Thursday, September 6, 2012

Chaud Froid Platter of Pak Chee Farang Roasted Chicken Breast, Turmeric Aspic and Fresh Ginkgo Nuts














Chaud Froid!

     Chaud Froid mean hot cold in French.  Chaud froid refers to a cuisson technique of preparing hot food with the intent of having it gel, when it becomes cold.  Chaud froid refers to a hot bechamel sauce which contains gelatin and the sauce becomes solid when cooled.  
     Chaud froid can be a technique lightly coating an item with edible gelatinized bechamel.  Edible chaud froid is made to be the same consistency as coating gelatin.  
     Chaud froid for platters is a hard gelatinized bechamel and it is considered to be non-edible.  Hard gelled chaud froid has the texture of rubber.  A chaud froid platter requires a platter that has a rim or border that is raised higher than the center flat surface.  A tray with a raised rim!  
     Plain hard gelatinized bechamel is poured on the center of the tray, where it hardens like rubber.  The rubberized bechamell can then be decorated. Clear hard gelatin is used like glue to place decorative items on the chaud froid "rubber mat."  Once all the decorations are set in place, a layer of clear hard gelatin is poured over the decorations and the chaud froid.  After the clear gelatin cools and hardens, the center of the platter looks like glossy rubber mat with an artistic design.  
     Canapes, hors de oeuvres, galantines, ballotines, pâté and terrines can then be placed on the hard gelatin rubber like surface.  A chaud froid platter is perfect for presenting hand passed hors de oeuvres at a formal event.  A chaud froid platter is perfect for presenting sliced terrine, pâté, galantine etcetera at a formal banquet or buffet.  A chaud froid platter adds a nice touch to a dinner party or cocktail party too.
     I will describe the guidelines of presenting loafs of pâté or whole terrines in a future blog article.  I will describe cookie cutter style techniques of creating patterned chaud froid designs at a later date.  There are techniques that involve food coloring tinted chaud froid that I will present at a later time.  
     Today, I wanted to introduce chaud froid to the readers of this blog in an easy way.  Just a simple pattern with clean lines is the goal for this chaud froid recipe.  If you are capable of doing more than just a simple design, then by all means go with it!  For a beginners chaud froid recipe, a simple presentation like the one in the photographs will not scare readers away.  You have to learn to walk, before you learn to run!
     Today's chaud froid platter blog recipe is a typical yacht club style lunch entree presentation.  This small individual size chaud froid platter is meant to be served to a guest at a table!  Imagine the surprised look of the guests that are invited to a luncheon at your home, when pretty choid froid platters are served!  Best of all, a chaud froid lunch platter like this can be prepared ahead of time, then refrigerated, till it is time to be served.  
     A sliced gelatin coated roasted meat is the entree.  A turmeric flavored chicken aspic is the bed for the chicken.  Gelatine coated vegetable garnishes decorate the platter.  Every item is placed on the decorative hard gelatin chaud froid surface.  The chaud froid platter is a work of art created by the host chef.  Every item that is placed on the chaud froid platter is a continuation of that work of art!

     Chaud Fraud Platter Instructions and Recipe:
     For this chaud froid platter, no food colors or patterned cookie cutters are used.  Only blanched vegetables are used to create the artistic design.  This style of chaud froid is easy to do and it is fun.  If the chaud froid platter has a few imperfections, do not let it get you down.  Instead, think of ways to correct the imperfections the next time that a chaud froid platter is made.  Practice makes perfect!
     
     Working Area and Work Surface:
     The working area, platter, sauce pots and all utensils must be spotless and clean.
     The work area must be dust free and draft free.  
     The room temperature must be about 70 to 78 degrees.
     The surface that the platter is set upon must be perfectly level, so the chaud froid platter gelatin settles in an even layer on the platter.
     Rubber gloves must be worn when touching any gelatin.  The oil from bare skin can cause imperfections in the gelatin.
     Have a bunch of toothpicks on hand to pop any bubbles that may form on the surface of the gelatin, before the gelatin starts to harden.
     Use long kitchen canape assembly tweezers, instead of fingers as much as possible.
     Use a thermometer to check the temperatures of the gelatin, aspic and chaud froid. 

