Update 16, Part 3: New Year's Goal: Become an "official" Gourmess by August 2010

I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate. --Julia Child

I squeezed in the third and final Demonstration using chicken last night after a quick girls night out. (Pretty ambitious for a Monday!)  I also had a couple Gin & Gingers beforehand, but Poulet Grillé à l’Américaine, Sauce Diable (Mustard-Crusted Grilled Chicken with Devil Sauce) still turned out pretty well, and it tasted heavenly.  And yes, I still have all of my fingers.

I started by putting the devil sauce (I wonder why they call it that?) components on the stove.  One pot had some chicken stock that was to reduce over about 30 mins, and another pot had shallots, water (added for better infusion), white wine and white wine vinegar, and ground peppercorns.

While they reduced, I took a 3.5 lb whole chicken and removed the wishbone, the breastbone, and the thigh bones, and then pushed down on it to flatten it, tucking the drumsticks into the skin near the breasts, making a sort of frog shape.  This was a bit tricky as the drumsticks kept slipping – and I wasn’t sure why I couldn’t just quarter the bird and move on, but I followed the directions nonetheless. (I also manchonnered the drumsticks again, for presentation.)  I put the weird shaped chicken on the grill (I used a grill pan on the stove, as our grill isn’t ready for the season yet--and it worked just fine) and quadrillered it (made criss-cross lines on it) and then put in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes. 

By this time, my sauces had pretty much reduced, and I combined them, ran them through a chinois, and returned to a pan to keep warm. When it was time to serve, I added some herbs (tarragon, chervil) and swirled in some butter to finish (monter au beurre).  The sauce had a dark brown color and a sweet, peppery, herby flavor with a bit of a tang/bite (from the vinegar).

Once the chicken was in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, I removed it, quartered it,  and brushed on a mixture of Dijon mustard, oil, thyme and pepper on each piece.

I topped them with breadcrumbs (great use for stale bread!) that were mixed with a bit of the fat from the pan and put back in the oven, now at 500 degrees until the breadcrumbs were golden brown.

While the chicken finished, I had to put together the “garnish.”  I put some bacon on the grill, and also some halved tomatoes and whole button mushrooms brushed lightly with oil.  I grilled them until they had a nice color (and grill marks) and then kept warm until ready to serve. Everything went on a plate with some watercress for some green, and voilà! (Just like the picture in my book!)

Now, on to DUCK!