Previous Class
Next Class
30th January 2024 - Aaron Bulging
Culinary Masterclass - Bistro Style Chicken Supreme
Aaron and Chicken Supreme Aaron adding butter to his supreme sauce
In which Aaron demonstrates how to joint a chicken. Not unlike jointing the duck in the previous class.

We separated the chicken breasts with their wings still attached, and he showed us how to find the handy little groove at the end of the upper wing bone, which you can use to guide your knife when you chop through to leave a nice clean break for serving.
Make sure to thoroughly scrape away all the chicken flesh from the exposed wing bone or it will blacken on roasting, and spoil the presentation.

Chicken supreme, or suprême is both the name of the dish, as well as the cut of chicken - a skin-on, de-boned breast.
According to Larousse Gastronomique as recommended by Aaron a classic suprême sauce is made from a velouté (stock - chicken in this case - thickened with a white roux) reduced with heavy cream or crème fraîche then strained.
The addition of sautéed mushrooms and a squeeze of lemon to finish is typical.
Often the sauce is additionally flavoured with garlic, shallots and herbs, and the pan de-glazed with wine or brandy.

The cut of boneless chicken breast with the skin on and drumette (first wing joint) still attached is variously called airline chicken (supposedly because it resembles an aeroplane wing), Frenched breast, Statler chicken (from the Statler hotel, Boston), or chicken cutlet (côtelette de volaille).
Frenching, you will be disappointed to learn, refers to the technique of exposing a length of bone protruding from the joint which has been scraped clean of all flesh. On roasting, it will turn bone! white and look pretty.
Technically a chicken breast supreme (suprême de volaille) is the skin-on breast without the humerus bone attached.

Now I know what you're thinking: What on earth do I do with the rest of this chicken? And the chickens of several obliging classmates?.
Well, apart from the carcasses - which you should use to make stock, freeze them for later if you like you can throw the browned legs and thighs and drumsticks into a giant pot, empty in all your half-used fridge jars too, and cook the whole thing up.
I call it Empty-The-Fridge Mediterranean Chicken.
Your fridge may vary.

Oh, and there was some kind of vegetarian alternative.

Bistro Style
Suprême Chicken
A one-pot bistro-style version of chicken supreme.
Charred Savoy Cabbage
A vegetarian alternative. There's a whole lot of charring going on!
Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes
Mash with Beurre Noisette.
Charred Tenderstem Broccoli
The simplest recipe ever. Again!

Chicken Suprême
fowl main
Aaron advises avoiding oil when frying your mushrooms (probably because they're happy to sponge up infinite quantities).
If you have larger mushrooms like a king oyster or other fat boletes, then split them in half, score the cut in a diamond pattern and just char them on a hot dry surface to give them some colour.

You can substitute fat slices of savoy cabbage for the chicken if you require a vegetarian option.
Char the cut sides of the cabbage on a hot griddle or heavy frying pan, then cook them in the supreme sauce just the way you would for chicken below.

Serves 1 per breast

Finely mince the shallot - it should melt away into the sauce.
Halve (if large) and thinly slice the garlic clove.
Chop the mushrooms into even sizes. If you want a couple of larger pieces then make shallow cuts in their surface to allow the flavours to penetrate.
You can char them too, if you like.
Separate the tarragon leaves and slice them. Discard the stalk - it's quite bitter.
Mince chives for garnish, if using.

Lightly oil a smallish frying pan. Place it on a medium heat.
Season your room-temperature chicken suprême from a great height, then when the pan is good and hot, fry skin-side down without moving it until it colours up nicely.
Press down firmly on the fillet as it cooks to flatten it for an even sear.
Flip the breast and fry for a few seconds, then add a ladleful of stock.

Off the heat add a large knob of butter (a quarter of a block) and stir to emulsify. Don't let the stock get too hot or the sauce will split.
Add minced shallot and garlic and stir.
Add the chopped mushrooms.

Simmer until the sauce ingredients are cooked through, adding more stock if needed.
Add a good stream of heavy cream and bubble until reduced and thickened slightly.
Season the sauce, scatter with the chopped tarragon.
Serve the chicken and sauce dressed with minced tarragon or chives and a squeeze of lemon.
It's a popular classic for a reason.
Hard to go wrong too, unless you overcook the sauce to the point of it splitting.

Mashed Potatoes with Brown Butter or Beurre Noisette
side staple veg
Professional chefs don't use potato mashers - they have special sieves for that!
Halve the potatoes then press the cut side against the mesh with the back of a spoon or your hand to push the flesh through. Don't rub or grate them - just push them through or you will break their little cells open and the starch released will make your mash all gluey.

You will also now have some nice clean potato skins left on the other side which you can deep-fry for an minute or two in 180°C oil - they'll be crispy and delicious, and make an ideal plating decoration.

Serves 1

Bake the potatoes in your steam oven at 180°C for about 20 minutes until soft.
What you don't have a steam oven? You pleb! You'll just have to use a regular oven and spend an hour waiting for your potato to cook then won't you?
Halve them and push the flesh through a sieve, preferably a drum sieve, which is like a normal sieve but flat. Or you could use a potato ricer. Catch the sieved potato on a large piece of parchment then transfer to a bowl.
Heat lots of butter over medium heat in a heavy pan until it just stops sizzling (which means the watery components have now cooked off) and begins to brown. Like a hazelnut.
Remove from the heat.
Drizzle the beurre noisette into your sieved potato, beating as you go, until a nice rich consistency is achieved.
Don't add too much butter too quickly.
Season well.
I must admit I found these difficult to reheat - unless you're going to drown them in additional butter or loosen them with hot milk.
So best served immediately.

Empty-The-Fridge Mediterranean Chicken
fowl main stew
The answer to the question: What do I do with a few whole chickens after I've gorged on their breasts.
- Just empty out all the leftover jars of vaguely Mediterranean products from the back of your fridge.
These are the things from my fridge...

Serves 6

Prepare the ingredients - peel and split your garlic and shallots lengthways into two or four if they seem too large.
If you have peppers to include, core them and slice them up.
Cut up anything else which seems too big pickled onions - I'm looking at you!.
Mince the anchovies.
Stone the olives.
Halve cherry tomatoes.
Slice up the sun-dried tomatoes.
Zest the lime.
If you have any parsley stalks then mince them up to go in too.

Heat a large frying pan, skillet or wok over medium heat with just a little olive oil to get things going. Working in batches, fry the chicken pieces until browned all over, along with the shallot and garlic segments, and any pepper slices.
Scoop out each round into a large cooking pot as you go.

When done, throw in a good couple of tablespoons of tomato purée and cook until the oil separates, add a couple of teaspoons of smoked paprika, then pour in a generous amount of white wine and bubble it off until it reduces by about half.

Throw all your other ingredients except the garnish into the large cooking pot. Pour in just enough stock to lubricate without covering, cover and simmer for about an hour until the chicken is falling off the bone.
Serve garnished with chopped parsley and a squeeze of lime juice.
Surprisingly delicious. Go fridge!