Saturday, August 29, 2009

Missing, Shuttle Discovery,

A wonderful story in the news at the moment, a young girl, Jaycee Dugard, abducted 18 years ago has been found. I am sure you have heard about it. But it just staggers me that for once a missing child has returned home albeit having had a dreadful life for 18 years. In fact I was lying in bed thinking about this last night and wondering why we don't castrate sexual offenders. Surely it would be a lot simpler. I mean, this guy was a known sexual offender and yet he has been raping this young woman without discovery for close on two decades. Obviously this is going to give hope to others who's children have gone missing and never been found. I remember in 1969 all the excitement about man going to the moon and hearing the broadcasts when they first stepped onto the moon - you know "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind". Yesterday Shuttle Discovery was blasted into space and it hardly makes the news. We have become so blasé about space discovery. I have heard people say we shouldn't be funding such discovery in this day and age of recessions and economic woes, I understand where people are coming from, but to fund such scientific research is much better than all the wars which are being funded at the moment. I believe one day earth will be so overcrowded we will have to disperse into space and how can we do that if space hasn't been explored. OK, so unfortunately it won't happen in our lifetimes and I guess we could say "what the hell" in that case, but provision for the future is, I believe, important, whether it be in space or in preservation of our own planet. I just wish I could be part of the exploration, but at my age, that is no longer possible. Go to this page to read more. There are only 6 more shuttles to be launched it says, I wonder what will come next? Having give you a recipe by Jacques Pepin yesterday, I remembered the Chicken Chasseur recipe of his which we have cooked and enjoyed many times. However, taking the lazy way out, I researched it on the net and came across Bobby Flay's recipe which I am giving you here. Bobby Flay uses a whole chicken, we have always used chicken breasts. Chicken Chasseur (Hunter-style Chicken) Recipe courtesy Bobby Flay 4 servings Ingredients * 1 (4-pound) chicken, quartered * Salt and pepper * Clarified butter * 5 ounces cremini mushrooms, emincer (thinly sliced) * 1 large shallot, ciseler (fine dice) * 2 ounces Cognac * 2 ounces dry white wine * 1 1/2 cups enriched chicken stock * 1/4 cup tomato concasse (peeled, seeded, and diced tomato) * 1-ounce cold butter * 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves * 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh chervil leaves or flat-leaf parsley Directions Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Season chicken pieces on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a few tablespoons of clarified butter in a Dutch oven over high heat. Place chicken in skin side down and cook until golden brown. Turn the chicken over and brown the other side. Remove chicken to a baking sheet and bake in the oven until just cooked through, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pan. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and saute until golden brown. Add the shallots and cook for 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and add the Cognac and cook until completely reduced. Add the wine and cook until completely reduced. Add the stock and tomato and bring to a simmer. Cook until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon ("nappe") and then swirl in the butter ("monter au beurre"). Once the butter is added, the sauce can not be further reduced because it will break. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the tarragon and chervil. Remove the chicken from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Remove the breastbone from the breast. Cut each breast into 2 even pieces on the bias. Cut the legs into 2 pieces at the joint and on the bias and remove the thighbones. Serve 1 leg piece and 1 breast piece. Make sure only 1 piece contains a bone. Serve on hot plates, napped with the sauce. Have a great weekend.

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