Sunday, August 15, 2010

Supremes de Volaille aux Champignons

Happy Birthday Julia Child!
For those of you who do not know, today would have been Julia Child's 98th birthday. Julia Child changed the world of cooking and introduced the world to the amazing tastes of french cuisine. In honor of her birthday, I decided to make "Supremes de Volaille aux Champignons" for dinner from her famous book Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Since I don't speak French and I doubt many people do, that recipe title translates into "Chicken Breasts with Mushrooms and Cream" and boy was it absolutely delicious! It also was surprisingly easy to cook as well!

Just for fun, here are 15 interesting facts about Julia Child:
1. Julia was born August 15th, 1912 in Pasadena, California.

2. Julia was 6 feet 2 inches tall.

3. During WWII, Julia joined the OSS (Office of Strategic Services) because she was too tall for the Women's Army Corp and the U.S. Navy.

4. Julia met her husband Paul while working for the OSS and they married September 1st, 1946.
5. Julia studied at the Le Cordon Bleu and later was privately studying with Max Bugnard and other master chefs in France.

6. Julia descirbed her first meal in France as "an opening up of the soul and spirit for me."

7. Julia joined a women's cooking club called Cercle des Gourmettes, where she met Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle who all joined together to write Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
8. Simone and Louisette wanted Julia to help write the book so that it could appeal to Americans.

9. The three ladies opened a cooking school called L'Ecole des Trois Gourmandes (The School of the Three Food Lovers).

10. Mastering the Art of French Cooking was first published in 1961 by Alfred A. Knopf and was a staggering 734 pages long.
11. The French Chef television show staring Julia Child was first aired February 11, 1963 and was immediately a success winning Emmys and Peabody Awards.

12. In 2009, the movie "Julie and Julia" was made by Nora Efron reflecting Julia's life in France and the journey to creating her cookbook and a woman named Julie Powell who was going to cook every recipe from Julia's cookbook in a year.
13. In real life, Julia thought that Julie Powells attempt to cook every recipe in a year was a stunt, was not impressed and did not support Julie's blog due to her excessive use of the F-word and never describing the end results of the recipe or how it tasted or what she learned.

14. Julia's famous Cambrige, MA kitchen is currently featured in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
15. Julia Child died August 13th, 2004 at the age of 92 and her legacy will live on forever through her cookbook.

Now for Supremes de Volaille aux Champignons...
This is what you are going to need to make this delicious recipe (for 2 people):
-1 large Chicken Breast (cut in half) or 2 small Chicken Breasts
-1/4 tsp Lemon juice
-1/8 tsp Salt
-Pinch of Pepper
-2 tbsp of Butter

For the Sauce:
-2 tbsp Butter
-1/2 tbsp minced Shallots
-4 oz. of sliced Mushrooms
-Dash of Salt
-1/8 cup of Beef Stock
-1/8 cup of White Cooking Wine
-1/2 cup Whipping Cream
-Salt and Pepper
-Lemon juice-as needed
-1 tsp dried minced Parsley or 1 tbsp fresh minced Parsley

Since no one is better than Julia Child's teachings, I'm going to give the instructions as they were given to me in the book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Rub the supremes (chicken breasts) with drops of lemon juice and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
Heat the 2 tbsp of butter in a casserole (dutch oven or large skillet) until it is foaming. Quickly roll the supremes in the butter, lay the butterend paper over them, cover the casserole and place in hot oven.

After 6 minutes, press top of supremes with your finger. If still soft, return to oven for amoment or two. When the meat is springy to the touch it is done (I was totally shocked, this really works!). Remove the supremes to a warm platter and cover while making the sauce (2 to 3 minutes).

For the Sauce:
Heat 2 tbsp butter in the casserole (skillet/dutch oven) over moderate heat until foaming. Stir in the minced shallots and saute a moment without browning. Then stir in the mushrooms and saute lightly for a minute or two without browning. Sprinkle with salt.
Pour the stock and wine into the casserole (skillet/dutch oven) with the mushrooms/shallots and boil down quickly over High Heat until liquid is syrupy.
Stir in cream and boil down again over high heat until cream has thickened slightly.
Off heat, taste carefully for seasoning (salt/pepper), and add drops of lemon juice to taste. Pour the sauce over the supremes, sprinkle with Parsley and serve at once.
(Recipe from pages 267-269 of Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child)

I have to say, this dinner was soooo good! Dusty was really impressed and enjoyed it a ton. I have to admit that I might have licked the plate clean, the sauce is to die for! I served buttered peas with my chicken and in the book Julia also suggests serving buttered asparagus tips, artichoke hearts, creamed spinach or risotto cooked in chicken stock.
Now for the rest of the evening, I'm going to watch episodes of The French Chef and maybe even Julie and Julia to further celebrate Julia Child's birthday!
Bon Apetite!

1 comment:

  1. This sounds delicious! I have wanted that cookbook since I saw Julie and Julia!!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...