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

Six of 20 Things 2020 Has Taught and Reminded Me + Sushi

Today, as I blog, I’m listening to a webinar on how people’s mental health have been affected during this pandemic. There’s a panel of MDs, including a couple psychiatrists, talking about how children’s mental health are affected due to the lack of social support. They also discuss how the pandemic affects parents and other adults, too. All in all, this has affected all of us universally. This leads to the sixth fact of what 2020 has taught and reminded me today.

6. Social connection is vital for our mind, body, and spirit.

We’re social beings. Socialization is part of our genetic make-up. Doesn’t matter if you’re an introvert or extrovert. We all need connection in some way, shape, or form. This year, we’ve gotten inventive with connecting in safer ways. So thankful for all the ways we’re able to connect with one another.

I’ve gone through periods of feeling lonely during the course of this pandemic. The feeling of loneliness is not pleasant. Overtime, it can mess with your mental and emotional health. Spending time in your own thoughts day-in-and-day-out is not always the healthiest. I’ve learned over the course of this year how essential connecting with others is. I can’t live without it. My family, friends… They’re important. My support system has always been loving, supportive, and encouraging. That’s been a blessing and what’s keeping me sane and as grounded as possible.

Today’s 2020 lesson fact makes me reflect on the new Shawn Mendes’ song, Call My Friends. Hearing the words of this song made me think about my friends and how I cherish my relationships with them. Love y’all!

It’s been forever since I had sushi (featured image). A few weeks ago, I ordered a nigiri set from Kozo Sushi and it was oh-so-good! Nigiri sushi is basically when a raw piece of fish, or egg, is placed on top of the vingear rice. It’s my fave type of sushi to eat. I especially love ebi (shrimp), tako (squid), and hamachi (yellowtail) nigiri. I don’t eat white rice very often. But when I do, it’s like heaven! White rice definitely pairs well with sushi. Hands down! I’ve tried eating sushi made with brown rice, but it doesn’t taste the same.

Visit the Kozo Sushi at Koko Marina Shopping Center:

Kozo Sushi
7191 Kalanianaole Hwy.
Honolulu, 96825
808-396-8881

Yay to FriYAY tomorrow! We’re almost at the end of the week. Hang in there! The weekend is coming again!

FS x