Meal: Variation on Supremes de Volaillet a l’Ecossaise (Chicken breast, Scottish style) to create a French Potage.

Back Story: “Everything good comes from Provence.” Dr. Ben Fane, my Ph.D. Mentor, visits Mill River and we put him to work. This meal was perfect for a chilly summer evening. The original inspiring recipe, from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, is a chicken dish with a rather thick cream sauce. He said he loved the flavor profile so he wanted to turn it into a lighter cream soup.

Method:

1. Cube chicken, salt and pepper, and cook until done. Remove, cover, and set aside.

2. In a clean, large soup pot, melt 6 Tbs butter and slowly sauté, 1 chopped medium white onion, 1 cup chopped celery, 1 cup chopped carrots, 1 teaspoon minced garlic and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley. Cook until the onions are transparent and the carrots and celery has softened a bit.

3. Add 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour to make a roux. Cook over low heat for a few minutes. When you’re making a roux, Ben says to cook until you smell a slight floral smell. That’s the flower of the flour.

4. Stir in 4 cups chicken broth, stirring constantly. Then add 1 cup heavy cream. We didn’t have enough cream, so we used 1/2 cup light cream, 1/2 cup fat free milk. Stir well. Always stir cream well when you’re pouring so it doesn’t coagulate.

5. Add , 3 potatoes, cut into ½ inch cubes, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the best English mustard powder (Coleman of Norwich), 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce, a pinch of allspice, 1 tsp Kosher salt, ½ tsp sugar, 3/4 tsp celery seed, 1/2 tsp dried thyme, 2 tbs dry vermouth, and 1/8 – 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper.

6. Simmer slowly until it thickens and the potatos are thoroughly cooked. Add cooked chicken to warm and enjoy. We had it with bread and Grafton Sage Cheddar Cheese.

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