     Chaud Froid Platter Design and Design Component Preparation:
     Think of where the protein entree piece will be placed and displayed on the platter.
     Think of where the garnishing vegetables may be placed.  
     Think of a pattern for the chaud froid decorative design, that will flow with the placement of the entree and garnishes.  It is no use creating designs on a simple chaud froid platter, that will be covered up by items that are placed over the artwork.  For this simple chaud froid platter, just try to fill in the open spaces of the platter with the artistic design.  I used a very simple southwestern New Mexico art design to decorate the open spaces on the platter in the photographs.
     After thinking of the design, draw the placement of the entree and garnishing vegetables on the paper.
     Take stock of the vegetables and fruits that you have on hand to create the chaud froid decorative artwork with.
     Very thin sliced carrot looks orange and they were cut to shape for the orange shapes on the platter in the photos.
     Long green onion slivers make nice long flowing flower or reed stalks and they were used for the green shapes on the platter in the photos.
     Thin lemon peel zest shavings were used for the yellow colored shapes on the platter in the photos.
     Basically, try to use vegetable skins, long thin vegetable slivers or fruit skins to create the colorful shapes of the pattern that you design!  
     Do not use vegetables that bleed color, like beets!
     Do not use acidic fruits like pineapple or citrus fruits!  Citrus skin zest is okay to use.  
     After taking stock of the colorful fruits and vegetables that you have on hand, create the chaud froid artistic design on the paper plan.
     Label where each color will go on the chaud froid design that you drew on the paper design plan.   
     Note:  A paper plan is good for doing several chaud froid platters that have the same design and it is good for just making one platter.  For beginners, the simpler the better!  Create an abstract design just to get the hang of this art if you wish.  Polkadots are fine too.  Even a simple smiley face pattern is good.  Southwestern art themes are simple and easy to do.  There is not much to look at, in some regions of the southwestern desert, so the artwork tends to be simple and clean looking. 
     Cut the colorful fruit and vegetable skin shapes that you will need for the chaud froid platter that were drawn on the paper plan.
     Note:  The fruit and vegetables skins, slivers and slices must be less than 1/8" to 1/16" thick or the surface of the chaud froid platter will be bumpy!
     Place each finished shape in a container of cold water, so the fruit and vegetable shapes do not oxidize and turn brown.
     Heat a pot of salted boiling water over high heat.
     Place all of the shapes in a fine mesh strainer basket.
     Quickly blanch the decorative shapes for 10 to 20 seconds.
     Immediately place the blanched fruit and vegetable shapes in ice water.  Place the container of ice water and decorative fruit and vegetable shapes in a refrigerator, till they will be needed later.

     Hard Gelling Non Edible Chaud Froid For Platters:
     The bechamel can be thickened with roux, or the bechamel can be thickened with cornstarch slurry, when making inedible hard gelling chaud froid.  I prefer cornstarch slurry.  There is no use in wasting butter and flour on making an item that is not going to be eaten anyway!  A cornstarch thickened bechamel will yield a whiter looking chaud froid color.
     
     Measuring The Platter Volume:  
     To measure how much hard chaud froid that you will need, follow these steps:
     Place the platter for the chaud froid on an even level surface.
     Pour enough water on the platter to fill the platter with a 3/16" to 1/4" thick layer of water.  
     Note:  The depth of the chaud froid layer, should be slightly less than half of the total depth of the serving surface of the platter.    
     Place a roasting pan next to the platter.  (The roasting pan will act as a water catch pan!) 
     Carefully pour the water from the platter into the roasting pan.
     Carefully pour the water into a measuring cup.
     Write down the liquid volume.   
     Add about 2 extra ounces to the water volume measurement number, to make sure that there is that there is enough hard chaud froid to cover the platter with an even layer.
     Discard the water.
     Wipe the platter dry and spot free.
     
     Cornstarch Slurry Bechamel For Hard Gel Chaud Froid:
     Measure enough milk to equal the final sum of the platter's chaud froid layer liquid measurement.
     Place the milk in a sauce pot.
     Bring the milk to a very gentle boil over medium heat.
     Mix about 3 tablespoons of cornstarch and 3 ounces of cold water together to form a slurry.  (You will have to judge how much slurry will be needed to thicken the milk!)
     Add a little bit of the slurry at a time, while whisking, till the milk thickens to a thin cream sauce consistency.
     Reduce the temperature to medium low/low heat.
     Simmer and stir the bechamel for 2 minutes.
     Remove the pot from the heat.
     Allow the bechamel to cool to room temperature.
     Measure the total amount of bechamel sauce with a measuring cup and write the number down.
     Compare the number to the original water measurement for the amount of bechamel that is needed for filling a little less than half of the depth of the platter.
     Pour off any excess bechamel sauce or add water to equal the volume needed.
     Place the measured cool thin bechamel sauce back into the sauce pot.
     
