Fr. Z's Food Meditation For ADVENT On Poulet Grillé à La Diable........I Wonder If Jesus Mary & Joseph Ate This Well In The Little Cave?
A great famine will come. Before the famine comes, children under the age of seven will begin to tremble and will die in the arms of those who hold them. The others will do penance through hunger. The nuts will go bad, the grapes will become rotten.” Our Lady of La Salette 19 Sept. 1846 (Published by Mélanie 1879)
I did the onions and mushrooms early in the afternoon. This is easy. I use the little frozen onions, thawed completely and then dried by running through them with paper towels. Braise them in butter and stock with thyme.
Meanwhile, mushroom prep. Always them off. You really don’t want to ingest what they grow in. Believe me. You just don’t. You don’t even want to know what they grow in. I have a couple 1″ paint brushes for cleaning mushrooms, coffee grinders, etc.
Some were sliced, some halved, some whole.
Lardons for the chicken. Side pork or thick bacon cut in pieces about 1/4″ x 1″.
Simmer them in water for a few minutes to get some of the fat out.
Brown in butter in the casserole or, in my case, french oven you’ll use for the chicken. Then extract them to a bowl leaving the butter and fat in the bottom for browning the chicken.
At the grocer I hunted up a large fryer. A whole fryer was over $14. However, right next to it, and from the same farm, were four quarters, thighs and legs, for $6. “Hmmm,” quoth I. Since this recipe really calls for an old rooster (thus the name – “Rooster in wine”) I opted for the cheaper dark meat (which I like better anyway).
Put the lardons back in. Splash in some cognac, light it on fire, shake it around a bit as the alcohol burns off. I tried for a photo of that, but the flames weren’t highly visible with the lights on.
Add your garlic cloves, mashed and chopped, thyme, some tomato paste.
A bottle of wine… you can do with with a white wine if you wish, but the classic calls for red. In this case I used a Pinot Noir… which as everybody knows means “peanut of the night”*. Add stock, chicken, or brown, or even beef, to cover the chicken. And a bay leaf.
Raise the heat to get it moving and then simmer for about 30 minutes. After which time, extract your chicken to a side bowl and start reducing the cooking liquid.
As the liquid is reducing, prepare some beurre manié. This is a mixture of equal parts of flour and butter, mashed and worked together into a thick paste. You can do this with your hands or, as I did it here, with the back of a wooden spoon against the side of the bowl. You can make a lot of this stuff at once, form it into little balls and then freeze it. Use it in a pinch to thicken soups and sauces. Its a good alternative to making a roux.
Whisk it into your reduced liquid a bit at a time.
The sauce should coat and cling
Time to reassemble. Back in goes your chicken, with the mushrooms and the onions. Back it goes on the heat to warm up for the clerical arrival. You can make this way in advance.
I usually like to serve peas with this, but asparagus was on sale at an irresistible price. So, a whole bunch of asparagus, microwaved for 2.5 minutes and dressed with lemon juice.
If none of you see the absurdity in all this...then you're in for a surprise....
MARIA OF THE CROSS,
Victim of Jesus nee MELANIE CALVAT,
Shepherdess of La Salette
"I protest highly against a different text, which people may dare publish after my death. I protest once more against the very false statements of all those who dare say and write First that I embroidered the Secret; second, against those who state that the Queen Mother did not say to transmit the Secret to all her people." Mélanie