Every Thursday is my day in the kitchens at Oded’s Kitchen HQ at the Old Biscuit Mill, but this Thursday was a special one. I finished up early and headed over to Rondebosch for an exciting evening of food. The Le Creuset team invited 15 food bloggers to attend a class at Silwood School of Cookery. Yes, the Le Creuset.
How often have I dreamed of owning the entire collection of Le Creuset’s product range of glorious and delicious colours. Like them on Facebook – Le Creuset South Africa or follow them on Twitter @LeCreusetSA for updates and promotions.
It was a sweet opportunity to reacquaint with some old friends and meeting the sweet lady behind Pink Polka Dot food blog.
Our instructor for the evening was Chef Gary and his two assistants – John and Jess (students at Silwood) who carried us through the following menu:
- Tomato cream soup
- Poached chicken breast with mushroom and onion stuffing
- Tarragon sauce
- Butter bread pudding topped with an Italian meringue
Highlight meal: Poached chicken breast
I was extremely excited for this dish as I’ve seen it with my sister on Masterchef Australia and couldn’t wait to get started. This terminology for cooking chicken in such a manner is known as “Balloutine”. It can either be chicken, fish or meat that has been deboned, stuffed and then rolled into tied up bundle – after it is usually poached or braised.
In this instance we hammered the chicken breast so that they were large flat pieces and we added a fried onion and mushroom filling. John helped me roll my first piece of chicken in cling wrap, in which all the air was rolled out – it basically looked like a sausage after being tightened at the edges. The point was to get as much air out and to wrap up all the gaps with cling wrap so it doesn’t get waterlogged. After popping the wrapped up chicken into boiling water, they sank beautifully to the bottom of the pot.
It’s not entirely necessary, but the end, I pan fried my chicken in a bit of butter and olive oil to give it a golden brown crisp – personally, I think it doesn’t look appetising without frying. We also made a Tarragon sauce – a reduced white wine and cream with fried celery and onion, creating a complementary addition to the chicken.
I’m very keen to remake this dish, so I’ll supply the recipe when I do so ☺
Thank you to the Le Creuset Team for the opportunity, and for our goodie bags, including two large ramekins, a 10 cm mini cocote and a 19 cm rectangular dish. And a final thank you to Gary, John, Jess and Silwood School of Cookery for hosting the class.