Chicken was reasonably priced today so I finally brewed my stock and made good use of it in this dish. Asparagus was also on special so I bought a bunch of that too. I planned to make a lemon sauce to go with the asparagus but it turned out to be heavenly with the chicken. I think my plating is starting to come together now too.
The other night Gordon Ramsay was on tv and showed how to make stock correctly. Turns out I was doing more than necessary. All I had to do was put the bones in a pot with carrot, celery, onion, garlic, salt, pepper and bay leaves. I also added the ends of the asparagus since I had them. Fill with water and bring to a boil. Here is the secret. After about 5 minutes skim the foamy impurities off and dispose of them. This makes a nice clear stock. Boil only 30 to 45 minutes. Ramsay floated a slice of bread over the surface to remove the fat. All I had was stale bread I was saving for croutons but I tried a slice. It didn't seem to work but time will tell. If there isn't a layer of fat on the stock in the morning, it worked.
The stock was ready before I started cooking so I could use it to make the sauce. I peeled potatoes and got them boiling and pounded my breasts to double in size. I wanted something different this time so I put 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp salt, fresh ground mixed pepper and 1 tsp flour in my mortar and mixed it up. I shook the breasts in the bag to coat them evenly. Then I dropped them into too much hot oil which splashed on my hand. I immediately held it under cold running water and fortunately was fast enough that it didn't burn. It hurt though!
I put a tablespoon of butter in a small sauce pan and a teaspoon of flour on top. I mixed it up and let it bubble for a minute before taking it off the heat. I added some fresh stock and whisked it in. I added enough stock to thin the sauce then added lemon juice, salt and ground mixed peppers. Back on the heat and balance out the stock, lemon juice and salt before plating.
I have an asparagus pot complete with wire basket so I got it out. I'd only used it a couple of times and I filled it half full of water, which took forever to boil. I'm starting to think in the kitchen now so I tried just putting an inch of water in the pot and steaming the asparagus. That worked much better. I took the asparagus out while it was still quite crisp so it could finish cooking in the extra virgin olive oil.
I plated the potatoes, meat and asparagus in that order. I put lemon sauce over the asparagus and around the chicken breast. I took a bite of the asparagus and it was nice and lemony as would be expected. The potatoes had enough salt for a change. The chicken breast with lemon sauce simply sang. Really. I took a bite and heard music, it was that good! It was so much better than usual because of 3 things. Better flavor in the stock from skimming impurities. Asparagus in the stock and only salt, pepper and paprika on the breast so it wasn't muddied. I already can't wait to make it again.