Saturday, November 6, 2010

Poulet sauté

Julia prefers thighs for sautes. I do too. And if they are boned, they cook in 10 minutes flat, with time to make a quick sauce. Nowadays, I can get them at the big supermarkets in the little packages of four. But usually I go to Fareway, buy hindquarters for 77 cents a pound, and bone my own. The legs I can roast later or turn into a leggy coq au vin, and the rest goes to make crock pot chicken stock (same). Boned out, the thighs weigh in at 5 ounces, coming from one of the huge modern chickens. So one per person is enough.

There are infinite variations to this possible, and I list some later, especially one that uses leftover sauce from a crock pot coq au vin (pictured).

Serves 4.

Poulet sauté (MAFC I 254).

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil (garlic flavored is nice)
Four boneless chicken thighs
Herbs de Provence (optional)
1/4 cup white wine or dry vermouth
1/2 cup chicken stock (on this blog, though canned will do)
Chopped herbs (optional)
  1. Melt butter and oil in a large skillet or fait-tout over high heat.
  2. Dry the top side of the thighs with a paper towel and season them with salt, pepper, and herbs de Provence.
  3. When the butter is melted, place the thighs seasoned side down and then season the top side.
  4. Chop the shallot and the optional herbs.
  5. Turn the thighs after four minutes. They should be golden.
  6. Add the shallot.
  7. After three minutes more, or when they are slightly firm to the touch, remove them to a plate and cover.
  8. Add the wine, stock, and half the herbs, scraping the browned bits with a wooden spoon.
  9. Nap the thighs with the sauce and garnish with the remaining herbs.

Au vin
Instead of wine and stock, use leftover sauce from Coq au Vin (pictured)

A la creme (MAFC I 256).
Instead of the stock, add 2/3 cup whipping cream or creme fraiche.

Herbs de Provence (MAFC I 257).
Season the thighs with herbs de Provence and fennel seed
Flame the thighs with Pernod
Add 1 tablespoon minced garlic preserved in olive oil when you turn the chicken.
Add 2/3 cup mayonnaise (or light mayo) to the deglazing juices.
Garnish with 2 tablespoons basil, fennel tops, or parsley.

Doria (from Escoffier)
Peel a cucumber and, using a melon baller, cut garlic-clove-sized pieces out. Microwave them with butter for three minutes. Add these, with the juice they render, with the wine to deglaze the pan and make the sauce.

While the chicken is cooking, use an apple corer to core and cut the apple into 8 slices. Halve these crosswise and add them to the saute pan with the chicken. Shake the pan to coat the apples with the fat. Flame the thighs with Calvados. Deglaze with apple cider instead of wine.

Use pears and Poire William instead of apples and Calvados. Use a Riesling to deglaze.

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