>> Monday, April 16, 2012
So, we saw "How to Succeed..." on Broadway last night
I have "only" seen it 5 times, since my daughter was a freshman in the chorus in our local High School Theater Group (Staples Players) production of it. As a good mother, WE HAD TO SEE IT one more time, because Nick Jonas "early teenage crush" was in it.
Broadway is always great, and we had unbelievable seats, but at the end, as we were walking to the car, my kids and I had to admit it: the local Staples Players' production was not comparable to it—it was actually better. Trust me, it was.
My friend Debra, from New Jersey, comes to all performances of Staples Players. She always says "Why spend 150 bucks for a ticket on Broadway? This is just as good as any Broadway show I ever saw".
Last time she was here (for Into the Woods) she asked me: "Why do you think there are so many talented kids concentrated in one town?"
Debra always has these questions I do not know the answer, but she gets me thinking!!!
Sure, we had and have famous actors living here, and it known to be an "artsy" community, and we are close to NY and all,, but it made me realize: that's not why my own kids love theater since they were young— They love it because they have been exposed to fabulous productions on a regular basis, not as a "family outing that will cost $600" special once a year occasion". Consider it "Broadway on a dime".
Their standards are high, and I am not talking just the kids on stage— the tech team has come up with sets that once the curtains go up, the audience goes "wow", and the live music is extraordinary and totally professional, to a point that actors' mistakes are never noticed by the audience.
As for the teenage crush, Nick Jonas was cute and there was a lot of fan screaming, but at the end, daughter VOLUNTARILY told me our local actors for the same play (Max Stampa-Brown and Chris Nicollete) performances totally out-did Nick's. Bye-bye crush...
There was only one problem with last night: the dinner— not only we had to run to the theater (2 hours is not enough for a simple bistro meal?), the food was not up to ant french , or prices.
I had a "Poulet au Estragon (tarragon)", and it did not even have tarragon in it, just cream. I am not fancy, but if I am paying to eat out, at least it has to be as good as what I cook.
So, here is my easy, learned in France recipe for it.
- 2 teaspoons garlic oil
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon freeze-dried tarragon
- 2 chicken breast fillets, skinless and boneless
- 1/3 cup vermouth or white wine
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Fresh white pepper, to grind over
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon, plus a pinch more for sprinkling
Heat the garlic oil in a frying pan or Dutch oven that has a lid and in which the chicken breasts will fit pretty snugly. Add the scallions, stir, then sprinkle in the freeze-dried tarragon, stir again and cook them in the garlic oil for a minute, stirring some more as they cook.
Put the chicken fillets into the pan, curved side down, and cook for 5 minutes, watching the scallions don't burn. If they look like they're beginning to, scrape them from the pan and let them sit on the chicken pieces.
Turn over the breasts, and add the vermouth (or white wine). Let the vermouth bubble up, then add the salt. Put the lid on, turn the heat down low and leave it to simmer gently for 10 minutes. Check the chicken is cooked through by making a small cut into the thickest part and ensuring the juices run clear - if not, simmer for a few minutes longer and check again.
Remove the chicken breasts to warmed plates. Bring the remaining liquid to a boil, add the cream and stir well, then sprinkle in the fresh tarragon, stir again and give a good grind of white pepper.
Pour the sauce over the chicken breasts, and give a final scattering of tarragon to serve।