Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Chilled Pea Soup and Chicken with Mashed Taters

After reading tons and tons of restaurant blog reviews, I've learned one thing about mashed potatoes; Joel Robuchon is king. This dude is a French chef, now with a bundle of restaurants here in America, who's regarded as one of the best of our time. Possibly the only consensus food bloggers can reach, is that Joel Robuchon's mashed potatoes are the hands down best. I was therefore quite excited when one of the cooks at Lacroix told me that he knew how to make Robuchon's mashed potatoes, and proceeded to tell me how. He said however, that Thomas Keller's mashed potatoes were just as good. Since I had Keller's recipe on paper, I decided to make his. Oh and as for the pea soup, I had made a similar soup at Lacroix a few times and wanted to try it at home.
First I blanched then shocked my market fresh peas. Then I grabbed some basil and mint from my garden, and did the same. I pureed my peas with the mint and basil along with some ice and water. I then drizzled in some cream and made sure it was properly seasoned. I passed the soup through a sieve then let it chill.
Meanwhile, I roasted a chicken, then carved it as best I could. I broke the carcass into a few pieces then browned it in a heavy skillet. I added some butter and garlic and browned the garlic before adding some chicken stock and reducing that to a glaze. I added more chicken stock and reduced that to a suitable consistency.
While that was going on, I gently boiled my Yukon gold potatoes until they were tender. I drained off the water and returned them to the pan for a minute over high heat to remove excess moisture. I removed them, peeled them, then passed them through a strainer. I then put them in a saucepan and heated gently while I added large amounts of butter and cream (I don't think it's a secret why they taste so good).
First I served the pea soup. I crumbled some bacon, then put it in the bowl, while I poured the soup tableside (talk about service). For the mashed potatoes, I put a dollop of mashed potatoes, topped that with a chicken leg, then spooned some sauce over top.
The verdict: Pea soup was good, nothing spectacular. Texture was a little off, I'll strain it more next time. The mashed potatoes were phenomenal, I couldn't stop eating. Be wary though, consumption of those fat bombs requires extended periods of exercise shortly after. The sauce was delicious, and went very well with the chicken and the taters, and of course the chicken was great with the mashed potatoes, are you kidding?


Joseph Bayot said...

Nice post. Roasted chicken and some kind of potatoes will always be a combination that I adore cooking and eating.

Maybe the consistency of the pea soup would have been better if blended hot, without the ice, and then cooling it?

From McGee: "Heating softens cell walls so that they'll break into smaller pieces, and shakes loose long-chain carbohydrates from the cell walls and gets them into the watery phase, where they can act as separate starch and gelatin molecules do." (621)

You're right. The best mashed potatoes are equal parts potato and fat...

...and not for everyday eating haha

Nick N said...

joseph, thanks for the tip, however I'm afraid heating my peas may cause them to turn brown! Will do further research though.