Menu 29: Vichyssoise and Coronation Chicken Rolls

Another pick from our Gutsy cook Raymond this week.  And since I missed last weeks choices, I better get cracking in making these two:

  • Vichyssoise – page 106
  • Coronation Chicken Rolls – page 89

So you would think that with a name like Vichyssoise, we are going to make a French soup right? 

Not so fast my fellow cooks.

It’s actually a cold potato leek soup with a French name, which was invented in New York City and not in Paris (ok, by a French chef, but still in the US).  The story goes that in 1917 the fashionable Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Madison Avenue at 46th Street was about to open a new roof garden restaurant.   The head chef was a Frenchman named Louis Diat .  He often made a potato and leek soup from a recipe given him by his mother, Annette Alajoinine Diat, and he was preparing to serve it at a party celebrating the opening of the roof garden.   Whether, according to legend, the soup, prepared in advance, wasn’t re-heated in time to be served as a first course, or whether the day was warm and Chef-de-Cuisine Diat felt culinarily creative, he added cream to his mother’s soup recipe and served it cold, sprinkled with chopped chives is still up to debate.   He called it Creme Vichyssoise Glacee, or Chilled Cream Vichyssoise, in honor of the town where he was born. The soup’s popularity doubtless comes from the fact that even in the hottest weather one can enjoy a bowl of soup and find it refreshing.  In my book it has one of my favorite vegetables which is leeks, so cold, hot, warm.. its going to be made.

And who can argue that the best thing to serve with soup would be a sandwich? In this case small rolls, filled with chicken flavored with curry and apricot.  This dish was also name after a special event, in this case for the banquet of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1053. I’m so curious to see this combo.  As I was researching this British dish, I ran into various variations, some used mango chutney and a bit of fresh lemon juice, and toasted choice of nuts, like cashews or almonds.  Others added raisins, cinnamon and even pineapple.  I think the name of the game here is to offset the spicy curry with something sweet in the dressing – which I’m all for it.  And it’s wide open to full adaptation from the recipe that TKB is giving us.

Time to get Gutsy guys!