     Hard Gel Inedible Chaud Froid For Platters:
     Use powdered gelatin for making chaud froid!  
     The proportion of powdered gelatin to water for a hard firm inedible gelatin is:
     12 ounces of powdered gelatin per 128 ounces (1 gallon) of water. 
     6 ounces of powdered gelatin per 64 ounces (2 quarts) of water.
     4 ounces of powdered gelatin per 32 ounces (1 quart) of water.
     2 ounces of powdered gelatin per 16 ounces (1 pint) of water.
     1 ounce of powdered gelatin per 8 ounces (1 cup) of water.
     The same proportion of powdered gelatin to water can be used for hard gel inedible chaud froid.  Simply use a proportion of 1 part powdered gelatin to 8 parts thin bechamel sauce.  
     Use the bechamel total measured volume number to calculate the amount of powdered gelatin that will be needed.
     Measure the amount of powdered gelatin.
     Slowly rain (dust) the powdered gelatin on the surface of the bechamel sauce.
     Do not stir!
     Let the gelatin bloom in the bechamel sauce for 5 to 10 minutes.
     Place the bechamel sauce over low heat.
     Allow the sauce to slowly warm to nearly 160 degrees.
     Reduce the temperature, so the sauce approaches 145 degrees.  
     Note:  These temperatures will kill any pathogen in the sauce!  Do not boil the sauce!  Boiling will cause the gelatin to weaken.
     Now the gelatin should start to liquify in the sauce.
     Very gently stir the sauce, till the sauce becomes smooth, without creating any bubbles.
     Gently remove the sauce from the heat and place it next to the the platter that will be used for the chaud froid that is placed on and even level surface.
     Carefully pour the hard gel chaud froid sauce into the platter, without creating any bubbles.
     Do not worry about what clings to the pan!  Just set the pan aside.
     Immediately use a toothpick to pop any bubbles, no matter how small, that may form on the surface of the chaud froid, before it starts to cool and gel.
     Let the chaud froid platter set undisturbed for 10 to 20 minutes, so the chaud froid has time to cool and becomes a solid gelled state.  Do not touch the pan or chaud froid as it cools!
     After the chaud froid becomes solid, place it on a cleared top shelf in a refrigerator, so the chaud froid chills and becomes solid and firm, just like rubber.

     Gelatin For Coating:
     Enough coating gelatin should be made for gluing the decorative blanched vegetable shapes in place and for coating the entree and the accompanying vegetables later in the recipe.
     Clear gelatin can be reheated to a liquid state, but it must not be overheated.  Clear unflavored gelatin is called gelatin and it is not called aspic!  Only flavored gelatin is called aspic.
     About 1 cup of coating gelatin will be needed for this entire recipe! 
     The proportion for making coating gelatin is:
     1 ounce of powdered gelatin per 32 ounces (1 quart) of water.
     1/2 ounce of powdered gelatin per 16 ounces (1 pint) of water.
     1/4 ounce of powdered gelatin per 8 ounces (1 cup) of water.
     Measure 1 cup of water and place it in a small sauce pot.
     Rain 1/4 ounce of powdered gelatin over the surface of the water.
     Allow the gelatin to bloom for 5 to 10 minutes.
     Place the sauce pot over low heat.
     Allow the gelatin water to heat to 160 degrees, so the gelatin turns to a pathogen free liquid state.
     Very gently stir, without creating any bubbles.
     Remove the pot from the heat.
     Put on rubber surgical gloves.
     Remove the reserved blanched vegetable shapes from their ice water bath.
     Place the vegetable shapes on a lint free pastry shop towel to drain off the excess water.
     Place the cool hardened chaud froid platter on an even level surface.
     Set the platter design that you drew on paper beside the platter.
     Handle one vegetable shape at a time with rubber gloved fingers or canape assembly tweezers.
     Use a very small pastry brush to paint just enough of the coating gelatin on the vegetable shape, to glue it in its plate on the platter.
     There should be no lumps, drips or bumps on the platter!  Every vegetable shape should set flat and even.
     Assemble the design you created!
     Chill the platter on the top shelf of a refrigerator, till the hard coat of clear gelatin is made.
     Set the pot of coating gelatin aside and cover it with a lid till later in the recipe.

