Monday, November 25, 2013

Alternative Thanksgiving idea

Sometimes even a small turkey is a little too big for a household.  And of course some people just don't like turkey. So, here are a couple of alternative dishes for you.
First, one with no picture.  Sorry.  This one is very easy and very good!  A combination that I really like.

Supremes aux Fines Herbs
Yield: 4 servings

4 ea                  Boneless, skinless, chicken breast
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
4 tsp                Shallots, finely minced
Wine, white, dry, as needed
Chicken stock, as needed
12 oz               Cream
4 tsp                Herbs, mixed, chopped, (chervil, tarragon, parsley, chives)

Butter pan, and evenly distribute shallots on bottom.
Season chicken breast and place on shallots.
Add equal amounts of white wine and chicken stock to come half way up the chicken breast.
Bring to simmer on stove top, cover with buttered parchment paper, place in 325° oven to finish cooking.
Remove chicken from pan and keep warm.
Reduce the cuisson (the poaching liquid) to sec. (technically sec = dry; but you can't go totally dry because the pan will burn, so almost dry and syrupy.)
Add heavy cream and herbs.
Reduce to nappé (sauce consistency, coats the back of a spoon)
Adjust seasoning.
Sauce the chicken.

Notes: Some herbs, like tarragon, release their flavor readily.  You can easily make this dish with just tarragon.  You can also make it with the combination of basil and tomato, which also does quite well.  Or if spices are more to your liking, think about using no herbs but using paprika or even curry powder instead.

Now here is one with a picture: :-).  This one is a little more work but, easily done in an hour or so.
Here you see the recipe accompanied by rice pilaf and steamed broccoli, but the choices are endless.  The rice pilaf and broccoli would also go well with the first recipe.

Supremes A’lestragon
Yield: 4 servings

4 ea                  Boneless, skinless chicken breast
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Flour, as needed
4 tsp                Shallots, minced
8 oz                 Wine, white, dry
8 oz                 Chicken velouté
4 oz                 Cream
2 tsp                Tarragon

Dry the chicken breasts thoroughly (skin on or off) and dredge in flour.
Cook chicken according to the principles of sauteing in clarified butter.
Remove chicken from pan and keep warm.
Degrease pan and sauté shallots until they are translucent.
Deglaze the pan with the white wine, add tarragon and reduce until au sec.
Add the velouté and cream.
Reduce to Nappe.(remember sauce consistency, coat the back of a spoon.)
Adjust seasoning.
Typically we want people to see our work (the beautiful golden brown of the chicken breast) so we place the sauce around the chicken breast instead of on top.

Well, I hope this gives you some alternatives if you need them.
Happy Thanksgiving.
Bon Appetit Ya'll
Chef Leslie Bartosh

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