Verjus: What is it and what is its purpose?
You’ve probably heard the word “verjus,” thrown around in fancy restaurants and complicated cookbooks without really looking into it. Verjus is the juice of unripened wine grapes, pressed before they ferment into alcohol. Used primarily in European cooking, verjus is the contraction of the French words meaning green and juice – “vert jus.” One uses the liquid as something between vinegar and wine, and because of this, it makes wonderful salad dressings and sauces. Its acidity adds a unique, subtle splash of flavor to sauces designed for chicken, fish, and veal. Take a hint from Middle Eastern and European chefs and try out one of our verjus recipes on Beetnik foods!
Chicken with verjus sauce
- 4 Beetnik chicken breasts or thighs, thawed
- 4-6 leeks, white part only, whole
- 12 white seedless grapes, halved
- 1/3 cup of verjus
- 4 shallots, finely minced
- 8 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 1 cup of chicken stock
- 2 TBSP unsalted butter, cold
- salt & pepper
Melt 1TBSP of butter in a sauce pan, and cook the shallots, garlic and whole leeks over low heat for 7-8 minutes until the leek is soft. Do not let them brown. Add the verjus and bring to a boil for 2 minutes and then add the chicken stock and the chicken. Cover and let simmer over a low/medium heat for 15 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside. Bring the sauce to a boil and add the remaining 1 TBSP of butter, whisking to incorporate. At the last moment, add the grape halves, and adjust the seasoning. Serve the chicken on top of the vegetables with the sauce.