June 6, 2019 | Short Order
Culinary School Chicken or Chicken Fines Herbes
By Kaitlin Hill
I don’t write about culinary school much. Maybe it’s because it wasn’t what I thought it would be…or more…I wasn’t who I thought I would be.
I knew there would be long days, challenging practicals, and moments of bruised confidence. But I didn’t anticipate two years of the doubting my self-worth, the ever-present sexism courtesy of classmates and instructors, or, after graduating, the feeling of being quite lost.
On good days, I remember that I survived. I never had to repeat a class. I typically got high marks and I am a chef to show for it. That’s something, right?
Most days, I am glad of the classmates I’ve left behind; but more, the friends I’ve kept. And I am happy to have stories to tell and recipes to cook. Like Chicken Fines Herbes inspired by my year two applied examination.
My version is MUCH easier. I forgo the addition of chervil — because who can find chervil? — and up the tarragon (a suggestion from a kept chef friend). It all happens in one pan, it comes together in less than an hour and it looks really impressive when you are serving guests or trying to pass a practical.
Here’s my recipe:
4 chicken thighs, bone-in & skin-on
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of butter
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 bunch of tarragon
1 bunch of parsley
1 bunch of chives
1 cup of chicken stock
1/2 cup of white wine
1/2 cup of heavy cream
Get your ingredients out and prepped! Season your chicken with salt and pepper and preheat your oven to 350°F.
Heat a large cast iron over medium-high heat and melt the butter. Add the chicken skin side down and cook for 5 – 8 minutes until evenly browned.
Once browned, remove the chicken and set aside. Add the sliced shallots to the pan and cook over medium-low heat until golden.
Add the white wine and chicken broth to deglaze the pan. Add the chicken back in and a fistful of each herb. Transfer the pan to the preheated oven and cook for 10 – 15 minutes until the chicken registers an internal temperature of 165°F.
Again, remove the chicken from the pan and set aside covered in foil. Strain the juices and return them to the pan placed on the stove over medium-high heat. Stir in the cream.
Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, while stirring, until the liquid reduces by half and has thickened nicely. This will take about 8 minutes.
Add to the sauce one tablespoon of each herb roughly chopped.
Ladle the sauce onto your serving platter and top with chicken. Sprinkle with extra herbs for garnish.
I plate the sauce UNDER the chicken to keep the chicken’s skin crispy. Another culinary school trick. Serve immediately! Pass your practical! Stand up to sexism! Reclaim your recipes! Or, just eat!
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