Joan Bennett's Artichokes with Lemon Butter Sauce
For the butter sauce:
1 1/2 sticks sweet butter
2 1/2 tbsps. fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 tsps. salt
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
Dash of Tabasco
1. Clarify butter by cutting butter into small pieces. Heat slowly in small saucepan until butter foams. Skim off foam and remove saucepan from heat. Strain yellow liquid into small crock; reserve milky residue for cooking.
2. Reheat clarified butter with remaining ingredients; mix well. Serve warm with artichokes. Makes enough sauce for 4 to 6 large artichokes.
For the artichokes:
1. Wash 4 artichokes. Cut stems at base and remove small bottom leaves. If desired, strip tips of leaves and cut off about 1-inch from top of artichokes. Stand artichokes upright in deep saucepan large enough to hold artichokes snugly. Add 1/4 tsp. salt for each artichoke and enough boiling water so artichokes stand in 2 to 3 inches of water.
2. Cover, boil gently 35-45 minutes (or until base can be pierced easily with a fork). Add more boiling water if necessary. Turn artichokes upside down to drain. Serve with hot or cold lemon-butter sauce on dinner plates as first course or as a separate vegetable course. Artichokes are finger foods so to eat pluck off one leaf at a time and dip base into sauce. Scoop off the meat with your teeth. When outer leaves have been removed, discard small underdeveloped leaves. Remove and discard purple-greenish-colored choke, then consume the bottom, cutting with a fork. Dip into sauce before eating.
Thoughts: This most prized of vegetables can be eaten with a myriad of sauces--from Hollandaise to a fresh-herbed vinaigrette (made with parsley, tarragon, etc.). The artichokes in the fall have a frosting of bronze on their outer leaves (also known as "winter-kissed").
Joan Bennett's Chicken Kiev
3 whole chicken breasts, carefully boned to remove all gristle
1 stick well-chilled sweet butter
1/2 tsp. salt
Pinch of white pepper (or freshly ground pepper)
2 tbsps. minced fresh chives (or pinch of chopped fresh tarragon)
Flour to dredge
3/4 cup fine bread crumbs
1 egg diluted with a little water
Vegetable oil for deep fat frying
1. Cut chicken breasts in halves. Place each between pieces of wax paper. Pound until flat and very thin with mallet (or back of a butcher knife). Remove paper.
2. Form butter into six finger-shaped pieces; chill further in ice water if necessary. Wipe dry and place on each flattened breast of chicken. Sprinkle with salt, white (or black) pepper and chives (or tarragon). Roll up, folding in at ends so the butter is completely enclosed. Skewer firmly with toothpicks.
3. Dredge each roll lightly in flour, then dip in diluted egg, then in bread crumbs. Refrigerate one hour so crumbs will stick.
4. Fill deep fat fryer (or kettle) with enough oil to completely cover rolls. Heat until oil registers 360 degrees F. on cooking thermometer (or until a one-inch cube of bread browns in one minute). Gradually add chicken
rolls, browning on all sides. Drain well on paper toweling. Serve at once. Serves 6.