Filets de Suprêmes Sautés

Chicken Fillets

Method

To find these choice white-meat tidbits, completely debone the breast meat. Here is how it is done.

Remove the skin. Then, from the inside, make cuts along the breast bone. Into these cuts insert your thumbs and follow the bone to the tip, pushing the meat from the breast bone as your thumbs move. Break out the center bone. Stand the breast up on its wishbone-like big bones and run your thumbs down the breast, pushing the meat from the wishbone and the other bones. Run your thumb, or forefinger, out to the ends of the flat bones, thus removing the meat. This is very easy. Practice any time you have a chicken breast. It takes about 2 minutes to do the job. This is also the easy way to get suprêmes. Leave wing piece attached.

Once the meat is deboned, the little fillet, called the mignon, will separate itself from the main piece of breast meat. Remove it. At the top of it you will notice a big white tendon. Take hold of it with your left hand, and with a knife in your right, push the meat off it while pulling. If your hand slips off the tendon, use paper towels to hold it tight. This must be removed because it is too tough to eat and ruins the precious little mignon if left in. Get a chicken breast and practice this whole technique; it is basically very easy.

There are but two mignons to a chicken, and it will take at least 12 for two people. I freeze them until I have sufficient to serve 2 or more. However, you can serve them along with the chicken breast pieces, but cut the main piece of breast meat into strips similar in size to the small mignon. Lightly coat these suprême filets with flour, sauté a total of about 5 minutes and season after they are cooked. The flesh turns a pearl-white when they are done.

When they are done, pour over 2 tablespoons Cognac and set ablaze. When the flame dies, add ¼ cup crème fraîche and 2 tablespoons sherry. Heat, season, and serve with crusty French bread and a salad. The sauce can be thickened slightly with a bit of beurre manié if you wish.

Chicken fillet mignons may be served with practically any sauce. Substitute them in any of the fillet of sole or veal recipes, or prepare them like snails, with garlic butter. They are delicious.

Variations

Sautéed-chicken recipes could be a book unto themselves. In the recipes that follow use 2 (3-pound) cut-up chickens, 6 whole suprêmes, or 8 suprêmes with the fillet mignons removed (save for later use) and suprêmes cut into fillet pieces. Adjust the cooking time according to the types of chicken pieces being used. Be very careful not to overcook white meat of chicken or it becomes threadlike and tough. Basic sauté recipe.

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