Chef Gilles took the demo today (he has taken all but the 1st 2 cuisine demos this term) and cooked a couple of dishes from the Basque region of France which is in the south west along the border with Spain.
The first was chicken cooked basque style. The legs were braised with onions and red, yellow and green peppers and a little epilette pepper. The sauce was then reduced and liquidised. The breasts were rolled in cylinders and wrapped in Bayonne ham and baked in the oven. The chicken was served with a rice pilaf, some strips of peppers and a crisp baked shard of Bayonne ham.
Next the chef cooked a dessert which was a sweet pastry filled with a rum flavoured creme patissiere.
Then we had another practical with chef David, cooking the duck legs and foie gras. My, and several others, duck legs were not cooked in the time given to us in the class – 2 hours of cooking in duck fat. There is no definite time for cooking these – they’re cooked when tender – and long slow cooking is preferable to faster cooking. However they were almost tender and the potato salardaises was cooked well.
So was the foie gras. It’s amazing how much fat comes out of the foie gras as it cooks. It’s actually cooked in a dry pan and the fat runs out as it cooks. However I managed to cook it well and the sauce for both dishes was lovely.
Several people didn’t want their duck legs so, even though I only cooked 2, I came home with 5. Yummmmm.