     Hard Clear Inedible Gelatin:
     Use the same measurement that was written down for the liquid volume that was used to measure the amount of the chaud froid layer on the platter.
     Measure the amount of water needed and place it in a sauce pot.
     Use the same proportion of gelatin to measure the amount of powdered gelatin that is needed.  (1 part powdered gelatin to 8 parts water)
     Rain the powdered gelatin over the surface of the water.
     Allow the gelatin to bloom for 5 to 10 minutes.
     Place the sauce pot over low heat.
     Allow the gelatin water to heat to 160 degrees, so the gelatin turns to a pathogen free liquid state.
     Very gently stir, without creating any bubbles.
     Remove the pot from the heat.
     Set the pot on the even level surface and allow the liquid to cool to a temperature that will not cause the hard chaud froid on the chilled platter to remelt.  (about 140 to 145 degrees)
     Set the chilled decorated chaud froid platter on the even level surface.
     Carefully pour the liquid gelatin into the platter, without creating any bubbles.
     Do not worry about what clings to the pan!  Just set the pan aside.
     Immediately use a toothpick to pop any bubbles, no matter how small, that may form on the surface of the clear gelatin, before it starts to cool and gel.
     Let the chaud froid platter set undisturbed for 10 to 20 minutes, so the clear gelatin has time to cool and becomes a solid gelled state.  Do not touch the pan or chaud froid as it cools!
     After the clear gelatin coated chaud froid becomes solid, place it on a cleared top shelf in a refrigerator, so the chaud froid chills and becomes solid and firm, just like rubber.
     Keep the chaud froid platter chilled, till the aspic garnish, entree and vegetables are finished!

     Roasted Chicken Breast:
     Choose a 7 to 9 ounce chicken breast that has the skin and bones attached.  (The wing should be removed.) 
     Season the chicken breast with sea salt and black pepper.
     Sprinkle 1 pinch of cayenne pepper over the chicken breast.
     Sprinkle 1 pinch of garlic powder over the chicken breast.
     Heat a saute pan over medium heat.
     Add 1 small splash of vegetable oil.
     Place the chicken breast in the pan with the skin side facing down.
     Saute till the skin starts to lightly brown.
     Flip the chicken breast.
     Place the pan in a 325 degree oven.
     Roast the chicken breast, till it becomes fully cooked.
     Remove the pan from the oven.
     Set the chicken breast aside to cool to room temperature.
     Carefully debone the chicken breast.
     Trim any rough edges or pieces of fat off.
     place the chicken breast on a dish with the skin side facing up.
     Chill the chicken breast in a refrigerator to 41 degrees.
     
     Pak Chee Farang Chicken Breast Garnish and Ginkgo Nuts:
     Trim 4 to 5 pak chee farang leaves (sawtooth herb), so they can decoratively cover the skin side of the chicken breast.
     Cut 4 to 5 long strips each of red bell pepper and yellow bell pepper.  The strips should be 1/16" wide.
     Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil.
     Place the shelled trimmed ginkgo nuts in a fine mesh strainer net.
     Place the the net in the boiling water.
     Poach the ginkgo nuts for 4 minutes.
     Add the thin red and yellow bell pepper strips.
     Add the pak chee farang leaves.
     Blanch for 5 seconds.
     Place the blanched pak chee farang and vegetables in ice water.
     Note:  From this point on handle the herb leaves and vegetables with canape assembly tongs or with rubber glove covered fingers.
     Remove the vegetables from the water after they have cooled.
     Drain off any excess water.

