Wednesday, September 9, 2009
A Braised Chicken Leg a Day...
Posted by Victoria at 6:01 PM
Could keep me quite satisfied for a lengthy period of time, I think! Today in Traditional European Cuisine we finally started cooking! We ran out of time toward the end of class and needed to push the Rice Pilaf and Pork Stew onto tomorrow's menu, but the chicken legs were braised and tasted, and they were quite amazing. Braising is such an easy process without a whole lot of hands-on work required. It's made in a single pot, from stove to oven and then into your dish it goes! We could use whatever seasonings we wanted for our sauce, and my group opted to use some sage, which worked nicely and compliments poultry really well. I also got to use a chinois mousseline, which is a fancy strainer. I'm so getting one someday, haha. And check out the sauce in the picture above! Don't you just want to bathe in it? That chicken is so lucky!
Also today we made something called a cartouche, which is basically a circle of parchment paper to cover whatever is being braised in the pot before a cover is placed on it to go in the oven. It helps keep all the moisture close to the meat to help it tenderize better as it cooks. We used a simple technique of folding parchment into a square, rolling it until it looks almost like a quill and then just tearing it by hand to the radius size of our pot, unfolding and voila, it's an almost perfect circle with no scissors required!
I love fancy words that mean simple things. Here's another installment of Victoria's Word of the Day...
Singer (son-jay): to dust a pan with flour to absorb the fat (as in making a roux!)
Man, the French sure come up with cool words for random things :)
Today, I also started my Introduction to Nutrition class. As many of you may already know, I love bread, butter, cheese, pasta, and chocolate. None of these things really fall into the world of nutritious cooking. I choose happiness on my palate as opposed to a really teeny waist line, so sue me. It just tastes so good! One of our projects requires us to keep track of everything we ingest for four days and then use a computer program to determine our nutritional intake for those days, note what we're getting too much of, not enough of, etc. In theory I think this will be pretty cool to discover problems with my eating habits so maybe I can fix them... but in reality, it will probably make me feel pretty bad about myself, haha. I promptly went to the gym after class :-/
All in all, another great day livin' the dream. Stay tuned...