I have been trying to recapture some verve for cooking. The kitchen hasn’t been very interesting lately.
But yesterday, with the help of a couple donations which came in for my 20th anniversary of ordination, I picked up some groceries and set to work, also using something I have had for a while and needed to use. This was, in a sense, a collective project with readers here who have sent things from my wishlist or have given donations. And I do remember, as I use things, that people sent them.
“But Father! But Father!”, some of you are assuredly saying. What’s in the little jar?”
I decided to work from the basis of a recipe in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, vol. 1 (sent by a reader).
I worked with Suprêmes de volaille à brun, Chicken breasts sautéed in butter… with a variation.
The first step was to clarify the butter. To clarify butter you melt it and as the solids and fats foam up, you remove them. You can cook at a higher temperature with clarified butter because it doesn’t have the stuff in it that burns.
Once it was well-foamed and as it was just starting to darken, I put it though a sieve of fine wire mesh covered with cheesecloth I moistened with water.
TIP: If you moisten the cloth with water first, it won’t absorb the butter.
I started to sautée a variety mushrooms. Don’t put too many in at once or they steam each other, rather than browning.
Chicken breasts dredged in flour, with some salt and pepper.
Into the clarified butter they go. Watch your temperature. Clarified butter heats to a higher temp than regular, but it will burn of you are not careful.
I gave them about 5 minutes per side, until they were springy to the touch.
Once removed to a platter, I added chopped parsley and tarragon and deglazed with about a 1/4 cup of Madeira and a squeeze of lemon.
Then came a couple small spoons full of stuff from the jar.
Black truffle paste.
I brought a passle of these small jars from Italy and they have been living patiently in my fridge for they apotheosis.
I added the mushrooms, which had cooperated by carmelizing.
Plated up with steamed Brussels sprouts, I wound up enjoying….
Butter sautéed chicken breasts and mushrooms with black truffle and tarragon infused Beurre noisette and Madeira reduction.
I also had some crusty bread with chopped garlic in it, warmed in the oven, for the sake of cleaning up that butter. I didn’t make the bread. I am a hopelessly lousy baker.
A 2007 Château Greysac Médoc, which I found on sale, pulled this all together.
Then I extracted from out the humidor one of my last 2000 Upmanns which were a gift from my mother back when.
Thus, dessert was a couple ounces of Lagavulin 16 and the Upmann.
Just a glimpse of Penjing’s trunk in the background.
Once in a while it is nice to aim a little higher than grilled cheese and tomato soup, which I will probably have today, it being Friday as I write.
So, that was supper on 26 May 2011, my 20th anniversary of ordination.
Thank you for your kind attention and collaboration.