I have been MIA from writing because I have been busy between classes, kids activities and planning a 3 year olds party.
Saturday I practiced at home for the practical part of the midterm, the written portion is tonight over breakfast, chicken, fish, cheese and beverages. The midterm dish was Chicken Fricassee with tourne potatoes and blanched asparagus. It is very nerve-racking to be graded on presentation, taste, texture, temperature, seasoning, time, accuracy of recipe and skill and technique. This dish, although not spectacular or fancy, does require technique.
Josh took this picture as I reviewed the recipe
I bought a whole, organic, free range chicken and then quartered it, and deboned the breasts.
I then started making chicken stock. I mentioned I spent all saturday afternoon cooking, right?
Mire Poix (1/2 onion, 1/4 carrot, 1/4 celery, 8 parsley stems, 1 bay leaf, 8 peppercorns)
Add chicken carcass and fill pot with water. Bring to a boil and simmer.
Mise en place for the rest of the dish. Tourne potatoes are potatoes cut into a “football” shape that are 3/4″ in diameter, 2″ long and have 7 even sides.
Hard to see in this picture, but Chef counts and measures. The one at the top right is probably the best.
Make a sachet (celery, parsley stems, bay leaf)
Then melt clarified butter in a sauce pan (at home I have enamel coated cast iron, I made the mistake in class of using an aluminum pan which turned my sauce slightly gray 😦
Add onions cut in bruniose (tiny dice). Add chicken legs (do not brown!) just a quick sear. Then add flour to make roux. Cook just until the flour taste it gone and then add stock and sachet. Bring to a simmer and thicken sauce slightly. Cover and place into a 300 degree oven for 30-40 minutes. Chicken Fricassee is a white stew.
I made 2- the two pots in back, stock in front left, blanching asparagus bottom right.
When the chicken comes out, remove and keep warm. Reduce sauce and strain. Then make a liaison. 1 egg yolk and 1 cup cream. Temper the liaison with a little of the hot sauce, then add to sauce (so the egg doesn’t curdle). Simmer (so not boil- sauce will break) also do not turn your back on the sauce. In class I turned for a second and my sauce thickened quick. It should be a thin sauce just clinging to the back of a fork. It came out well at home- too bad I can’t just show my pictures to Chef.
Hopefully, I will find out my grade tonight. He did like my presentation and flavor in class so hopefully that makes up for the thick sauce, using an aluminum pan and not cutting the thigh from the leg. He did watch us cooking like a hawk to observe technique and skill.