Today validated every reason I came to culinary school. I got to prepare my first complete dish (chicken and rice pilaf)! I seriously learned so much and had a great time doing it.
We started with a supreme sauce, which comes from veloute. A veloute one of the five mother sauces, and it is made from chicken stock. To make a supreme sauce you reduce the veloute and add cream and seasoning. My sauce turned out well however, since it was done so early I had to continually stir it while it sat on a pilot light so a skin wouldn’t form. Also, I didn’t season it enough. I’m beginning to learn that if you taste your dish too soon after you season, it will seem strong because the seasoning hasn’t been totally absorbed. I ran into that problem a lot tonight.
Next I made the pilaf. This is similar to cooking rice in the traditional way, except you coat the rice in fat before adding liquid. I tried cooking it in the oven, but it was taking too long so I finished it on the stove and it turned out great! I was pleased with it.
With my sauce and my rice set aside I prepared my saute station with three saute pans. One for julienned veggies, one for chicken breast, and one for spinach. I started with the chicken, but I should have started with the veggies because they took longer to cook. I was worried about my chicken being under cooked, but by the time I presented my plate it was fine.
After sauteing I assembled my plate. It wasn’t as clean as I had hoped, but for my first time plating a dish I was proud of myself. My professor’s only comments were that it was under-seasoned and my veggies were still a little raw. Next time I’m going to be more careful about the order I cook. and I’m going to wait to taste the dish until the seasoning has had time to absorb.