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Sep 30, 2007 05:10 PM

Julia Child: Poultry & Meats

October 2007 Cookbook Author of the Month: Julia Child

Please post your full-length reviews of poultry and meat recipes here. Please mention the name and the source of the recipe you are reviewing as well as any modifications you made to the recipe.

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  1. Ham Steaks with Madeira Cream Sauce (p. 207, "The Way to Cook")

    Pretty straightforward. Trim and cut ham into pieces using the natural separations and brown in butter and oil. Add shallots, wine, and stock, cover and simmer. Remove ham and make sauce by reducing the mixture, and then adding Dijon, tomato paste, and heavy cream. It was a nice change of pace for a ham steak, and easy. I would probably cut down on the Dijon next time. I served it with stuffed onions (p. 303)

    1 Reply
    1. re: Rubee

      I made this recipe also, the French Chef Cookbook version (p 201)
      It was a nice ham steak, I thought that the sauce ended up salty probably due to the saltiness of the ham. We usually do the apricot/dijon glaze under the broiler so this was a new variation on a fast weeknight dinner.
      I used port instead of madeira.
      just served with steamed green beans and salad.

    2. Bitokes al la Russe (Hamburgers with Cream Sauce) p302 MAFC

      Used the flavored hamburger recipe preceding (p 301) with onions & herbs for the patties.
      I was unsure about the patties as they seemed sort of "wet", but the flour dredge really helped them hold together. I only added 1 Tbs of softened butter but next time probably won't add any. The amount of fat to cook in seemed excessive but it really made the burgers nice and juicy.
      The sauce turned out very nice, although a bit salty. I normally use the "Better than Buillon" brand of stock base but was out so used canned beef broth. I think that may have been the culprit.
      It was still very tasty, my son asked me this morning if we could have that again!

      3 Replies
      1. re: ErikaK

        I've used Better Than Bouillon concentrate and found it even saltier than canned broth. I only really like (and use often) the mushroom base, but I've never bought the beef concentrate so that may be less salty. I've read, however, that although canned chicken broth is okay to use, canned beef broth is not great to use due to taste.

        1. re: oakjoan

          I usually dilute the Better Than Bouillon more than they say to. Have heard the same about canned beef broth - I think from Sara Moulton.

          1. re: MMRuth

            It must be widespread since I have never seen Sara Moulton. I think it was in Consumers' Reports or the S.F. Chronicle.

      2. Poulet Grille au Naturel (Plain Broiled Chicken), TFCC p. 157
        Broiled Butterflied Chicken, TWtC p 154

        These are essentially the same recipe. One calls for a ½-pound smaller chicken; one calls for 2 teaspoons less olive oil; one has herbs optional the other has a sauce optional. But they’re the same recipe. Just broiled chicken basted with a combo of olive oil and butter.

        What is different is the description of how to butterfly the chicken, and that was a revelation to me. TWC just says the usual: remove the backbone, break the collarbones and some ribs, set the wings akimbo, and tuck the legs into a slit in the skin. TFCC says the same, but adds this instruction: “To keep the legs and wings in place during cooking, locate ball joints connecting wings to shoulder and cut through the tendons; reaching up under the lower breast skin, cut through the tendons at the joints connecting the drumsticks and second joints.” Okay. So where is the ball joint that connects the wing to the shoulder? I actually had to go to the drawing that accompanies “How to disjoint a goose” on page 313 of MTAoFC, Vol Two, to figure out the anatomy. Not sure I got the wing part right, and only by really yanking the leg and breaking that knee joint I was able to cut through those tendons. I thought I did both sides, but obviously I only did one correctly. And, boy! Does it make a difference! You can see in the first photo below that one leg (the one I did properly) is lying flat against the carving board while the other one is sort of up in the air. I’ve spatchcocked a lot of chickens, mostly for chicken under a brick, but never read this instruction before. It’s a technique I’m determined to master.

        But you wanted to know how it tasted, right? Well, it was the wrong recipe for my oven. I couldn’t get the chicken quite the recommended 5 or 6 inches from the “broiler element” and my “element” is a gas flame so I couldn’t really “regulate heat accordingly” either. I only broiled it about 12 minutes on the first side and 10 minutes on the second (it was supposed to be 15 minutes each) before the chicken started to burn, so it was somewhat underdone. I did baste often. And the skin was wonderfully crisp. But there wasn’t anything special about it. Back to mostly Zuni and Hazan for me.

