As stated at the beginning of this chapter, the best chickens to use for Sauté are the Queen chickens (Poulet à la Reine); these should be medium-sized birds which are well fleshed and tender.
In an extreme case, fattened pullets or large spring chickens could be used but neither of these is so well suited for the preparation of Sautés as the Queen chicken.
The dissection of a chicken for Sauté is carried out in the following manner: clean and singe the chicken; cut the skin round each leg, turn each leg back and cut through the joint where it meets the carcase and remove them. Cut through the joints between the thighs and drumsticks; separate the lower part of the legs from the drumstick above the joint.
Remove the bone (Femur) from the thighs just above the lower joint; trim the lower part of the leg below the joint and cut off the claws.
Cut off the winglets and remove the pinions; cut along the sides of the breast and remove the wing portions cutting through the joint of the carcase; remove the centre part of the breast from the carcase and divide it in half along the centre if a large bird or leave whole if smaller.
Lastly, cut the carcase into two pieces and trim neatly along both sides.
Whatever the recipe being followed, the method for cooking all Sautés of chicken is always carried out as follows: melt
The tenderest pieces such as the wings and breast will be cooked quite quickly and should be taken out after a few minutes and kept warm and covered. The legs being thicker and firmer should be cooked for a further 7–8 minutes and when cooked, should be removed and kept with the rest of the already cooked chicken.
Drain off some of the fat and deglaze the pan with the liquid as indicated by the recipe; this could be an appropriate wine, mushroom cooking liquor, chicken stock etc.—the idea of deglazing the pan is to dissolve the caramelized juices in the bottom of the pan. Reduce the deglazing liquid by half then add the sauce in accordance with the recipe.
Replace the pieces of carcase, lower legs, legs and winglets in the sauce and allow to reheat very gently for a few minutes then add the wing portions and the breast but only when the sauce has been correctly finished. It should not boil any further.
It is not necessary to boil the pieces of chicken in the sauce as they are already cooked—boiling will only toughen them.
A few minutes before service, arrange the pieces of chicken in the following order in a deep Entrée dish having a cover; the pieces of carcase and the lower legs and winglets in the bottom of the dish; the pieces of leg on top of these finishing with the wing portions and breast.
The sauce thus being ready according to its recipe is then poured over the chicken.
For white preparations of Sautés of chicken, the pieces are simply stiffened in hot butter without colouring then placed in the oven to cook as indicated for brown Sautés. The liquid used for deglazing is nearly always a white one as would be the sauce, these being finished with cream.