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Sautéed Chicken, from Julia and Jacques



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Sautéed Chicken – Julia and Jacques

Julia and Jacques
Cooking at Home

Julia Child and Jacques Pepin,
1999, Alfred A. Knopf

“Sautéing is one of the great basic ways to cook chicken, but – you’ll not be surprised to discover – our methods vary in many respects. With both of the
recipes here you’ll wind up with nicely browned, tender chicken pieces, a
good-tasting vegetable garnish, and an intense little sauce to coat them –
all from the same pan – but you will follow different procedures to produce
them. If you’re a chicken lover, you could certainly do them both, perhaps
the same week, and compare your notes with ours. You will learn a great
deal and have 2 fine dinners along the way.
Dividing a whole chicken into pieces for sautéing is illustrated [in the cook-
book]. Jacques’s technique requires only a few cuts with the knife to yield 8
neat pieces ready for the frying pan – 2 large boneless breasts, 2 thighs, 2 drumsticks, and 2 wing pieces. It’s a simple sequence that you can follow
for all kinds of poultry… If you choose, you can buy already cut-up pieces
of chicken for these recipes, but you’ll pay more, and won’t have the bonus
of a whole chicken carcass to make stock.”


“Deglazing is necessary to collect the crystallized juices on the bottom of the pan and bring that concentrated flavor to a sauce. Yet in my Chicken ‘Maison’ I do
not deglaze the sauté pan, because the deglazing happens automatically during
the covered cooking – the brown ‘glaze’ melts into the added wine and the
liquid that emerges from the onions, mushrooms, and other vegetables. Every-
thing combines to make a sauce that is complete when I uncover the pan at
the end.
I remove the skin from the chicken pieces because there is liquid in the recipe.
I only leave the skin on cut-up chicken when the pieces are sautéed or grilled
to a crispy state. But when cooked with moisture, the skins softens, gets gooey,
and curls up. There’s no appealing crispness, and the skin renders a lot of
extra calories and fat. But in this recipe, without the skin to add fat to the
pan, I don’t have to skim the sauce before serving.”


Jacques’s Sautéed Chicken “Maison”

Yield: 4 servings

A 3 1/2-pound chicken, divided
according to recipe instructions
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
8 medium whole mushrooms (about 6 ounces),
washed just before using
1 1/2 cups chopped onion, cut in 1-inch
pieces (1 medium onion)
12 baby carrots, peeled (about 6 ounces)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup fruity white wine
(such as sauvignon blanc)
1 cup fresh or frozen baby peas
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
Special equipment:
A large (12-inch) sauté pan or saucepan with a cover

Preparing the chicken
Cut up the chicken into pieces [illustrated in the cookbook]: Place the
chicken on its side and cut through the skin all around where the thigh
is attached to the body. Bend the leg at the knee in close to the body,
then pull the knee out to crack the joint. Cut the tendon and pull the
leg-thigh off. Repeat on the other side. Pull the wing away from the
body and cut through the joint. Repeat on the other side. Cut through
the joint to separate the leg and the thigh. Slice along both sides of the breastbone and separate the two halves. Lay the chicken on its side
and cut through the upper shoulder joint. Holding down the carcass
with your knife, grasp the breast and pull it. Repeat on the other side.
You now have 8 cup-up pieces: 2 breast pieces, 2 thighs, 2 drum-
sticks, 2 wings. Remove the wing tips.
Peel the skin from the breasts, thighs, and drumsticks (but leave the
skin on the wings).

Sautéing the chicken
Heat the oil and butter in the pan. When hot, set in the chicken pieces in
one layer, and sauté over medium-high heat, turning them occasionally,
until nicely browned on all sides, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove the 2 breast pieces to a plate and set aside. Add the mushrooms,
garlic, and onions to the pan and cook for about 2 minutes, until lightly
browned, stirring them.
Add the carrots, salt, and pepper, then pour in the wine and bring rapidly
to a boil. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low, and boil gently for 10 to
12 minutes. Return the breast pieces to the pan and cook, covered,
5 minutes more. Add the peas and cook another 2 to 3 minutes.
Sprinkle the chives over the chicken and serve.

Julia's Simple Sauté of Chicken with Herbs

Featured Archive Recipes:
Daniel Boulud's  Chicken Grand-mère Francine
Jacques Pépin's Chicken Chasseur
Julia on Sautéed Chicken (Master
Recipe with Variations)


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