Friday, March 13, 2009

Little Miss Muffett

Dinner tonight was a near thing. Nearly not a dinner, I mean. I was planning to make tarragon cream chicken. In fact, I spent quite a lot of time dithering about what to have for dinner, and so when I decided I wanted tarragon chicken I REALLY wanted it. I went to the supermarket and bought the chicken, and also some veges. I bought some white wine. Then I went to the other supermarket where they have cream (the only one that does) ... and they didn't have any cream left. I stared at the empty shelf space and grumbled to myself a bit, and wondered what to do. I had all the other ingredients. I wanted tarragon chicken. I WANTED TARRAGON CHICKEN. I could almost taste it. But there was no cream.

I had a brainwave. (Not a very good one, it turned out.) They did have tiny bottles of Jersey milk, with a high fat content. Maybe that would do, I thought, if I used a lot of butter. I bought the milk.

At home I fried the chicken, added the water (not stock, because I forgot to get some AGAIN), and the milk and tarragon. I cooked it for a while, and tasted. Yum! But something was missing. I added the required dash of wine ... and watched in horror as my sauce curdled.

It was amazing. I've never actually seen something curdle before. I have seen the results, afterwards, but to actually watch it separate out like that was kind of magical, in a bad kind of magical way. It just parted. Clear(ish) liquid stayed underneath, and cottage-cheesy-like gunk floated to the top. I tasted the two bits. The white gunk tasted like cottage cheese, only more boring. The clear liquid was rather good.

I sieved out the gunk and kept the clear liquid. I added more wine, more tarragon, and put the chicken back in and cooked it for a while longer. 

The end result was pretty tasty (and a lot less fattening than I'd been planning), but might have worked better as a soup. I imagine that if I had chicken stock it would make a rather good soup, actually, and I might try it sometime. Chicken tarragon soup, flavoured with wine.

Curd, curdle ... if something curdles, I suppose the white stuff must be curds. I hadn't noticed that before. Nobody ever talks about curds unless they're reciting a nursery rhyme. Is cottage cheese actually curds? Was the first cottage cheese the result of someone else's cooking disaster?

I'll look it up in the morning.

2 comments:

kenju said...

I'll bet it was.....LOL I've had plenty of cooking disasters!


Would you believe that the word verification is

Inept?

Carrie said...

I love curds. I get cheese curds from the Amish market. They are fresh cheese that is somehow curdled out of the process. Or something. I don't really know.