Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Paris - Suprêmes de Volaille

Last night I went to a simple but good restaurant in Paris and had the day's special (plat du jour): suprêmes de poulet aux morilles. It reminded me why the French think the breast is the best (hence suprême) part of the chicken: definitely not because it is lower in cholesterol than the dark meat but because, properly prepared, it is sublime.

I hunted for the recipe on the internet and in the Larousse Gastronomique, but what I was finding didn't seem right. Then I found what appears to be a perfect version in my old paperback copy of Julia Child's French Chef Cookbook, which features recipes made on her iconic TV show. The preparation is quick and easy, unlike many of Julia's: just (i) saute the mushrooms in a casserole in butter, (ii) add the chicken and poach in butter covered with parchment paper in a 400 degree oven for a few minutes, and put aside while keeping warm, (iii) add white wine to the sauce and reduce, then (iv) do the same with some cream. The key to success will be to start with
really succulent tasty chicken breasts: while French quality chicken is hard to find in the US, we are far better off than when Julia wrote this in the '60s, and a really good farm-raised chicken should do nicely.

I plan to try this when I return to NY.

Bobby Jay

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