This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
I've written most adoringly about the film, Julie & Julia, before. But looking through the archives I see it was a year ago when I wrote about poached eggs. And not just any old poached eggs, but the most delicious Julia Child poached eggs.
A few nights ago I re-watched the film again. I think there must be something inherently comforting about that particular movie at this time of year. Beautiful, colourful and inspiring food during one of the longest, coldest and wettest months. The food was as much of a character, if not more of a character, than any of the people. And I write that with a huge amount of affection for the people.
The relationship between Julia and her husband, Paul, is perhaps one of the things I love most about the film (besides the fact the film is about food). Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci are just amazing together. The entire film could have been about just the two of them, but by showing Julie Powell's life too, we see the contrasts and similarities. Plus I enjoyed the story of a blog being created and how it evolved. And of course, I enjoyed both women's cooking journey.
Both storylines focus on two women, each wondering what to do with their life, and how they manage to create something amazing, using food. Food saved them. It was their reliable friend.
Amy Adams as Julie Powell says something I can completely relate to:
“You know what I love about cooking? I love that after a day when nothing is sure and when I say nothing, I mean nothing. You can come home and absolutely know that if you add egg yolks to chocolate and sugar and milk, it will get thick. That’s such a comfort.”
The dish that specifically caught my attention this time (it is a different one on every viewing of the film) was, as before, a Julia Child recipe. Chicken with mushrooms and cream. Or Suprêmes de Volaille aux Champignons. Just writing that sentence makes me close my eyes and sigh wistfully. It is such a simple recipe, but, as Julie Powell in the film says, repeating Julia Child's own advice, don't crowd your mushrooms. Personally I may have put a few too many in the pan. I can't help it. Love them.
Mushrooms, wine, cream, a little stock, spring onions and chicken. Six ingredients and you are guaranteed a delicious meal. Isn't that a comfort?
Oh and butter. Lots and lots of butter.
Measuring jug, heavy based shallow pan or frying pan, wooden spoon, slotted spoon.
Knob of butter
Dash of oil
2 chicken breasts
Handful firm mushrooms, sliced thinly
2 or 3 spring onions, sliced thinly
Slug of white or red wine
Chicken stock – about 40ml
1/2 pint cream
A few drops lemon juice
- Make sure your spring onions and mushrooms are already sliced before you start.
- In the pan, add the butter and oil and allow it to sizzle. Add the chicken breasts and turn the heat down slightly.
- Cook for a few minutes on each side, until you know it is cooked through.
- Take the chicken out the pan and keep warm.
- Make sure there is still plenty of butter and oil in the pan. Add the mushrooms and spring onions. Don't crowd!
- Stir and allow to cook for a minute or so.
- Add the wine and stock. Turn up the heat and allow to boil and reduce down to a syrupy type liquid. There won't be much in the pan. (Don't let it reduce down to nothing so it burns however.)
- Turn the heat down slightly. Add the cream. Stir. Turn the heat back up so it boils and thickens.
- Taste for salt and pepper. Add a dash of lemon juice.