I first heard mention of hollandaise sauce when I watched Julie & Julia, and the Meryl-Streep Julia Child described it so gloriously that it made my mouth water and made me vow to myself that I would, indeed, attempt the sinful concoction at least once before I die.
And now I can finally check it off my bucket list. Because I made it, and it is, in fact, monstrously good. And I say monstrously because of the monstrous amount of butter that goes into it. Consider yourself fairly warned of butter intoxication. If any of you at this time desire to turn back, you may do so now.
To the rest of you dear fellow butter lovers who remain, let us press on!
This is a great dish to make now in the springtime, since asparagus is in season and… and… well, that’s really the only reason, I suppose. It struck me as a springtime dish, and that’s good enough for me. The chicken is incredibly moist with a satisfying, crunchy outside, and it just pairs so nicely with the fresh asparagus and decadent hollandaise sauce. Springtime or not, you will love this. I just know it! Okay, maybe not if you’re a vegetarian. Or if you don’t like asparagus… or butter. But otherwise, you’ll love it!
First, pat your chicken breasts dry with a paper towel, or else the yogurt won’t stick. Cut your chicken into individual-sized servings, if you need to.
Sprinkle ‘em with a bit of salt & pepper.
Place a big heap of plain yogurt in a bowl.
Make a mixture of panko (Japanese bread crumbs), a pinch of garlic powder, parsley, basil, salt, black pepper, and a bit of Parmesan cheese…
Now coat each chicken breast in the yogurt…
…and then the seasoned panko.
Place the chicken in a greased casserole dish…
…and drizzle with a bit of olive oil.
Throw these in the oven at 350° F for oh… 20-22 minutes or so, or until cooked through.
While the chicken is baking, let’s get started on that infamous hollandaise sauce.
First, bring some water to a simmer in a medium-sized pot. This will be the bottom half of our double boiler. If you’ve never used a double boiler before, alls it is is a glass or stainless steel bowl full of some sort of delicate ingredients, placed over a pot of boiling water. The heat from the boiling water will gently heat the contents of the glass bowl. A double boiler is used when the contents you’re cooking are heat-sensitive and could get ruined if exposed to too much heat. Too much information? Okay…
Note: Make sure that the water isn’t so high that it will touch the bottom of your glass bowl.
Now slice up a lemon and squeeze out a tablespoon of juice.
And crack 4 egg yolks into a large mixing bowl to be used as the top half of our double boiler.
And add the lemon juice.
Now whisk ’em together! Whisk it like crazy until it’s thickened up a bit (this takes a few minutes of whisking).
You’ll definitely be getting a pre-meal workout here. Whew! We are really working for that hollandaise sauce, aren’t we?
Melt a stick of butter (aren’t you glad you got that arm workout in?) in the microwave.
Place the egg yolk/lemon juice bowl over the pot of simmering water and really work it with that whisk now!
At this point, start getting frazzled because the daylight for your photos is running out and you’re getting hangry (hungry+angry), which makes you stop caring what your photos look like (sorrrryy).
Slowly drizzle the melted butter in with the egg yolks/lemon juice while whisking rapidly. Be careful not to let the eggs get too hot, or they might scramble. And that would just be, ya know… sick.
Keep whisking for a few minutes until the sauce thickens up nicely. Remove it from the heat, and whisk in a good-sized pinch of cayenne and salt, each, or until it tastes right to you.
You want the sauce to be pour-able, so if it’s too thick to pour, you can whisk in a spoonful or so of hot water to loosen it up. Cover this until ready to serve.
Now for the asparagus… first chop off the bottom third of the spears and chuck this out. This is the yucky, tough part that makes you feel like a horse when you eat it.
Fill a saucepan with 1½ inches of water, and bring to a simmer. Add the asparagus spears and simmer for several minutes, or until nice and tender. Oh asparagus, how I love thee! (Oh, and I told you my photos were going downhill fast). Forgive me?
Drain them and sprinkle with a bit of salt.
When the chicken is finished baking, place it on a plate…top each piece with a few asparagus spears…
…and drizzle a healthy amount of that delicious hollandaise sauce over the top. Gaahh…
Top with a bit of freshly cracked pepper and fresh parsley, if you’re into that. I am.
Close your eyes and take a big bite full of juicy, crunchy, smooth deliciousness.
Hollandaise sauce from Tyler Florence.