The terms filet and suprême are synonymous and both may be used on the menu so as to avoid awkward repetition. They are names given to the breast of the chicken divided along the breast bone, removed from the carcase and the skin completely removed. They consist of the breast proper and the minion fillet (Fr. Filet Mignon) on its underside.
With Suprêmes of chicken the small fillet is usually left attached to the breast, it being too small to be used on its own; the small fillets from Suprêmes cut from large chickens are often used on their own; in this case the sinew is removed, a few small incisions are made in it at regular intervals and small slices of truffle are half inset in the cuts. They are then formed into crescents or rings.
Cutlet is the name given to a Suprême cut from a queen or spring chicken but with the end of the wing bone (Humerus) left attached. Suprêmes are also cut from the same kind of chicken, although they are sometimes cut from larger ones in which case they have to be cut into three or four even-sized pieces then lightly flattened and trimmed oval-or heart-shape, excepting when they are to be stuffed.
For stuffing they are cut through the thick part to form a pocket and filled with sufficient stuffing to fill it out, using a piping bag and tube.
Suprêmes and cutlets are cooked without liquid, or at least almost so because the least chance of boiling liquid coming into contact will cause them to toughen. When a recipe calls for Suprêmes to be poached it is advisable to cook the whole chicken first then to remove the two Suprêmes. According to whether they are prepared brown or white the method is as follows, although it should be remembered that the brown method is more applicable to cutlets of chicken.
Cutlets or Suprêmes cooked brown: Season with salt, dip in flour, place in a shallow pan containing very hot clarified butter and cook quickly to colour on both sides; being so tender the colouring and the cooking of the cutlets or Suprêmes takes place at one and the same time.
Cutlets or Suprêmes cooked white or poached: Season the cutlets or Suprêmes and place them in a shallow pan in melted but not clarified butter; turn them in the butter, add a few drops of lemon juice, cover tightly with the lid and place in a very hot oven. They will be cooked in a few minutes being ready when they feel elastic to the pressure of the finger.
Cutlets and Suprêmes of chicken may be floured, egg and breadcrumbed for shallow frying and deep frying, or dipped in melted butter and breadcrumbed for grilling.
Important remark: It is important to remember that cutlets and Suprêmes will become hard if they are not served immediately; they should be cooked rapidly at the last moment, arranged quickly and simply on the dish and served very hot whilst still soft—this is the most important thing.
The following recipes are suitable for both Suprêmes and Cutlets of chicken.
© 1903 All rights reserved. Published by Taylor and Francis.