Poached chicken/salmon with a buttery goodness

Happy last Sunday of August! This week, we learned to poach a protein. Poaching involves simmering something in liquid. I poached not one, but two proteins. Whoop whoop! I loved this technique. It was so simple and clean. Before poaching, I made a court bouillon to poach the chicken and salmon in. It was a very acidic broth. Wowsers!

The court bouillon includes the following ingredients:

  • water
  • white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)
  • yellow onion (coarsely chopped)
  • celery (coarsely chopped)
  • leeks (coarsely chopped)
  • bay leaves
  • crushed peppercorn
  • dried thyme
  • parsley stems
  • whole cloves
  • salt

The liquid with all its ingredients are brought to a boil and then simmered for 20 minutes. The contents are then strained and discarded. The clean broth is ready for use.

Before submerging the protein in the bouillon, the temperature of the liquid needs to be brought to 160ºF (for the chicken) and 140ºF (for the salmon). The protein is then submerged in the low-heat liquid until it reaches its well-done temperatures (165ºF for chicken and 145ºF for salmon).

Both proteins were paired with a beurre blanc (aka white buttery) sauce. Here are the ingredients used to make this glorious sauce:

  • dry white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)
  • white wine vinegar
  • shallots (chopped brunoise style (1/8 x 1/8 x 1/8 cut)
  • cold unsalted butter (cut into cubes)
  • salt

This sauce requires a lot of attention and focus to maintain its consistency. My chef instructors spoke about this sauce “breaking” if left unattended or overheated. The sauce will lose its thick texture and become runny, similar to melted butter. That would be a mess.

First, the wine, vinegar, and shallots are reduced to about an ounce or two tablespoons in the saucepan. Next, add one or two cubes of butter at a time, while whisking vigorously. This creates an emulsion, which is a mixture of two or more liquids that are typically immiscible, like oil and water. Continue slowly adding the butter and whisk. Lift the pot on-and-off the heat (“pot dancing”) while adding the butter and whisking persistently to control the temperature. Once the emulsion takes hold, more amounts of butter can be added a time, while still continuing to whisk. Shallots can be taken out or left in the pan. Season before serving.

This sauce is kept in a warm place or thermos until it’s ready to be served. Once this sauce is made, it cannot be reheated, as the sauce will break. I was so nervous about breaking the sauce, but thankfully, I didn’t. I was intently focused on making sure I kept the consistency of the thickness of the sauce. I was so attentive that I forgot to take required pictures of the steps leading to the final production of this sauce for my class assignment. Therefore, I had to remake it. It was great practice to make it again. I’m glad I had the opportunity. Because I knew what to expect, I felt more confident making the sauce the second time around. I was so amazed that whisking butter in an ounce of liquid could create a rich, acidic, and thick buttery sauce. The color reminded me of cream of chicken. It was so delightful and paired so well with the chicken and salmon. Yum!

Have a lovely week as we head into September. There’s a lot happening in the world. The pandemic. The situation in Afghanistan…. People in Louisiana, you’re in my thoughts and prayers as y’all encounter Hurricane Ida. Let’s not let the negative events of the world consume our mind. Take time to reflect on the positive and always exercise gratitude. That’s what I was reminded of this past week. Being thankful for what I have and keeping that close to my heart.

Take care,

FS x

Spring chicken soup before spring is over!

I saw this awesome spring chicken soup recipe while browsing my Facebook and I HAD to make it!

https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a19992009/spring-chicken-soup-recipe/

Ingredients: (of course, as y’all know, I modified the recipe.)
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried thyme
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
6 c. low-sodium organic chicken broth
1 whole chicken, shredded
2 sprigs thyme
1/4 c. lemon juice
2 cans of Southwest corn
Lemon slices, for garnish
My ingredients for this awesome soup!
Directions:
  1. In a large pot over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onion, carrots, celery, and asparagus, and cook until soft. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, then add oregano, salt, and pepper.
  2. Pour in chicken broth and thyme. Bring to a boil then add chicken and lower heat. Let simmer until chicken is cooked through, 10 minutes.
  3. Remove chicken from pot and shred with two forks. Add chicken, lemon juice, and corn to pot. Cook until warmed through, 5 minutes. Garnish with lemon slices and parsley to serve.

IMG_3237

This soup was amazing! It lasted my family and I for three days!

I made pesto grilled cheese sandwiches to go along with the hearty soup.

The homemade pesto recipe is super simple:

  • Basil (Thai basil is also fine to use)
  • Pine nuts
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic cloves

Blend ingredients in a food processor or blender. It is so good! The best pesto I’ve ever eaten!

IMG_3236

I wanted to try Muenster cheese. It reminds me of Swiss. It was very yummy!