     Pak Chee Farang Roasted Chicken Breast:
     It takes time to apply the decorative coating to the chicken.  If the gelatin in the pot ever starts to set during the coating process, reheat the gelatin over low heat, till it becomes a liquid again.
     Reheat the reserved sauce pot of coating gelatin over low heat, till the gelatin becomes a liquid again.
     Remove the pot from the heat.
     Use a pastry brush to paint the chicken breast and immediately glue the blanched pak chee farang leaves in place, so the decoratively cover the skin side of the chicken breast.
     Chill the chicken breast in the refrigerator, till the gelatin sets.
     Place a toothpick in each ginkgo nut.
     Dip the ginkgo nuts in the gelatin.
     Place the ginkgo nuts on a wire rack or non-stick pan.
     Chill the ginkgo nuts, till the gelatin sets.
     Brush the chilled pak chee farang leaves that are glued on the chicken breast with the coating gelatin.
     Place alternating red and yellow bell pepper strips across the chicken breast in the opposite direction of the pak chee farang leaves.
     Chill the chicken breast, till the gelatin sets.
     Spoon a thin finish coat of the coating gelatin over the decorated chicken breast 
     Chill the chicken breast, till the gelatin sets.
     Save the leftover coating gelatin in the pot and keep it in a liquid state over very low heat.

     Turmeric Aspic Garnish:
     Heat 2 ounce of chicken bouillon over low heat in a sauce pot.
     Add 2 pinches of turmeric.
     Simmer till the bouillon turns yellow.
     Add the turmeric bouillon to the gelatin that remains in the pot.
     Gently stir the ingredients together.
     Place a sheet pan on an even level surface.
     Pour the turmeric aspic on the sheet pan to form a thin layer.
     Allow the aspic to gel.
     Place the sheet pan an aspic in a refrigerator and chill it till it becomes firm.

     Chaud Froid Platter of Pak Chee Farang Roasted Chicken Breast, Turmeric Aspic and Fresh Ginkgo Nuts:
     Place the decorative chaud froid platter on a counter top.
     Refer to the paper drawing of the platter's design.
     Cut 1/2" wide slashes across the sheet of turmeric aspic.
     Use a thin spatula to scrap the aspic free from the pan.
     Coarsely chop the golden colored aspic.
     Place a small bed of the aspic on the platter where the chicken will be placed.
     Bias slice the chicken breast, so the slices cut across the pepper strips.  The slices should be about 3/4" wide.
     Place the chicken slices on the bed of turmeric aspic, so they lean against each other.
     Remove the toothpicks from the ginkgo nuts. 
     Place the gelatin coated ginkgo nuts in their place around the sliced pak chee farang roasted chicken breast.

     Viola!  A nice simple chaud froid lunch platter.  It is simple if you follow the directions.  Although this beginner's chaud froid recipe is lengthy, it covers the details.  
     Let any uneducated guests know that they are not supposed to eat the platter itself!  The platter can be scraped clean after the the dining event is over.  Chaud froid is a temporary art medium, so take a picture of your masterpiece!
     A nice pretty lunch entree platter!  Yum!  ...  Shawna       

     * 11-25-2013 - A viewer left a comment about Grosse Piece in the comment box below this article.  The pictures below show the start of a chaud platter that has 2 grosse pieces.  A pastel finished chaud froid is also pictured.  A new chaud froid recipe will be posted this week!    






     

2 comments:

  1. I love the article! Do you know anything about using chaud froid on a gross piece?

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    Replies
    1. It must be a coincidence, because I just uploaded a group of new chaud froid photos for a new chaud froid recipe that I will post this week. It is a cornish game hen gallantine chaud froid. No grosse piece was used for the presentation, because the galantine was small.

      I added pictures of chaud fraud to this article, so your grosse piece comment would be easier to answer.

      The pictures show the start of a chaud froid platter with 2 grosse pieces. The grosse pieces were pork pâté maison and chicken gallantine made with 3 mousseline flavors. The description below will be easier to understand after looking at the new pictures above.

      Grosse Piece is also called a Grand Piece, but many of us chefs call it the "Tombstone" because it it large and it stands upright.

      A Pâté or Galantine that is served on a chaud froid platter can be sliced, so that there is still one large piece of the loaf left intact. The large piece of loaf is the grosse piece.

      The grosse piece and the slices of loaf are coated with firm clear gelatin. The grosse piece is placed on the chau froid platter, so it is a focal point.

      The loaf slices are arranged so they lean against the grosse piece. The slices should overlap each other, in a row. The row can be straight or curved. Flow and balance should be kept in mind.

      Here is the Collee Link: - Filet de sole dans Collee aux aspic fumé avec rôti radicchio, tomate jaune, pomme de terre violette, l'oignon et herbe d'aneth vinaegrette. Collee is another type of chaud froid.

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