Search this blog


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Roasted Carrots, Leek Fondue with Grilled Chicken on Bulgur

I tagged this meal French because with a slightly better visual arrangement, it could have easily been served at a well known "grande table" for a hefty price.
Each ingredient released its happiest elixir naturally, without too much fuss, and in my opinion, that is what real French cuisine is about...simple, yet full of natural earthy flavor.
I wasn't quite sure where I was going while cooking this, but I felt like eating root vegetables was appropriate for the season.  Things just came together naturally and oh so happily.. enough to make me want to do it again, and maybe even for guests.  Those types of feelings usually happen while making exotic type of food.
This meal serves 3 - 4.

First featured are the sexy part of the meal: Roasted Carrots.  I used 2 xL carrots.
Chop some carrots into sticks, toss them with some olive oil, a sprinkle of fleur de sel, and some cracked pepper, then pop in a 200°C (400°F) oven for about 30 minutes.  It's the approximate time needed to do the rest.
What happens during these 30 minutes is the carrots cook in their own internal juice, and then auto caramelize.  They taste slightly sweet but full of unaltered flavor.  This type of discovery makes me go bonkers.  I've roasted carrots before, but never in this shape and always alongside other roasted things, so they ended up cooking in other people's juices and didn't quite explode with flavor like these.

Next are the melted ladies: Leek Fondue.  I used 1 very large leek.
In French, they call it Fondue de Poireaux because the leeks just "melt" as they are cooking.
For this to happen, cut the leeks in half lengthwise and wash them well, then thinly slice them crosswise.  The whole thing.  Yes, the green part is delicious.
In a frying pan, heat some olive oil, then add the sliced leeks.  Stir fry for a bit, then turn the heat down to medium and cook, stirring until they reduce by at least half.  Sprinkle some fleur de sel and fresh cracked pepper.  When they start to stick to the pan, deglaze with the element of your choice appropriate for your household or beliefs.  I used dark beer.  I drizzled about 5 cL in.  You could use white wine, chicken stock, or just water (but it won't have as much flavor.)
Keep cooking until it all evaporates, then turn off the heat, add about 2 Tbsp of heavy cream, cover, and set aside while you grill the chicken.

Then comes the manly part: Grilled Chicken.  I used 400g (almost 1 lb) breast sliced into cutlets.
Season each cutlet with fleur de sel and fresh cracked pepper and brush with some olive oil.  Grill on a skillet a few minutes on each side until nicely colored.  I was impatient and didn't let the chicken color enough, but I was hungry and I reached the point of no return.  I checked the inside of one of the cutlets to make sure it was almost cooked, then I deglazed again with another 10cL dark beer.  Cook until most of the liquid evaporates, then add 1 Tbsp heavy cream and taste your amazing sauce.
I promise it doesn't taste like alcohol.  It just had this deep flavor.

Last but not least, the carbs: Cracked Bulgur.  I used 1/2 cup.
Rinse the bulgur, then add to 1 cup salted boiling water.  Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered until water is absorbed.  Add some chopped parsley for some nice flavor.

That's how it's done.. many items simultaneously, but efficiently, to bring a
"oh what am I going to present for dinner tonight"
"mama's gone top chef on us tonight"

except that nobody exclaims any such things in my house.. ever.
Print Friendly and PDF

1 comment:

  1. Ladies and Gentleman I ask you to applaud ....................