Dinner Party Dining - Course Two - Another French
It's time for this course's classic French meal, not too dissimilar to our first course's, just with less butter!
Chicken à la Crème
I made this pretty much as written with a duck breast instead.
It just takes a bit more cooking skin-side down to nicely crisp it up.
Put the breast skin-side up in the oven to finish.
- 1 large chicken breast (skin on or off)
- 1 onion
- 125ml white wine
- 200ml double cream
- 1 handful thyme
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 125g butter
- 1 punnet of baby mushrooms
- chicken stock
Turn the oven on to 180°C and allow to come to temperature, collect all ingredients to prep.
To make the sauce, dice your onion and 2 cloves of garlic, sweat in a pan with a little oil, add thyme and a little seasoning.
Use half of the mushrooms to flavour the sauce and brown in the pan, add the wine and reduce.
Finally add the cream off the heat and season (to add a little more luxury, a small knob of butter can be added to emulsify the sauce).
Leave on warm.
To make the chicken, heat a pan until smoking hot, add the oil and place the chicken skin-side down.
Brown the skin and turn (around 4 minutes), turn down the heat and add 2 crushed garlic cloves, thyme and 25g butter.
Baste the chicken and then transfer to the oven until cooked.
You may wish to pass the mushroom sauce but that is optional,
fry the rest of the mushrooms to add to the sauce when cooked.
Prepare your side dishes, and when everything is cooked, present and serve.
Another Fondant Potato
Unlike certain other fondant methods
this doesn't require cooking the stock off in the oven
and risking burning the whole thing to a cinder.
The potato shapes are browned off first
, hence the timings are much less critical.
Just fish the potatoes out of the stock with a slotted spoon when they're done.
They'll even keep warm in the pan for a considerable time if you need to hold them.
- 1 large baking potato
- 300ml chicken stock
- garlic cloves
- a few sprigs of thyme
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
Peel and cut the potato in half, block off so you have 2 similar rectangular shaped potatoes.
In a pan, add butter and oil and brown potatoes on each side,
add chicken stock so it just covers half way up the pan.
Bring to the boil and place in the oven until soft - about 20-30 minutes.
- 1 packet of asparagus
Heat a mix of butter and water and a little salt in a wide shallow pan.
Peel the asparagus.
Blanche in the butter and water poach for 3 minutes.
side veg vegan
There is no such thing as a small butternut squash!
- 1 small butternut squash
- salt & pepper
To make the puree, peel, de-seed and dice your squash
and add to boiling water for 20 minutes or until breaking tender, blend until smooth, season, and pass through a sieve.
Barely worthy of a recipe, but there are a lot of things you can add to adjust the flavour to your needs.
- small knob of butter
- salt & pepper
- chilli flakes
- lemon zest or juice
Wash the spinach and shake it dry.
Heat a little butter in a saucepan.
Add the spinach and cook it gently until it wilts down.
Season and serve.