Saturday Everyday

Saturday’s class can’t get here fast enough. I always look forward to what chef has in store for us. The last few weeks we’ve done a lot of meat fabrication: duck; chicken; beef-NY strip, flank, and cuts from the tenderloin; and we boned a veal leg. From those cuts we learned how to prepare a number of classical dishes such as: walnut and berry stuffed roasted duck leg; duck a L’orange; chicken breast with a creamy mushroom sauce; steak au poive; saltimbocca alla Romana, and several others.

With a chicken breast thawed and only 45 minutes for lunch I decided to make the sautéed chicken breast with a creamy mushroom sauce. This is a simple, quick and delicious dish.

As you can tell by my picture there isn’t much contrast in color. I would have preferred more color contrast but what the dish lacks in aesthetics it makes up for it in flavor and simplicity.

To make enough for 2 people take 1 well seasoned chicken breast and cut it into bite size pieces. Sauté the diced pieces, in just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan, until they are nicely browned. Once the chicken is browned set it aside in colander. You’ll use the juices in the sauce.

In the same pan add 1 tablespoon of butter and sweat 2 or so tablespoons of finely chopped shallots, a couple of sprigs of thyme and tarragon. Deglaze with white wine and reduce down until it’s almost dry. Add ½ cup or so of cream and reduce until it has slightly thickened.

In another pan, heat on medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of butter and a couple of sliced mushrooms for 2-3 minutes. Strain cream mixture into the mushrooms, add chicken and juices, and toss until chicken is warmed through. Toss chopped parsley, season to taste and serve immediately.

One Bite at a Time

Since my last blog entry, seems like months ago, a lot has happened. I’ve had a few milestones and a few adventures that I thought was worth sharing. Chef Dionot (who by the way trained Top Chef finalist Carla Hall,) taught me how to make a delicious bouillabaisse, a variety of bouchées, ratatouille, several classic potato dishes, pastry cream, and how to shuck an oyster. I’ve discovered several eateries around the valley: Hawaiian (I do not doubt you, MZ;) Vietnamese; Organic; and a French bakery. I drank mead and ate a Scottish egg at the Renaissance fair. I’ve completed another post-bac education class; I’ve hosted a couple of dinner parties; I’ve finished reading ‘Me Talk Pretty One Day’ by David Sedaris – hilarious (Thank you UJ & AB;) I shot a .30-06 rifle and bought a fishing/hunting license (J, K, & C- what an experience.) I’ve learned the principles of sustainable living – Ethicurian - and I have joined the Slow Food Nation USA. And finally, I’ve been inspired by the book that I’m currently reading, ‘Yes Man’ by Danny Wallace, to say “yes” more.

I’m not sure why I’m writing about all of this. I just woke up from a great night’s sleep and my first thought was how grateful I am for the life I live and for the people that I share life with. I’m going to leave you with the words from a new friend of mine; “May there always be water at the end of your journey.”