The weather gods tried to spoil the fun, by sending tons and tons of snow over our little country. It started snowing on Wednesday night. However, the worst snow fell on Thursday night. Since then it has been snowing on and off till this morning. Warmer weather is expected as from Tuesday. Luckily I don’t have to go to work next week.
We didn’t make it to Rob’s Gourmet market on Thursday. I did find a fine Bresse chicken at our local outdoor market though. So the main dish of my Christmas dinner was saved. However, I didn’t get any appetizers or ready-made scallops in Champagne sauce. Finally, I bought some ‘industrial’ appetizers at our Carrefour supermarket. They looked okay, but turned out to be very bland-tasting. Certainly something to avoid buying for New Year’s dinner!
Instead of the scallops I made grilled slices of bread with smoked salmon, creamy scrambled eggs and salmon eggs. Looked and tasted delicious, although it gave me a bit of stress, as scrambled eggs ‘au bain-marie’ require a lot of attention and last minutes stirring. But everything turned out fine.
Of course, you all want to know about the Bresse chicken ‘au vinaigre’. So here’s the recipe. It’s by the famous Michelin stars Chef George Blanc, who has a restaurant in Vonnas (Burgundy).
The Bresse chicken and its 'aromates' happily simmering away!
The ingredients (serves 4):
1 Bresse chicken of about 1800 – 2000 gr. cut into 6 pieces
3 coarsely chopped carrots
1 large onion cut in four
3 cloves of garlic (unpeeled)
5 coarsely chopped shallots
2 large branches of tarragon
1 large tomato, peeled and diced
1 large table spoon of fresh chopped tarragon
10 cl. of tarragon vinegar
20 cl. of chicken broth
20 cl. of liquid cream
1 table spoon of tomato puree
1 table spoon of mustard
2 tea spoons of flour
150 gr. of butter
Salt and pepper
This is what you do:
Melt 100 gr. of butter in a skillet and put in the pieces of chicken. Bake them until they are golden brown on all sides. This takes about 7-10 minutes.
In a cast iron pot, melt the rest of the butter and put in all the vegetables. Stir well until they are nicely coated in butter. When the chicken is ready, put it in the pot with the vegetables and stir well. Add the branches of tarragon too. After 15 minutes, add
The tomato-mustard-flour paste and some of the other ingredients.
After half an hour, remove the chicken from the pot and put in on a plate, cover it with aluminium foil and put it in an oven which you’ve preheated to 80°C. Deglaze the cooking liquid with the rest of the vinegar (2.5 cl) and the chicken stock. Let it reduce on very high heat for at least 15 minutes. Next put in the mustard-tomato-flower paste and keep stirring vigorously until it is completely dissolved. Pour the sauce through a fine sieve or ‘chinois’. Add the cream and let reduce even more until you obtain the right consistency. When the sauce is ready, put in the diced tomato and the chopped tarragon. Add pepper and salt to taste.
Take the chicken out of the oven, pour some of the sauce over it and decorate with fresh tarragon leaves. Serve with mashed potatoes or ‘pommes croquettes’ and the rest of the sauce on the side. Bon Appetit!
The next day, re-heat the sauce 'au bain-marie'.
If you have some meat and sauce left, serve it the next day. Re-heat the chicken in the oven at 120°C, covered in aluminium foil and warm up the sauce ‘au bain-marie’. That’s what I did today … and my mother said that it tasted even better than yesterday!