The Trattoria Project and Spectaculars: The French Affair

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

The French Affair

Vol au Vent with Brown Chicken-Garlic Jus and Chicken Fricassee "F1"

Today's french class was an eye opener, i thought i had never tasted a sauce so simple but in-depth before.

It was far more interesting than what i've anticipated, especially when the instructor is a Master Chef and a GlobalChef award recipient.

This is Master Chef Christophe Megel, executive chef of Ritz Carlton, Singapore.

When most people look at a Vol au Vent they feel that the most tedious part is making that wall of mysterious-looking crust.

In actual fact, the puff pastry only takes 20-30mins to complete. And the sauce, a whopping 3 hours.

I was intrigued by the way Chef Megel was searing the chicken carcasses and garlic bulbs. They were over a large burning pan of smokin hot oil but strangely, it was taking its own sweet time to caramelize. 30 mins later he tactically added ladles of stock and butter and explains how the emulsion of the sauce was taking place. Clear to the human senses, the clear broth turned brown immediately and crazy aromas just filled the kitchen. Outta this world.
Shortly after, I began making a roux and then added some veggies and veggy-stock poached chicken dices in. Even without seasoning, it tasted marvelous and the aroma was unbelievable.
Everything took 4 solid hours to complete and then the Vol au Vent was served piping hot. Hell, it was worth every second of that prep time. All plates were licked clean and the class, deeply satisfied.

This was so good, it got me inspired to try a brown jus risotto, which i really just might.

Until next time, have a good Saturday.

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