Poulet Sauté Champeaux, Sautéed Chicken

Makes: 10 portions. Cooking time: 1 hour.

Ingredients:

— 3 x 1½ kg jointed chicken
— 2 dl melted butter or oil
— 150 grams chopped shallots
— 2 dl dry white wine
— 6 dl Jus Lié
— 5 grams chopped parsley
— 50 grams butter
— seasoning
— 20 brown glazed button onions
— 30 pieces cocotte potatoes

Method:

(1) Heat a thick bottomed shallow sided pan and add the oil or melted butter to a depth of not more than 5 mm.

(2) Season and add the chicken pieces and shallow fry until golden on all sides. Cover with a lid and allow to cook rather slowly.

(3) When cooked, remove the chicken and place them neativ in an earthenware dish and keep warm.

(4) Add the shallots to the pan and gently cook for a few moments, then drain off the surplus fat.

(5) Add the white wine, boil and reduce by half. Add the Jus Lié and gently simmer until the sauce is of a light coating consistency.

(6) Finish the sauce with the chopped parsley and knobs or butter and season to taste. Garnish with the glazed button onions and cocotte potatoes. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve.

Notes:
(1) When cooking the chicken it is inevitable that the breast and wings will cook first. They should therefore be removed and the legs permitted to cook a little longer.

(2) Where larger numbers of portions are cooked it will be advantageous to cook the legs and thighs in one saucepan and the wings, winglets and breasts in another. Apart from the point highlighted in (1) above, keeping the white and dark flesh together helps during the service as each portion consists of one joint of white flesh and one of dark.

(3) Once the chicken has been shallow fried and covered with a lid it may be transferred to an oven at a moderate temperature to complete cooking.

(4) It is general trade practice to make the sauce separately from the chicken. The two are then brought together at the time of service.

(5) Sautéed chicken dishes may be held in a bain-marie with a lid or in a hot cupboard provided the temperature is not too high. Too high a temperature invariably leads to the top sauce drying out and the extraction of fat from the dish. This may also make the chicken stringy and thicken the sauce.

(6) Some chefs pass the raw chicken through seasoned flour before being fried to give a better color to the chicken. This will of course thicken the finished sauce and must be taken into consideration. Add a thinner jus lié or reduce the wine less.

(7) If the sauce is too thick it may be thinned with a little stock. If it is too thin some diluted arrowroot may be added to the boiling sauce.

(8) Tomato purée may be added to give a deeper and richer color if so desired, but not to the finished sauce; this aspect should be considered when adding the brown sauce. If a mistake is made then the purée may be diluted with some hot stock before it is added.

(9) Chicken carcasses left after jointing should be used for making the jus lié sauce which forms the basis for many of these types of dishes.

To test if cooked;
Remove a sample of both leg and breast with a fork. Test with finger pressure – the thigh and drumstick should yield until the bone is easily felt and the breast should be firm and resilient. Alternatively, if the juices that run from the fork marks are clear then the joint is cooked.

Assessment of the completed dish

(1) The portions should be arranged to resemble as closely as possible the general shape of a chicken with the legs and thighs at the side. The sauce should lightly coat all parts and leave no area exposed.

(2) The chicken should be light golden brown on the outside with the flesh moist and breast parts white. The sauce should not have discolored the flesh — a sign that it has been boiled in the Sauce. When jointing the chicken the bones should have been removed without splintering. The ends of the winglets should also be removed.

(3) The sauce should be a rich brown color; in extensions where mushrooms have been added they should be neatly sliced and without stalks, and tomatoes should be free from pips, neatly diced and soft with no hard center pieces.

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