Mustard chicken, quick dauphinoise, greens
Diversions from recipe, again, although this time rather less successfully.
Basically, this recipe looked nice but seemed like a hysterical faff to do. Cook the dauphinoise in a pan and then later put the pan in the oven? Cover the chicken pan with tin foil?
On the other hand, this could have been nicer, and that I didn’t follow the recipe is probably why.
First big problem: didn’t have any cream. Since dauphinoise is basically potatoes + cream + cheese, this could be a problem. A quick Google discovered a bunch of healthy people saying that you can use milk instead. Secondly, I used tinned new potatoes. A sin, truly, but it’s what I had, and since they’re basically already parboiled, that makes it easier (everyone else’s dauphinoise recipe has you parboil the potatoes: Jamie cooks them from scratch in all the sauce in a pan and then puts the pan in the oven).
Anyway, this is what I did:
Slice the tinned potatoes. In a jug, mix milk, garlic, nutmeg. Put the sliced potatoes in a baking dish; tear over anchovies, pour over milk mixture, grate over cheddar cheese. Put it in the oven.
Take a chicken breast and treat with English mustard powder and rosemary. The way I do this is by putting the chicken breast in a freezer bag, putting the herbs etc in there too, shaking it up, and then flattening with a rolling pin while it’s still in the bag. It’s really easy, you don’t get herbs all over your worktop, and your rolling pin doesn’t even need washing afterwards. Fry the chicken, both sides, until basically cooked. Then add a generous sloosh of white wine to the pan, and a spoon or two of wholegrain mustard (not English mustard, unless you want to blow the back of your head off), and continue to cook until it all seems OK. Slice the chicken, and pour over the wine/mustard sauce. Wilt a bunch of chard or spinach or whatever in the pan for vegetables; serve the chicken, dauphinoise (which is cooked when the cheese goes golden on top) and vegetables together.
This… well, it wasn’t bad, certainly. Perfectly edible, and I’ve had worse in restaurants. But the dauphinoise was pretty uninspiring. I suspect that this is because I made it with milk, and because I didn’t cook the potatoes in the milk/etc before going into the oven, so it wasn’t particularly rich or well integrated. Also, the milk seemed to almost have separated in the baking dish once cooked; this didn’t seem to affect the taste (although maybe it did? who can tell? good chefs, presumably) but it didn’t look great.
Glad I had this, but I either won’t rush to do it again, or I’ll do it properly next time, and “properly” looks to me like it’s a long way over the “can’t be bothered with that much poncing around” line. Dauphinoise: one for someone else to cook, I think.