The Pleasure Principle

When I imagined this meal, it was rather a lot like the poulet fermier aux morilles I had back in Paris on the night I got plowed tasting Burgundies at the huge agricultural fair. While that meal was a perfect drunk-thirty chilly March comfort food home run, this iteration ended up being a pretty perfect conclusion to a rainy yet balmy May Saturday.

I have already written several times about the profound pleasures to be found in a pan of morels cooked with garlic and cream, and this batch—supplemented with a couple of ramps from the patch out back and a generous pour of sherry—was particularly transportive. After I dredged the chicken in seasoned flour and got it all crispy, it seemed a shame to ruin that lovely crust, even with a luscious cream sauce, so I let it cook separately while I used a bit of the rendered fat to cook the mushrooms and make the sauce.

The sweet potatoes were previously baked, and had been sitting in the fridge, so I mashed them up with some buttermilk (the kid made butter yesterday) and heated the purée. There was also another perfect salad; we’re in the thick of salad season right now, and I couldn’t be happier. The greens I planted under protection in March are peaking right now, and the rain has made them explode. We can’t cut them fast enough.

To drink, of course, a bottle of Provençal rosé. It’s just about all I drink from the point in April when it feels like spring to the point in October when it feels like fall. I don’t remember which one it was; I bought a mixed case and they’re all good. While there is plenty of detail in a good rosé, quibbling about particular facets or food pairings is a total waste of time. It goes with everything, and it’s about twelve bucks a bottle: exactly the right match for food like this, which privileges pleasure above all other concerns.

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Yours Truly



I'm a painter who happens to also spend a lot of time growing, making, and writing about food. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of frugal peasant cooking techniques and haute improvisation. And I have a really great personality.

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