05 March, 2007

Le Boudin Blanc

I am not a trained professional, please try this at home. Or maybe not. Le Boudin Blanc, is a very light delicate sausage that dates (according to Larousse) back to the Middle Ages. It is made in many different versions all around Europe and in France it is a Christmas time treat. Our special occasion from making them was that boneless skinless chicken thighs were on sale. That's right chicken sausage, don't start salivating because you think you are about to get a "Lite" sausage. The other two main ingredients are eggs and cream.

I started with the recipe from Charcuterie, by Michael Ruhlman, I made half of the recipe. The ingredients are chicken, eggs, cream, salt, pepper, quatre-epices, and a little bit of flour.

The recipe called for doing this in a food processor, but I wanted to do it in the blender. After a few minutes in the blender I didn't think the mixture was setting-up as it should, so I switched to the Cuisinart.

The blade is under there somewhere, I don't think a full recipe will fit (Cuisinart Classic 7 cup). After frothing it for a while, it's time to stuff. Boudin is French for pudding: I was expecting a slightly stiff mousse-like texture, but the mixture lives up to its name.

The veritable sack of pudding. I was afraid it would burst if I tried to move it. I decided to put it into the fridge overnight, give it a chance to set up. It didn't help.

Boudin Blowout.

The recipe says to twist into six inch lengths, but it doesn't say anything about cutting them or trying them off. I threw caution to the wind and snipped off the first two put them on to gently poach. I quickly realized that was not going to work. I retrieved my hemorrhaging link and tied it off with some butcher's string. I also tied off the other loose end.

Water temperature a tepid 170F.

I cooked to sausages to a 160F. I should have waited to take the temp because, I had to keep the probe in place, less it start gushing. Cooking time 20-25 minutes.

They still felt very fragile coming out.

The ice bath stopped the cooking and they finally felt a little more confident in hand. Here's the ingredient quantities I used:

1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs

10g salt

2g fine fresh ground pepper

3g quatre-epices

4 large eggs

200 ml heavy cream

100 ml milk

15g All purpose flour.

To finish, I browned them gently in a bit of butter, and served it with mashed potatoes, asparagus and Belgian beer.

The monks must have been eating Boudins Blancs when they made this dark beer, because it was a perfect compliment. The sausage was great, it had the texture of a fluffy omlet. I imagined them as a nice breakfast offering. Would I make it again? I dunno, making omlets is a lot easier.



ekarhu said...

Looks interesting. It actually looks like the Bavarian White Sausage:


which is eaten with a sweet mustard. Jo can fill you in on the details of that!

mac said...

Thanks for the article. Its a good read. Claiming to have invented white sausage in 1857 is kinda like saying you invented the car in 1987. While I am all for truth in packaging, if you can make a good wiesswurst to an agreed upon list ingredients, what does it matter where you live?

Rohan said...

The recipe is fantastic. I really I loved it. Thank you very, very much.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mac, I came across your item the other day but you don't say what the milk is for. Is it put into the water for poaching the sausages or does it go in with the chicken, cream, eggs etc.?

mac said...

Thanks for writing, The milk would go in the recipe with the eggs and cream. If you have access to the book Charcuterie by Ruhlman and Polcyn, look up the recipe there. Poach the sausages in water or chicken stock.


Anonymous said...

I am also making this recipe from Charcuterie, so I really appreciate your experience with poaching! I was afraid it was egg-heavy compared to other recipes, and from your description, so I will use 1/2 the eggs called for. I also am adding a finely minced onion cooked (not browned) in butter and flavoring the milk by cooking with onion and an orange peel.