Classes have been canceled for the rest of the week! I’m not surprised; it looks like the end of the world outside. We had over two feet of snow this weekend and in the past 24 hours we were hit with another huge blizzard. I’m getting a bit stir crazy. Someone suggested I put together a Valentine’s Day dinner menu. Perfect idea!
I’ve put together a menu I think you’ll love. It’s not too heavy but is rich with flavor. It’s also not super complicated. There shouldn’t be any stress over a Valentine’s Day dinner! On the menu is: chicken with a savory pan sauce, rice pilaf, broccoli, and chocolate mousse to finish.
- You can make the mousse in advance and let it chill until just before dessert.
- You can blanch the broccoli next, since you’ll finish cooking it before serving.
- Next take care of the rice, which can be kept warm under parchment paper while you cook the chicken last.
- You can finish the broccoli before serving dinner but make sure you time it with the chicken so that everything is served warm.
If this seems like too much, you can skip the rice or broccoli and just serve the chicken with one side.
LA POITRINE DE VOLLAILLE POELEE (Chicken with Pan Sauce)
- 2-3 chicken breasts
- clarified butter
- mushrooms, sliced
- shallots, sliced
- chicken stock
- Wash and dry chicken breasts. It’s fine if you want to use boneless skinless, but they’ll be much juicier if you use skin-on chicken breasts.
- Season well with salt and pepper.
- In a hot pan, sear both sides well in clarified butter.
- Finish cooking in the oven in a separate pan until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
- Using the chicken searing pan, turn the heat down and add shallots to deglaze the pan.
- Add mushrooms, let them brown a bit and then add salt.
- Add garlic and a little bit of Madeira. Make sure to keep scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pan so they incorporate into the sauce.
- Add chicken stock. You can reduce the sauce down but don’t add too much. You want the sauce thick enough that it coats the chicken.
- Add seasoning if needed.
- Finish sauce with 1 Tbsp butter.
LE RIZ PILAF (Rice Pilaf)
- ½ cup rice
- 2 Tbsp butter
- ¼ onion, minced
- 1 ½ cup hot chicken stock
- 1 clove whole garlic
- 1 sprig thyme
- Sweat onions in butter, season with salt and pepper.
- Add rice and coat with onions.
- Add garlic, thyme and stock.
- Bring the liquid to a simmer.
- Cover with buttered parchment paper pushed directly against the rice.
- Cook 350-375 for 17 minutes.
- Re-season before serving.
LES BROCCOLIS A L’ANGLAISE (Glazed Broccoli)
- broccoli florets
- salt and pepper
- Blanch broccoli in very salty water. When the broccoli is bright green and slightly cooked, move to an ice bath to halt the cooking process. This can be done ahead of time.
- Before serving, saute with butter, salt and pepper.
- 8 oz semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 eggs
- 2 yolks
- 2 oz sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream, cold
- Melt chocolate over gentle steam bath. This can be either a double boiler or a stainless steel bowl on top of a pot of steaming water.
- Using a mixer with the whisk attachment, mix eggs and yolks on high until they’re thicker, lighter in color and form a ribbon. This can also be done with a hand mixer (or by hand if you’ve got biceps!)
- Add the sugar and vanilla.
- With a spatula, add melted chocolate to egg, mix together.
- In a clean bowl, whip heavy cream on high speed to soft peak.
- Fold whipped cream slowly into chocolate mixture over an ice bath. Cover and chill before serving.
Make this dessert beautiful for Valentine’s Day. The best way to do this is to use a piping bag with a large star attachment. If you don’t have a piping bag, just use a spatula to smooth the mousse out. In class we made thin little cookies molded into cups to hold the mousse. Email me if you’d like the recipe! You can also serve this in wine or martini glasses or sundae cups. You can top it with little broken pieces of chocolate.
Happy Valentine’s Day!