Many of the terms and techniques for lesson 10 are new to me. We’re making Supreme de volaille chivry – chicken breasts that we have to take off the bird and prepare for stuffing with a mousseline. We’re using a beurre manie as the thickening agent for the sauce and adding a beurre ravigote just before service. Plus, we can try making a Ballantine with the leg and thigh, and ‘turn’ mushrooms. See what I mean? This is not like any stuffed chicken dish I have made at home.
I am surprised at how confident I am boning the bird. I get the breast off and prepare it for stuffing and have a go at the leg as well. I make the mousseline with bench buddies Amy and Kimberley. It’s quite a process but it’s going well. Forcing minced chicken through a drum sieve takes time and patience.
I pipe the mousseline into the breast and fold over the chicken. Looking good. It goes into the buttered pan with stock and then into the oven. I remember to set my timer to check it later. Onions are done so I try turning the mushrooms. Naturally it’s harder than it looks. It’s nothing like turning potatoes or carrots. You have to press hard enough to go through the skin – but not too far in – and then you have to twirl down and around to the stalk to get nice neat swirls. I completely ruin two perfectly good mushrooms. They look like they have been chewed by a rat. I’ll go to Parkvale at the weekend and get a box of seconds and practise like mad.
There’s real order in the kitchen today. Everyone seems to be comfortable with the tasks – except those mushrooms. I cook the Ballantine which is simmering (95-98 degrees for those who don’t know), and check the chicken which goes back in the oven to colour slightly.
It all comes together. It looks amazingly good. The sauce is a perfect consistency. It’s a good day in the kitchen.
No longer will I haphazardly slit breasts down the side and shove in a bit of pesto. I get home and the family declares it the best dish yet. I can’t bear to tell them that it’s Calves’ Liver next.