Thursday, September 17, 2009

Chicken Fricassee and Beef Bourguignon

Well, I got my new team, and didn't get left with anyone I didn't want to work with. I'm also at tables 5 and 6, which are farther from the Chefs, closer to the walk-ins and all the equipment, and on the side with the good sinks, none of which I've had before, so I'm thrilled about that. My new team is Matt, who I was really happy to work with, Lazaro, Jamierose, and Gustavo. None of them are bad news, and Gustavo is a really hard worker and keeps our space really clean.

Now, to the recipes! We made a beef dish that I was really excited about, and a chicken dish that I had never heard of or eaten, so I was slightly wary of it. Here we go.

Chicken Fricassee (3-sauce was under-seasoned, dammit)
This is a braised chicken dish. First, we had to break down whole chickens into 8 pieces each. We only used the legs and thighs today. I'm happy that I know how to break down a chicken now. We started on the stovetop with a pan and seared off our chicken with some onion, then made a roux in the pot by adding flour, then covered it with stock. It went into the oven for about 45 minutes, and when it came out it was fall off the bone perfect. We had to take the chicken out, reduce the sauce, and strain it, and then add the creamy liaison consisting of egg yolks and milk to thicken it further. This is where the sauce could break. Lazaro and I did this step, and we didn't break it. Several teams did, I think. Adjust sauce with lemon, salt, pepper, nutmeg. Anyway, chicken on plate, sauce over chicken, and I've written way too much for something that turned out so simple. The sauce just tasted really chicken-y as the end result.

Beef Bourguignon (4)
I loved this dish. Braising a tougher cut of meat is a way to make it more tender and delicious. Bourguignon means that a dish comes from the Burgundy region of France, famous for its wine. There are five ounces of red wine in our recipe, which probably feeds about eight, as well as mushrooms, bacon, onion, garlic, some tomato puree, and pearl onions. The meat and sauce is served over a bed of egg noodles, which are delicious as well. Matt took the lead on this one, so of course it was great. He's really talented and has worked in a kitchen before, plus he's 23 so he's not exactly a child like most of my classmates! Side note: I can't say the name of this dish without pronouncing it in my head like Julia Child.

We made bacon, eggs, and toasted English muffins because the food was cooking, everything was clean, and we had half an hour before we even needed to check our dishes. Plus, we wanted breakfast.

I figured out my role on the team. I'm the person who keeps track of what's going on with everything. At any given time, I'm aware when we're ready to start a dish, and I'll say so. If something is done being chopped, I'm the one who says, "Hey, let's start cooking," and people listen. Sometimes I'll take the lead on a dish, sometimes I'll hang around and see what needs to be done, and remind people of small things or answer,"What's the next step?" I think it's a good role for me, and I wasn't the only one who noticed. Lazaro told me, "It seems like everyone just listens to you; you say, 'Let's start cooking,' and we all start cooking!" I'm pretty sure I'm the one responsible for getting things done on time. We had an hour and 45 minutes today.

1 comment:

  1. I'd probably be talking like Julia Child all the time if I took a cooking class. :)