Updated: Sep 10
If you watch cooking shows or are interested in French cooking, you've probably heard of a Velouté. But what is this sauce, and why is it so important in French cuisine?
Sauce Supremê is a straightforward and traditional sauce, a Velouté with cream added to it. But we don't just add cream for this recipe; we add the excellent combination of fresh Sage and Thyme! Our recipe includes this highly versatile and important sauce.
Velouté is one of five French mother sauces, which can be used on their own in a dish but can also be made into other sauces. For example, Hollandaise is usually used on its own but can be turned into other sauces like Béarnaise. Velouté is no different but is often used to prepare other sauces or daughter's sauce.
Our recipe starts with a Roux, a simple thickening agent made from butter and flour. Then we add chicken stock and aromatics to make a Velouté. Finally, we add cream and more butter for our Sauce Supremê. But we can't have a recipe just with sauce! This is restaurant-quality food with our creamy mashed potato recipe and a simple chicken glaze. It also helps garnish your dish; we chose some shallots and garlic to be browned in butter for an extra flavor element.
On to the chicken, why did we choose a chicken thigh rather than a chicken breast? We have to look at the fat content. Yes, a chicken breast can be full of flavor and juicy, but chicken thighs do a better job. Chicken thighs have a higher ratio of fat and thus more flavor, making them juicer. It also helps that the bone is still in the chicken thigh, generally speaking, which helps to add flavor as well.
So how did we make the chicken golden brown? We pride ourselves on not using fancy food photography tricks such as the famous engine oil as syrup on pancakes. What you see is what you can make in your home. The key is a heavy bottom pan- we used cast iron and gentle medium heat. Flipping the chicken thigh often helps slowly cook it and ensure a golden color. Spooning the butter over the chicken is also important to add flavor and help cook it faster.
Now, if you are concerned about the amount of butter while cooking the chicken, don't be! Not all the butter will be absorbed into the chicken. Additionally, the French population generally has lower heart disease than other nations- and they consume a lot of butter! I'm not a doctor or here to give health advice. However, there have been studies done to show the saturated fat consumption and death rates in a few countries, and the French have a very low death rate compared to the saturated fat they consume.
The World Health Organization says we should only consume 10% of our energy from saturated fats. Yes, that sounds nice, but the French have lower death rates for the amount of saturated fat they consume. Fat is very filling, and in the end, you will have less of it. Many refute this idea, and I'm not here to give health advice. Food makes people happy, and if that means a little bit more butter, I give it the green light! But as a chef, food is meant to be enjoyed, so it's my job to make food delicious and memorable.
The History of Roux
A Roux is one of the oldest and most basic forms of thickening a sauce. As seen in this recipe, it involves just two ingredients: butter and flour. Its origins can be seen printed in 1533 in Germany, during the medieval period. It was a painfully complicated recipe, however.
Forget about butter; the fat would come from a boiled boar's head, basted with wine, cooked in wine, then a black sauce would be made with the fat and add flour. But that's not all; more wine and spices, fruits, and nuts would be added. It seems those in Germany liked their wine! I'm glad today that we use simple butter and flour.
As for the future, many believe starches, such as corn starch or arrowroot, will replace a Roux. Traditionalists, like myself, believe in the essential qualities that a simple butter and flour Roux bring to a dish.
We are very excited for you to give this recipe a try. Our creamy mashed potatoes, perfectly cooked chicken, and to-die-for sauce will make this recipe your new go-to dinner!
Need a chicken stock recipe? Click here!
Chicken With Sauce Suprême
Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: ~30 Minutes Inactive Time: ~1 Hour 15 Minutes Total Time: ~1 Hours 45 Minutes
1. 7 Yukon Gold Potatoes
2. 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
3. 7 tbsp Unsalted Butter
4. 4 Chicken Thighs
5. 4 Sprigs Thyme
6. Salt & Pepper
Sauce Suprême Ingredients
1. 1 tbsp Butter
2. 2 tsp Flour
3. 1 1/2 Cup Chicken Stock (Warm)
4. 2 Sprigs Tarragon
5. 1 Sprig Sage
6. 1/8th Cup Cream Plus 2 tbsp
7. Salt & Pepper
1. 2 tbsp Butter
2. 8 Garlic Cloves
3. 4 Shallots
4. 1 Small Leek
5. 2 Cups Chicken Stock
6. Thyme (Optional) 7. Salt & Pepper
1. Add the potatoes to a pot of salted water and boil for roughly 35 minutes or until you can poke them with a fork, and have it come out clean. Remove and peel the potatoes. In a small pot over medium heat, add the heavy whipping cream and 4 tbsp butter; once the butter is melted, turn the heat to low and pass the potatoes through a fine-mesh sieve into the milk mixture and stir till combined. Season with salt and pepper and reserve until later.
2. Cross hatch the chicken thigh's bottom (non-skin side) and season with Salt and pepper. Melt three tablespoons of butter in a heavy bottom pan over medium heat. Add the fresh herbs to the butter, then add the chicken. Spoon the butter over the chicken occasionally. Cook until the internal temperature is 165F.
3. Cover with foil once the chicken has been cooked and let it rest until the sauce is done.
4. While the chicken is cooking, melt ½ tbsp of butter over medium-low heat in a medium shallow saucepan, and sift in the flour (7g). Whisk till combined and cook for 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and wait for it to cool, then slowly pour in a half cup of the warm chicken stock while stirring.
5. Once well combined, boil and simmer gently for 10 minutes. This is your Velouté.
6. In the pan with the velouté, add the fresh herbs and 1 cup of warm chicken stock. Bring to a boil and reduce rapidly while slowly pouring in 1/8th cup of cream. Stir continuously.
7. Once reduced by 1/3rd, add in and melt ½ tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of cream. Pass through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean pan—season with Salt and pepper and reserve over very low heat until later.
8. Melt two tablespoons of butter in a small frying pan over low heat. Slice the garlic and shallots lengthwise and place face down on the pan. Cook until golden, then flip. Once nearly done, thinly slice the white part of the leek into thin rings. Place them in the butter and cook gently till they take on color.
9. As your vegetables are cooking, create a chicken glaze by placing two cups of chicken stock in a pan. Bring it to a boil until it reduces and can coat the back of a spoon
10. Plate by adding a small amount of mashed potatoes, topped with Sauce Supreme and the chicken. Brush the chicken glaze upon the chicken and garnish with the previously cooked vegetables and fresh thyme.
Recipe By: Chef Olson Thewoodenspoonchefs.com
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