        Served this with a salad and the Potato Galette from TWtC. BF called this “the brown dinner.” Afraid he was right. But learning a better way to spatchcock a chicken made it all worth while.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JoanN

          Joan: This post is an advert for all that's great about Chowhound. It's informative and funny. Including the photos of the imperfect side of the chicken.

          And I'm not just saying this because I have the same name! Honest!

        2. Daube de Boeuf a la Provencale MAFC p322-325

          Easy to put together, I marinated 3 hrs (on the counter.. if it were in the fridge it needed 6 hrs) - meat sliced onions & carrots, wine, brandy, herbs. The simmering of the bacon seems kind of weird however it does result in less fat floating around on the end result. The "layering" aspect of the daube was new to me, my husband was like "wow, meat lasagne" - bacon - veggies - meat - repeat. I added the Provencal variation (anchovy, caper, garlic, parsley, wine vinegar, olive oil) after a little over 2 hrs and it was ready for our dinner guests at about 7:30. It was great! It really elevated the standard beef stew with the Provencal sauce. I really like anchovies and capers but even those who don't still loved the subtle fresh taste the sauce imparted. We ate it over buttered noodles and didn't have anything else. We could have had a salad but I was outvoted on that.

          1. Poulet Roti (Roast Chicken), p . 240, MtAoFC, Vol I:

            Well, this is the most beautiful chicken I've ever roasted, but a lot more work than my usual method - lots of basting with burtter and turning. We had a big chicken - over 5 lbs - from an organic vendor we'd not used before, and my husband thought the dark meat, which is what he eats, was a bit tough. However, since we were using a new method and a "new" bird, it's hard to tell what the origin of toughness is. I made the pan sauce that went along with it and it was wonderful. I served it with some sauteed mushrooms - don't remember what else - I'm very behind in my posting!

            Edit - the skin actually puffed up beautifully, which I've never seen before! And it looks like I also served an endive salad with walnuts, blue cheese and julienned apple, with a viniagrette (sp?).

            9 Replies
            1. re: MMRuth

              Very interesting point about using chicken from a vendor you hadn't frequented before. I did exactly the same when making the broiled chicken above and wondered how much of the toughness was due to undercooking and how much to it being an organic bird. In fact, I just bought another chicken from the same stand this past weekend and have it brining in fridge. If the chicken is tough after being Zunied, bye-bye that particular vendor.

              1. re: JoanN

                Yes - this was also an organic bird, and while the white meat was fine, my husband thought the dark meat was more like turkey meat, not tender like the legs usually are.

                1. re: MMRuth

                  I've decided it was the recipe, not the organic chicken, not the vendor. I bought the same size chicken from the same vendor and did my standard Zuni number on it. It was outstanding. Moist and flavorful throughout and not the least bit tough. One of the best Zuni chickens I've ever done. Even better than d'Artagnan organic chicken, and that's high praise. Now I just have to hope that this vendor continues to frequent the Lincoln Square farmers market.

                  1. re: JoanN

                    Do you remember the name of the vendor - I bought mine from a USQ vendor.

                    1. re: MMRuth

                      No, I don't. I'll try to check this Saturday.

                      1. re: MMRuth

                        Just back from the Lincoln Square market. The chicken I Zunied was from Wood Homestead. "Pasture Raised. No Hormones. No Antibiotics." The owner told me her son & husband are at USQ on Saturdays, but only to sell maple syrup. She said there are too many others selling chicken there on Saturday so they only sell chicken at USQ on Wednesday.

                        1. re: JoanN

                          Thanks - I'm just back from USQ - I had bought my chicken from the Flying Pigs vendor. I did pick up some gorgeous thick pork chops, and am going to cook one of the MAFC chop recipes - I think the one with the cream/mustard/tomato sauce. Also got some gorgeous uncured smoked slab bacon and am about to make a frisee aux lardons salad for lunch - no recipe for it MAFC though!

                          1. re: MMRuth

                            Great minds! Unfortunately, no Flying Pigs up here. But I did just pick up some Dubreton organic pork chops from Fairway, whizzed up the Spice Marinade for Pork from TWtC p. 203, have them marinating as I type, and will give her Sauteed Pork Chops a go either tonight or tomorrow.

                            1. re: MMRuth

                              Re: MMRuth's above post.

                              I couldn't believe there was no recipe for friseee aux lardons in MAFC, so I checked, and you are right! Shocking oversight. It certainly cannot be due to the fact that it's too weird (poached egg in salad), and it's not in Vol. 2 either.

                              It is, however, in P. Wells' Bistro Cooking, Bittman's Best Recipes in the World (of which it is CERTAINLY one), and Dean & Delucca.

                              I'm jealous of your lunch.