Saturday, April 18, 2015

Poulet Mere Blanc

I recently read the memoirs of chef Marcus Samuelsson (Yes, Chef) and this dish was mentioned a time or two. Always looking for different ways to prepare chicken, I let my fingers do the walking on my keyboard to see what recipes were out there.

Not surprisingly, there were many to choose from. I decided to go with this one, mostly because the ingredients made me laugh and there was just enough of a challenge to see if I could it off.

You will note that the first ingredient calls for "one beautiful chicken". Well as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I thought these chicken thighs were delightful. I also figured the dark meat would add even more richness to the dish. 

You might also note that "Paris mushrooms" are called for. Having no clue what a Paris mushroom is, I figured by its name alone it wouldn't be something I could get in Corozal. But the Internet came to my rescue again. Turns out, it's basically a standard, button mushroom. Well heck, even I can get those (most of the time).

I got the dish started by browning the chicken thighs on both sides, using an obnoxious amount of homemade butter. The quartered onions hung out in the pan during this process.

With the thighs all nice and brown and set aside, I added the mushrooms and garlic to the pan and let the 'shrooms give up their liquid.

When that was done, I deglazed the pan with white wine and let the liquid reduce. 

From there, I added the inordinately crazed amount of cream and, instead of a bouquet garni, stirred in some Herbs de Provence. When that was all mixed together, the thighs went back into the pan, along with the accumulated juices.

This all simmered away for about 30 minutes. About halfway through the cooking process, I took a taste of the sauce. was amazing. Like swoon amazing. Like I wanted to down it all, right then and there. Fortunately, I gathered my senses and let the cooking process continue.

Final plating:

I do not exaggerate this is one of the best meals I've ever made. The chicken was moist and tender, the sauce was so rich and flavorful, and those crazy mushrooms just helped to bring it all together. 

We reserved some of the sauce and David used it to make a white pizza that weekend. Oh my goodness. If it wasn't for the artery clogging, cholesterol-laden elements of the dish, this sauce would be our constant companion.

P.S. I highly recommend Yes, Chef. It's an excellent read about Chef Samuelsson's life, multi-cultural background, and all the people and events that led him to his love of food and cooking.

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