Saturday, November 17, 2012

Chicken with Hollandaise


If it were my last day on Earth, I would have something with hollandaise for every meal.  My Mom made a dish called Chicken Falbrook, which was a pan-fried chicken breast with hollandaise sauce and sliced avocado.  It was rich and delicious, my first encounter with hollandaise sauce, and it was love at first bite!  Unfortunately, making hollandaise can be tricky - I remember Mom stirring and stirring the sauce over a double-boiler, fingers crossed that it wouldn't curdle.  Needless to say, we only ate it on special occasions, since the sauce was so finicky.

My Mom never learned the greatest innovation in French sauce technology:  Julia Child's Blender Hollandaise!  What a revelation!  No more double-boiler, no more whisking and praying!  Once I discovered it online, I searched for Mom's recipe, but couldn't find it.  Chicken Falbrook is nowhere to be found in Mom's cookbooks or online, so I'm guessing it's something she and my Dad had at a restaurant, and she reverse-engineered it at home.  In any case, Julia, Mom and I have collaborated to make the richest, most delicious, and easiest Chicken with Hollandaise ever.  I always serve it with steamed broccoli, because broccoli and hollandaise are a treat in themselves.  Asparagus would also be great - use fresh and steam it til it's just tender.

Chicken with Hollandaise

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup flour
  •  oil for sautéing
  • 1 1/2 pound broccoli
  • 1 stick butter
  • 3 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 egg yolks
  • pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 avocado
Directions
  1. Place each breast between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound down to 3/8-inch thickness.  Season with salt and pepper and dredge in flour.  In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the oil, and brown chicken on one side, for about 10 minutes.  Lower the heat to medium-low and brown the other side, about 8 minutes.  Remove chicken from heat and keep warm on a plate under a tent of foil.
  2. Meanwhile, steam the broccoli - I always do this in the microwave.  Keep warm.
  3. In the microwave, melt the butter.  You want it hot and liquid!  In a blender or food processor, blend the egg yolks, lemon juice and cayenne pepper for 30 seconds.  Then add a tiny bit of the melted butter, blend for ten seconds, and repeat, adding the butter in a thin stream, or a bit at a time, and blending in between additions.  When all the butter has been added, blend for 20 seconds.
  4. To serve, pour a generous amount of hollandaise on the chicken breast, top with 1/4 avocado, sliced, and  a side of broccoli.  Try not to lick the plate when you're done!

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