This classic Lyonnais dish has been made popular by a number of chefs, including Paul Bocuse. The flavors of crayfish and chicken can be combined by lightly searing, without browning, the pieces of chicken in crayfish butter and moistening the chicken pieces with crayfish cooking liquid in the manner of a fricassée. This dish can also be approached as a sauté by cooking the pieces of chicken completely in crayfish butter and making the sauce in the pan with crayfish cooking liquid. The chicken can also be roasted in the oven and basted with crayfish butter. The drippings are caramelized at the end of cooking, the roasting pan deglazed with crayfish cooking liquid, and cream whisked in along with more crayfish butter. Crayfish tails are the obvious garniture for either version. The following version is a fricassée.
|steaming liquid from crayfish or other crustacean, or fish stock|
|finely chopped fines herbes|
|salt and pepper||to taste||to taste|
|crayfish tails, cooked|
Other herbs can be used instead. The sauce for the crayfish can remain somewhat soup-like (these kinds of sauces are often referred to as “long”). Or the cooking liquid can be reduced so that the sauce comes out relatively thick (“short”). Cream can be added to the base and be more or less reduced. Other thickeners, such as hydrocolloids, can be added to the sauce base to minimize the need for rich (and expensive) ingredients such as cream and butter. You can also make a more exciting crayfish base: Steam the crayfish, twist off the tails and claws, and simmer the crushed heads (carapaces) in liquid (cream works amazingly well because its fat extracts color and flavor from the shells). Use this liquid as the base for simmering the chicken.
Copyright © 2017 by James Peterson. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.