JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Supreme de poulet aux morilles

Last night's dinner was supreme de poulet aux morilles. Except that it wasn't, because there were "only" porcini in the larder. And although I was notionally following the recipe in Raymond Blanc's A Taste of My Life, I don't think he'd have given me the keys to a restaurant, because I couldn't help but disobey some of his orders.

The recipes in A Taste of My Life are fully explained; on top of that there are notes giving details of the science, the art, the prejudices of cheffing. Enough to intrigue.

Well, this was good, but we both agreed the sauce would have been better poured over a little pork. Lucius thought it should become part of my standard repertoire. That good. Also pretty simple, shorn of some of M Blanc's strictures.

I did, however, follow this guidance (given again and again): I like to boil wine before adding it to the dish. It intensifies the desirable flavours and removes the alcohol, which can leave an unpleasant flavour in the mouth. If you over-reduce the wine, however, you will lose the freshness and acidity.

Chicken breast with porcini & manzanilla sauce

30g dried porcini, soaked in 150g hot water
4 chicken breasts
a little butter
120g button mushrooms
120ml manzanilla, reduced a little
double cream (RB says 400ml, but I didn't use even half that)

Soak the mushrooms for as long as you can. RB says at least six hours for morels, but porcini rehydrate in less than half an hour. At the same time, bring the sherry to the boil in a small pan, and keep on the heat for a couple of minutes.

Brown the chicken on both sides in the butter - RB says two minutes each side. Put the meat onto a plate while you make the sauce in the same pan. Add the sliced fresh mushrooms and the drained porcini. After a few minutes, add the soaking water and the manzanilla, stir, then add the cream. Put the chicken breasts into the pan, cover and cook. RB says that 180g breasts will take six minutes; although I didn't weigh the chicken, I found this timing spot on.

Plate the chicken, then reduce the sauce a little further.

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