Yep, it’s Thursday, and I normally post something for Thrifty Thursday. However, I have decided to stop hosting TT as there just isn’t any participation. :( Oh sure, I’ll still post some thrifty ideas or finds when I come across them, but I’m not nailing myself down to a weekly post anymore. I did it for almost 6 months and had hoped for more participation, but alas, it is what it is.
So therefore, today I am going to share with you another Julia Child recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. If it hadn’t been for the premier of the new movie, Julie & Julia, coming out on Friday, chances are I would never have even opened this book. When someone said French cooking I always thought of something that repulsed me, like cooking a snail (just eeew), or something so delicate and succulent that I probably wouldn’t have been able to make it. Not sure why I chose to stereotype the lovely French that way, after all, they do eat regular meals like you and me right? So why did I hide from Julia Child’s brilliance for so long? Was it because I was so young when Julia was on TV that I never really knew too much about her and what she stood for? That she was an advocate for teaching the average housewife how to cook beautifully? Perhaps.
All I know now is that I have found so many new recipes and have already learned a few great things from this book and from Julia, that I am sold and will continue making great things for as long as my family will let me. ;) So now, on with the recipe, enough of my feeble blabber.
I made this for dinner the other night and it was delectable! Julia and the French are definitely not afraid of butter, many of the sauces and dishes are flavored with it and thickened by it. I love how simple this sauce is and how incredibly good it tastes. Oh, and I learned how to clarify butter, though I think I need a little more practice. Darn! That means I’ll have to cook more! ;)
I recommend that if you make this recipe make sure there’s enough room in your skillet for all the breasts to fit in at once. I cooked three and then set them aside on a warm covered platter while the last one cooked. This was a mistake as the first ones were a little drier than the last one, but still very delicious!
Chicken Breasts Sauteed in Butter
[Supremes de Volaille a Brun]
Here the chicken breasts are lightly dusted with flour and are sauteed in clarified butter. Ordinary butter will burn and form black specks on the supremes (chicken breasts). Clarified butter may be heated to a higher temperature before burning.
Note here: Pound the thicker end of each breast lightly to make them more even from end to end.
4 supremes (boned breasts fro two fryers) - I just used 4 boneless breasts
1/4 tsp salt
big pinch of pepper
1 cup flour spread on an 8″ plate
Just before sauteing, sprinkle the supremes with salt and pepper, roll them in the flour, and shake off the excess flour. I found this amount of flour to be a terrible waste. Next time I would start with a 1/4 cup and add more if needed.
Next you need:
6 – 8 tbsp clarified butter
Clarified Butter: When ordinary butter is heated until it liquifies, a milky residue sinks to the bottom of the saucepan. The clear yellow liquid above it is clarified. The milky particles are the ones that burn first, so removing them allows the clarified butter to be heated to a higher temperature. To clarify, cut butter into pieces and place it in a saucepan over moderate heat.
When the butter has melted, skim off the foam, and strain the clear yellow liquid into a bowl, leaving the milky residue in the bottom of the pan.
See the milky residue?
Now you have clarified butter.
The residue (little dish on right) may be stirred into soups and sauces to serve as an enrichment.
Pour clarified butter into skillet to a depth of about 1/16″. Set over moderately high heat. When the butter begins to deepen in color very slightly, put in the supremes.
Regulate heat so butter is always hot but does not turn more than a deep yellow. After 3 minutes, turn the supremes and saute on the other side.
In two minutes, press tops of the supremes with your finger. As soon as they are springy to the touch, they are done. Remove to a hot platter leaving butter in skillet. I’m always concerned about chicken not cooking all the way, so this was a nice trick to learn! Julia says that to test for doneness, follow thee guidelines by pressing gently with your finger:
soft, yields slightly to touch – not quite done
springs backs with gentle resilience – done
no springiness – overcooked
Brown Butter Sauce
4 tbsp clarified butter
3 tbsp minced parsley
1 tbsp lemon juice
Add the 4 tablespoons of additional clarified butter to the skillet and set over moderately high heat until the butter has turned a very light golden brown (a minute or two). Immediately remove from heat, stir in parsley and lemon juice, and taste for seasoning.
Oh, I had half of a shallot left over from a previous meal, so I minced that up and tossed it into the sauce as well.
Pour over the supremes and serve. Since I didn’t get all of the milky white substance out of the clarified butter, I did have a little bit of burned bits in the bottom. So I strained it through a seive and returned it to the pan before adding the butter and reheating. I also didn’t test for taste, I just poured it on.