especially given that in reality I would have just bought the pre-boned breasts [again, dirty sounding.])
Champignons Sautés à la Bordelaise, pp. 513-4
Mushrooms Sautéed with Shallots, Garlic, and Herbs
Sauté the mushrooms… then add shallots, a little garlic, herbs and bread crumbs. BREAD CRUMBS. Bread crumbs that turn a simple dish of sautéed mushrooms, which are ordinarily very nice, into something lush and crazily rich. It was like eating the filling from stuffed mushrooms, only without the extra work of stuffing mushroom caps.
Harticots Verts á la Maître d’Hôtel, p. 444
Buttered Green Beans with Lemon Juice and Parsley
What’s to say about it? Blanch the beans, then toss in butter until they’re done; add lemon juice, salt and pepper. Very nice.
I didn’t cook this the MtAoFC way, which is to boil the rice for ten minutes, then drain it, tie it up in a cheese cloth, then steam for twenty minutes. This method, I think, came about before the invention of the Rice Cooker, and is absolutely insane. Our rice cooker, however, is long dead, so I just used the conventional pot method. Whatever.
I forgot to write it down before the recycling went out but it was a very nice French white burgundy I got at Whole Foods. The label was cream colored with simple green type, if that’s any help. It tasted very nice, and was a nice switch from the oaky, smooth (repeat ad nauseum) chardonnays we’ve been downing this summer.
Very very very nice! The chicken was perfectly cooked and velvety. The sauce was incredible, as I thought it might be (I made the rice specifically for the purpose of soaking up sauce). Next time I will remember to get the boneless breasts, as it was a bit of a distraction to deal with the chicken bones. The mushrooms were amazing and the beans were better than most green beans I’ve had.