Sunday, January 8, 2012

julia child's chicken breasts sautéed in butter (suprêmes de volaille à brun)

Last night I made a simple dish from p.270 of Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Chicken Breasts Sautéed in Butter (Suprêmes de Volaille à Brun) with Brown Butter Sauce (Beurre Noisette).  Easy and delicious, I will certainly be fixing it again in the near future. 

An excellent photo essay of the recipe can be found here on Amanda's Cookin'.

For the recipe, you will need Clarified Butter (Beurre Clarifié):
When ordinary butter is heated until it liquefies, a milky residue sinks to the bottom of the saucepan.  The clear, yellow liquid above t is clarified butter.  It burns less easily than ordinary butter, as it is the milky particles in ordinary butter which blacken first when butter is heated.  Clarified butter is used for sautéing the rounds of white bread used for canapés, or such delicate items as boned and skinned chicken breasts.  It is also the base for brown butter sauce, and is used rather than fat in the brown roux for particularly fine brown sauces.  To clarify butter, cut it into pieces and place it in a saucepan over moderate heat.  When the butter has melted, skim off the foam, and strain the clear yellow liquid into a bowl, leaving the milky residue in the bottom of the pan.  The residue may be stirred into soups and sauces to serve as an enrichment.

Chicken Breasts Sautéed in Butter (Suprêmes de Volaille à Brun)
Here the chicken breasts are lightly dusted with flour and are sautéed in clarified butter.  (Ordinary butter will burn and form black specks on the suprêmes.  Clarified butter may be heated to a higher temperature before burning.)  A good accompaniment for this dish would be grilled or stuffed tomatoes, buttered green peas or beans, and potato balls sautéed in butter.  Serve with it a red Bordeaux-Médoc.
For 4 people
  • 4 suprêmes (boned breasts from 2 fryers) I used chicken tenders
  • 1/4 tsp salt 
  • Big pinch of pepper
  • 1 cup flour spread on an 8 inch plate I found this to be a terrible waste of King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour.  I recommend starting with 1/4 cup and adding more flour as needed.  I ended up tossing out probably 1/2 cup.
Just before sautéing, sprinkle the suprêmes with salt and pepper, roll them in the flour, and shake off excess flour. 
  • An 8- to 9-inch skillet
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons clarified butter
  • A hot platter
Pour clarified butter into skillet to a depth of about 1/16 inch.  Set over moderately high heat.  When the butter begins to deepen in color very slightly, put in the suprêmes.  Regulate heat so butter is always hot but does not turn more than a deep yellow.  After 3 minutes, turn the suprêmes and sauté on the other side.  In two minutes, press tops of suprêmes with your finger.  As soon as they are springy to the touch, they are done.  This is a great tip for testing the doneness of chicken!!  Remove to a hot platter, leaving the butter in the skillet.

Brown Butter Sauce (Beurre Noisette)
  • 4 T clarified butter
  • 3 T minced parsley
  • 1 T lemon juice
Add additional clarified butter to skillet and set over moderately high heat until the butter has turned a very light brown (a minute or two).  Immediately remove from heat, stir in parsley and lemon juice, and taste for seasoning.  Pour over the suprêmes and serve.

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With the meal, I enjoyed a bowl of Pacific Natural Foods Organic Creamy Tomato All Natural Soup.  This is the first and only gluten-free tomato soup I've found that has onion powder rather than onions or onion juice, other than of course homemade.  The taste was very fresh with the sweetness of a homegrown tomato.  I topped it with parsley and a sprinkle of shredded parmesan cheese.
The flavors nicely complimented the chicken breasts sautéed in butter.  I may even have more soup for a late-night snack tonight!
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On an unrelated note, this is my first post since being told I'm a "perfect match" for the NFCA Celiac and Gluten-Free Bloggers page!  Woohoo!  Bonus: this is a featured blog for the month of January :)

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