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Brown Butter Chicken Jus

Related Ingredients
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Tasting Notes

Today, Traci Des Jardins demonstrates how to brown butter and make a full-flavored roasted chicken demi-glace to heighten a homey meal.

This smooth, silky vinaigrette brings luscious restaurant flavor to simple, home-cooked chicken. This warm, mouth-watering sauce pairs a rich base of reduced chicken jus with brown butter for nutty creaminess. Minced shallots lend a textural addition to the sauce by adding little bits of crunch and bursts of oniony flavor throughout. The addition of sherry vinegar packs enough acidity to cut through the heft of the dressing.

Tips & Techniques

  1. Slow and steady. In making the chicken demi-glace, slow simmering and frequent skimming will develop a pure, clean chicken flavor.
  2. Break a sweat. Sweat the shallots slowly over low heat to draw out their natural sweetness. For optimal results, do not brown them.
  3. Brown butter magic. Browning the butter adds a nutty complexity to the dish. It also helps to emulsify the sauce, thickening and enriching it.

Toolbox

This tool is one we find especially helpful when making this dish.

  1. Heavy, small, non-reactive stock pot. A stainless steel pot – though it doesn’t conduct heat as well as copper or aluminum – is best for cooking the sauce because it won’t react chemically with the food, which could taint the flavor.

The list below includes all the equipment you’ll want to make this dish.

  • Heavy, large pan that will fit chicken bones
  • Tongs or large tweezers
  • Fine mesh colander
  • Small non-reactive pot
  • Whisk
  • Large stock pot
  • Medium sauce pot


Ingredients

For the Demi Glace:

  • 3 pounds chicken backs and necks, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 2 quarts chicken stock

For the Brown Butter Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
  • ½ cup brown chicken demi-glace (recipe above)
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, plus more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped Italian parsley
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Makes: 1 cup
Total time: 4 hours
Active time: 2 hours

Method

For the Demi Glace:

  1. Rinse the bones well under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
  2. Heat a heavy pan or pot large enough to hold chicken bones over medium heat and add the oil. Once it starts to smoke, add chicken bones in a single layer and cook, in batches if needed, until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Turn the bones, adding the cloves of garlic and thyme, and cook the second side until golden brown, about 7 minutes more. Transfer the browned chicken bones to a medium bowl and repeat with remaining bones. Transfer all the remaining bones and juices to the stockpot.
  3. Pour chicken stock over the top and keep pot over a low simmer. Let the chicken jus simmer for 2-3 hours. Make sure to skim any excess fat off of sauce.
  4. Drain the liquid through a fine strainer and reserve, discarding the bone and solids.
  5. Chill the broth in the freezer until the fat on the top sets. Scoop off the fat and discard it. Place remaining broth in a small pot and reduce to ½ cup. Set aside until ready to use.

For the Brown Butter Sauce:

  1. Place 1 tablespoon of butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and sweat the shallots until translucent but not brown. Add the chicken demi-glace and let thicken to a sauce consistency. Keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, in another small saucepan, brown the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat until the butter turns amber and smells nutty, and the milk solids fall to the bottom of the pan and brown. Stir the browned butter into the chicken sauce. Stir in the sherry vinegar and simmer, stirring often, until thicken slightly, about 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and more vinegar, as needed. Add the parsley just before serving.

Here is a great way to turn this dish into a meal

Chicken jus & turkey breast with roasted root vegetables & potatoes

This chicken jus is very versatile and can be used with any roasted  poultry — turkey breast would be a perfect base for the jus. It is especially delicious with roasted potatoes and root vegetables.

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