I don't think I will ever cook in Mrs. Child's fashion, at least not on any sort of regular basis. There is something about her meticulous care and time and planning and obsession for finding precisely perfect ingredients and doing each process the very best way every time....that doesn't exactly come naturally for me in the kitchen. And honestly, this doesn't really bother me (at least not very much). I do enjoy cooking, and baking especially. I'm not incredibly adventurous (and also not a detailed meal planner), but have become braver (and a better at planning/cooking) in my late twenties and ....now my ...thirties. (Wow, that sounds disturbing, my "thirties") Maybe in another season of my life this way of life and cooking will become a priority and a habit. But for now, it's just not.
But tonight, I was inspired by her Supremes de Volaille aux Champignons (mostly because I had chicken breast and mushrooms and was dreaming about a certain creamy flavor). So I made up my own improvised version of her carefully tested and retested-to-predictable-perfection recipe. She would be horrified, I'm sure. I know this because I just finished her 'memoir' My Life in France. In fact, I feel like we're sort-of friends now. She might not know me, but I certainly know her. And I think we could tolerate one another. We'd find a few things in common. I like honesty. And she's pretty direct and opinionated. I like to listen and learn, and she would have great stories to tell and advice to give. I did love her book. I could probably read it again, just to learn and retain more of her vast knowledge of french cuisine. And to imagine I am living in her parisian flat, speaking fluent french, and eating delicious food all the time. I certainly am not interested in a life-swap. I know I have it far better.
And now....my 'lesser' (but still quite delicious) version of "Supremes"...
1 Chicken breast, cut into strips
some (1 tablespoon?) butter
a tiny bit of olive oil
juice from 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper
dried basil, oregano, parsley, garlic powder
1 pour of chicken broth (1/2 cup?)
1 package sliced mushrooms (already sliced, I know, lazy, probably 'tasteless' in Julia's opinion, but easy)
2 handfulls fresh spinach leaves
1/3 cup white wine (I used Reisling, but a dry white wine would probably be better)
1/4 cup cream
Coat the chicken breast in lemon juice, sprinkle with salt and pepper and italian seasonings, cut it into strips, then sautee the chicken strips in butter. Then, add chicken broth, wine, and mushrooms and simmer for a bit. Next, add spinach, simmer a bit more...and just before serving, stir in the cream. Serve over angel hair pasta.
I loved the lemon-buttery flavor of the sauce. I think I'm going to try a chicken and gnocchi soup with spinach and the same kind of base.
And for dessert, puff-pastry brushed with egg and sugar, baked until puffy and golden and crumbling with flakes....with crushed strawberries drizzled on top.