There was nothing wrong with this dish, but in the end it didn’t really excite me very much. The chicken smelled and tasted amazing after it had been, browned in butter and poached in white wine. But the mushroom cream sauce with the additional lobster almost seemed like detractors. It’s a flavour palette that’s quite common in the book and not necessarily the most engaging.
Inspired by an episode of Mad Men, I tried this ‘coq au vin’ from the Prices book. The fresh tarragon was nice. Chicken and tarragon go beautifully together, in general. But other than this was a pretty unimpressive dish without much flavour or flair. Too bad.
I was very curious this summer to try some of these ‘tropical’ dishes from Mary and Vincent’s book and this seemed like a good one. Perhaps there is some magical recipe out there that will combine melon and chicken into a divine culinary experience, but this is not it. Something in my palette just said no and I couldn’t finish the dish. The melons took on a strange flavour when heated and the whole combination just wasn’t very appetizing.
A peculiar and somewhat forgettable dish from Spain. For the life of me, I can’t figure out what’s so supposed to make this dish ‘spicy,’ as aside from some black pepper, there isn’t really any heat in the dish at all. Sadly, this dish is one of the few that Vincent did not grace with a blurb, so I shall never know.
This is a pretty good recipe and the flavours are there, the problem I had was trying to execute this “stovetop” in the oven. Unless you have some type of monumental stovetop pot, trying to cook 2 cups of rice and 2 whole chicken along with everything else, just isn’t an option. Where I came into a problem was that the recipe called for extra liquid that was to be boiled down before covering the rice, which I didn’t do. I probably should have used less liquid because my rice came out almost like an Asian congee. However, I would certainly cut this recipe in half and try it again, but this time completely on a stovetop.
The Pump Room Chicken Hash is what Chicago’s famous Pump Room in the Ambassador East Hotel used to serve as a midnight snack of the rich and famous. A simple enough dish to prepare, assuming you already have some “Sauce Escoffier.” What is Escoffier sauce you ask? After some hunting on the internet, I uncovered a pair of extinct sauces called Robert and Escoffier (or Diable) last produced around the late 1980s. I was able to create a facsimile based on Uncle Phaedrus’ recipe which worked for me and made sense, despite the fact that it drastically differed from the last known ingredient list of Nabisco’s sauce Diable. What was interesting is the fact that these sauces, apparently quite established, simply ceased to be. Imagine a world without Worcester sauce or Tobasco. Even more interesting is that it was named after the famous chef Auguste Escoffier who popularized the five French “Mother Sauces.” Anyway, history lesson aside, this was an excellent dish and would work well as the stuffing for a chicken pot pie, with biscuits, or any other way you please. The only alteration I made was to cut in half the amount of Madeira used so that it wasn’t quite so boozy (call it learning from experience). I don’t think I would ever make it again because building the final sauce really took several hours (and several pots) but it was worth it. Strangely, this recipe differs from another version of the Pump Room Chicken Hash released in 1980 sans Escoffier sauce but with cloves and nutmeg. Another recipe that just goes to show what a treasure trove and gateway of culinary history this book is.
This dish seemed like an attractive option but ended up being a bit of a super boozy mess.