“It beats anything I have seen, and I am no chicken.” [STUD]
|Old hawker woman by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, c. 1645 (Alte Pinakothek, CC BY-SA 4.0)
Occasionally here in the I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere test kitchens, we like to prepare “something a little nutritious,” as Holmes craved at the conclusion of "The Dying Detective."
In our case, we turn to the must-have for all Sherlockian cooks: Dining with Sherlock Holmes: A Baker Street cookbook by Julia Carlson Rosenblatt, BSI ("Mrs. Turner") and Frederic H. Sonnenschmidt, BSI ("Simpsons").
Before we share today's recipe with you, we have two episodes you can pair it with — perhaps you can listen to these while you prepare the dish.
The first is an interview with Al & Julie Rosenblatt at their home, discussing the origins of the Culinary Institute of America Sherlock Holmes dinners (which Julie organized with Chef Sonnenschmidt) and the cookbook:
The other is an episode of Trifles in which we celebrated National Culinary Arts Month by discussing Dining with Sherlock Holmes.
Chicken Breasts Murillo
This has become a regular feature in our household. We first tasted the dish at a meeting of The Men on the Tor, held at Gillette Castle. It was a catered affair, and there were large pans of noodles comingled with chicken and mushrooms in a lovely creamy wine shallot sauce.
It's easy to prepare and will impress Sherlockians and non-Sherlockians alike at your next dinner party.
In the world of cuisine, a gourmet dish was once created to honour the Spanish painter Bartolomé Estebán Murillo (1617-1682). The name Murillo has Holmesian connotations as well, for it was Don Juan Murillo, alias 'The Tiger of San Pedro', whose villainy marked "The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge."
The tyrant Murillo fled England as Holmes and Baynes of the Surrey Constabulary, each working independently, closed in on him, at the culmination of an adventure which had produced a plethora of grotesque clues, among them a mutilated white cock.
Appropriately enough, the dish named for Murillo is also a gallinaceous fowl. Whether it be coincidence or consanguinity, the connection is inescapable. It points unerringly towards the inclusion of a suitable chicken dish in (dis)honor of Don Juan Murillo, the Tiger of San Pedro.
4 boneless chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 to 1/2 teaspoon pepper
4-5 oz. / 110-140 g butter
12 mushroom caps
2 shallots, chopped fine
1/3 bottle white wine
4 oz. / 120 ml double cream
1/2 1b. / 250 g fine noodles
Cut each chicken breast into 4 pieces. Season the chicken pieces, and brown them on both sides in 2 oz./60 g of hot butter.
Add the mushrooms; cook them with the chicken, covered, in a 350° to 375°F. oven (180°-190°C., No. 4 or 5) until the chicken is done. Arrange the chicken pieces and mushrooms in a dish and keep them hot.
Fry the shallots lightly in 1 oz./30 g of butter. Add the white wine and boil it down to half the volume. Add the cream and cook until the sauce is creamy. Pour it over the chicken.
Cook the fine noodles according to package directions. Toss them in 1-2 0z. /30-50 g of butter, and garnish the chicken with them.
If you try this out, let us know what you think! And leave us a comment below to let us know what other kinds of Sherlock Holmes-related recipes you might be interested in.
Oh, and if that painting by Murillo above struck you as eerily familiar, you may be onto something.