Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Fried Chicken and Cauliflower Truffle Soup
Connie, what would you like for dinner this week? For almost the last year his response has been consistent, "That fantastic fried chicken." He's referring to Thomas Keller's lemon brined fried chicken that I made last September. I figured a holiday weekend was the perfect time to make it again.
Once again, I can say that's the best fried chicken I've ever had. Moist, tender, flavorful. Connie ate two thighs, Tom (his brother) ate three and I ate most of a breast. The only thing I'll do differently next time is to buy a bigger cast iron skillet. Mine comfortably holds three pieces. I fried chicken for two hours and felt like I'd rolled in canola oil. We wanted leftovers and I wanted to be able to share with my brother and his crew so I pulled out the dutch oven and had it going too.
I thought a nice cole slaw would be perfect with the chicken. After all we'd had Kate's crackers and the garlic herb brie as appetizers. AND, we'd had little bowls of decadent cauliflower truffle soup too (more on that in a minute.) So we didn't need anything heavy. Typically, I make my barbecue slaw. But, it's mayonnaise based and I wanted something light. Now, I've been known to make Mrs. Huber's slaw which is vinegar based. Nope, I wanted to try the version in Best American Recipes 2005-2006. What a disappointment. It was totally blah. Thank goodness I used a one pound cabbage and didn't waste a big one on the slaw! The good news is that I still have two terrific slaw recipes in my repetoire.
Now, what was this about cauliflower truffle soup? I'd bought a cauliflower on closeout at Jungle Jim's. It had a couple of brown spots and was getting a couple more. So, I had to use it up. I'd seen the recipe in the Tavern on the Green cookbook. It looked decadent and easy. It was both. It was so thick it was more like a sauce than a soup. I think next time I'll halve the amount of cream and increase the milk. Otherwise, this was a tremendous starter. It's way too rich for a whole bowl. Just a little ramekin was fine.
Cauliflower Truffle Soup
2- 2 1/4 lbs cauliflower
1 1/2 c cream
1 1/2 c milk
1 t salt
1/2 t freshly ground white pepper
1 T truffle oil
Separate the cauliflower into florets. Leave about an inch of the stem attached. Steam the cauliflower until it is VERY soft. Allow the cauliflower to cool a bit then puree it in a food processor with the milk and the cream. Pour the soup into a saucepan. Heat it gently with the salt and the pepper. Serve warm drizzled with a few drops of the truffle oil. As you can see from the photo, I used black pepper for the contrast...
adapted from Tavern on the Green cookbook