3.338 P31bO/France(38): Supremes de Volaille à Blanc with Asparagus

-Cycle 3, Item 338-
8 (Sat) December 2012

P31bO/France(38): Supremes de Volaille à Blanc with Asparagus


by me

at home

-Oksu, Seoul-

with Wife and Dominic

France is the 38th consecutive country to be featured in the on-going Project 31 By Origin (see previously 3.337 P31bO/Lebanon(37): Manouche Kafta).

I wanted to do something special for P31bO/France, representing one of the greatest culinary traditions in the world, but ultimately went with this relatively simple dish.  It's just chicken ("volaille") breast ("supreme") in a cream sauce ("blanc").  I adapted a recipe from the ever reliable Mastering the Art of French Cooking (see most recently 3.296 Gratin de Pommes de Terre Crecy), adding the asparagus at the last minute.  It turned out very well.  In particular, Julia's tip for using the meat's "springiness" to determine doneness resulted in a perfectly cooked, perfectly juicy breast that paired with the cream sauce for a most luxurious texture.  The wife claimed that it was the best chicken dish that I've ever done.  Thanks.  Though I'll never master the art, I believe that I'm getting the hang of it.

As evidenced by the wine, I contemplated doing Boeuf Bourguignon but chickened out.


  1. even after my 2 years of middle-school french, i did not know that supreme=breast. funny.

  2. even after my so-and-so years of middling french, I do not think that supreme = breast.

    I think the word 'supreme' refers to perhaps a method of cooking, not a noun like "breast" and if memory serves me, I think 'volailles a blanc' or 'blanc de volaille' means chicken breast. That being said, your prep looks yummilicious! I'd eat that.

  3. whatever, I'm not going to get into another argument about this. You could be right. Merry Christmas.

  4. DC, that was too quick a concession and he is probably wrong!!

  5. glad to have you back, DC! it just wasn't the same without u!

    this is an issue of homonyms.

    "supreme" in french can refer either to the chicken breast ("supreme de volaille/poulet") or a cream sauce ("poulet a la supreme").

    "blanc" can refer to a white cream sauce, actually pretty much the same as a supreme ("a blanc"), but it can also refer to white meat ("blanc de poulet").

    "volaille" = "poultry" but usually refers to chicken.

    i guess the french just know it when they see it.

  6. just like the Supreme Court knows pornography! jk jk. nice to be back. It has been really stressful and busy at work. No time to linger on blogs. Things are starting to wind down and I think I have to catch up on your posts for the past 2 months.

    And Lisa, I know, I know! Usually I have more fight in me but I blame all the cold medication I'm taking for my moment of weakness. Then again, I agree the homonyms tripped me up so I guess he could be right.

  7. funny, just last week in my ethics class, we were reviewing an article about Oregon's Death with Dignity Act, and one of the patients (presumably a lawyer) who'd obtained the lethal drugs under the law stated that he'd use them when "the time is right," which he'd know in the same way that the Supreme Court knows pornography when it sees it. i tried to explain that notion to my students, but they thought it seemed way too subjective a standard. i guess it is, even though i've always thought of it as reasonable. i'll bet it's the one standard that anyone who's been to law school remembers from con law. (BTW, obscenity was the issue, not porn.)

    anyway, please go back and comment on P31bO!

  8. OH MY GOD! it figures that I would try to be gracious and, in turn, you would just try to "correct" me.

    This was a comment where the court was trying to classify what type of material would be protected = namely, all obscenity is protected speech except for hard-core pornography, and the opinion stated "I'll know it when I see it" - meaning the issue really involved both [identifying obscenity, and identifying the distinction between protected obscenity and hard-core pornography]. I loved Con Law. GEEZ.

    I will go back and comment on your C3PO whatever nonsensical acronym you named it... I have to gear up and build some stamina (still feeling sick and tired you know)

  9. sorry, i wasn't attacking u. just pointing out what seemed like a slight mischaracterization.

    your initial statement was "just like the Supreme Court knows pornography."

    pornography in general is protected.

    it's "hardcore pornography," as you subsequently noted, that's not protected.

    incidentally, the series of cases relating to the issue--Roth, Jacobellis, and Miller--all dealt with "obscene material" as a broad category. that is, it's about more than just sex stuff. "hardcore pornography" was but one example that falls within that category.

    get well soon...

  10. holy cow what the heck is wrong with you people????? i wanted a dispute over whether supreme = breast and you guys totally failed me here, getting sidetracked by hardcore porn. ki, the distinction between exactly what was meant by that line of cases is interesting to nobody else who reads this blog, not even me!!

  11. AND I'd like to point out, Ki, that by making your argument that there is a SUCH a difference between pornography and hardcore pornography, you're also supporting my original statement because the Supreme Court would have to know the difference between pornography and hardcore pornography "when they see it" before making a ruling at all regarding what is obscene and not obscene (!)

    Forgive me for making a casual reference that I thought captured the spirit of a phrase - why do you have to be such a downer? - blech