Mad Men Season Six, Episode One: A Meal Megan Draper Would Throw
Posted on April 8, 2013
This will not be a post about what happened on the much-anticipated two-hour season premiere of “Mad Men” last night because I haven’t seen it yet. I haven’t seen it yet, because in a high-minded effort to downsize, we ditched our unwieldy cable subscription for Apple TV. No one really needs 5 bazillion television channels. And yet, now we’re paying a price for our practicality.
About an hour before “Mad Men” started, my husband learned that he would get an email from iTunes as soon as the episode was available. We waited for that email…and waited…and waited…and waited…and then re-watched the final episode of Season 5, which closes with Don alone in a bar. A pretty blonde approaches him and asks him if he’s alone. He gets that old look in his eye (you know the one) and immediately we sense that Season Six might be a doozy.
When it became clear that I would not see the premiere real time with the rest of the known universe, I began to feel like Megan Draper in the above photograph, who had been waiting and waiting and waiting for Don to come home from work one day. She had dinner waiting. He didn’t call to check in. When Don finally got home half-drunk after an afternoon in a Midtown bar with buxom redhead Joan Harris, Megan hurled a plate of spaghetti across the dining room.
While other “Mad Men” fans were nursing their Manhattans and wearing their sixties-inspired fashion last night, I was preparing a dinner that I now believe Megan (a French Canadian) would a. cook and b. throw at Don. The meal is adapted from Rachel Khoo’s relatively new cookbook “The Little Paris Kitchen.”
The dish is chicken and mushrooms in white wine sauce. I served it with fettucine and French green beans.
A bit of backstory: I’ve been trying to recreate this dish since about 2009, after having it in a bistro just off the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris. I never could get the consistency quite right. After picking up Khoo’s book, I realized what the problem was: All I had to do was make a golden roux.
Another adjustment I had to make: My daughter can be fairly picky, so I roasted the chicken instead of cooking it in the sauce. I know most French mamas would gently nudge their spawn to try the chicken in the sauce, but I feel we have to pick our battles wisely when it comes to the smaller set. Someday…
At any rate, you make a golden roux with two tablespoons of butter and a 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour. When the roux is the desired color, take it off the heat and slowly add about 2 cups of chicken stock to the mixture, whisking it until it is smooth. Return the pan to the heat and simmer it for ten minutes, whisking constantly to make sure it doesn’t stick. If the sauce gets too thick, add a little bit of stock at a time. At the end of ten minutes, add 1/2 cup of white wine to the sauce before letting it simmer for ten minutes more. While the sauce is simmering, saute the mushrooms in butter. Then take the pan off the heat and whisk in 4 tablespoons of heavy cream, a teaspoon of lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Then mix in the sauteed mushrooms.
The end result should look like this:
Plated with a side of linguine, roasted chicken and steamed green beans, here is the final result. It’s a creamy, decadent dish that’s easy to make and quick too, probably something Megan Draper could serve Don on her way out the door to an audition, if she didn’t fling it across the room at him in frustration first.