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    Chicken Breasts Poached in Butter

    Source of Recipe

    From The French Chef Cookbook by Julia Child

    Recipe Introduction

    Chicken Breasts Poached in Butter with Wine and Cream Sauce......
    The skinless and boneless meat from one side of a chicken breast is called a suprême. Never cooked in liquid because that would toughen it, the suprême is broiled, sauteed, or simply poached in butter and seasonings in a covered casserole. As suprêmes cook in only 6 to 8 minutes and may be served very simply, they make an exquisite quick meal.

    List of Ingredients

    Preparing Suprêmes for Cooking

    Choose whole or half breasts from a 2½- to 3-pound frying chicken. Slip your fingers between skin and flesh, and pull of the skin. Then cut against the ridge of the breastbone or the top of the rib cage to loosen flesh from bone. Cut through the ball joint of the wing where it joins the carcass and continue down along the rib cage, pulling flesh from bone as you cut until you have freed the meat in one piece. Remove the wing, and reserve it for something else. Underneath the suprême you will see a small white tendon that runs about two thirds of its length; cut along it for an inch or so, grab the end in a towel, and pull out the tendon against the dull edge of your knife. Trim off any jagged edges and flatten the meat lightly with the side of a heavy knife. The suprême is now prepared for cooking; wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate until you are ready. You will need one per serving.

    Cooking the Chicken Breasts

    4 suprêmes
    ½ teaspoon lemon juice
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    Big pinch white pepper
    4 tablespoons butter
    A heavy, covered flameproof casserole about 10 inches in diameter
    A round of waxed paper cut to fit the casserole
    A hot serving dish

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees


    Rub the suprêmes with drops of lemon juice, and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Heat butter in the casserole until foaming. Quickly roll the suprêmes in the butter, lay the paper over them, cover the casserole, and place in hot oven. After 6 minutes, press tops of suprêmes with your finger; if still soft and squashy, return to the oven for a minute or two more. They are done when they feel lightly springy and resilient; do not overcook them. Remove the suprêmes to a hot serving dish; cover and keep warm while making the sauce, which will take 2 to 3 minutes.

    Wine and Cream Sauce and Serving

    1/4 cup white or brown stock or canned beef bouillon
    1/4 cup port, Madeira, or dry white vermouth
    1 cup heavy cream
    Salt, white pepper, and lemon juice
    2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley

    Pour the stock or bouillon and the wine into the casserole with the cooking butter, and boil down rapidly over high heat until the liquid is syrupy. Then pour in the cream, and boil rapidly until lightly thickened. Season carefully with salt, pepper, and drops of lemon juice. Pour the sauce over the suprêmes, sprinkle with parsley, and serve immediately.

    Good accompaniments are hot buttered peas and rice pilaf.




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