Chefs Mark Hennessey and José de Meirelles from Le Marais restaurant in Midtown Manhattan will be releasing a self-titled cookbook on July 18. De Meirelles and Philippe Lajaunie opened Le Marais, a French steakhouse, in 1995 and since then have provided the public with dishes that offer a unique blend of French flavors complying with the laws of kashrut.
Twelve years ago, a 1995 graduate from the Culinary Institute of America in New York, Chef Mark Hennessey, joined the team at Le Marais. Before beginning his work at Le Marais, he worked at Stingray, Les Routiers and Levana restaurants in New York. De Meirelles and Hennessey had discussed writing a recipe book for several years, but kept it on the backburner until recently.
“A recipe book is a great way for us to get in touch with our clients, which is difficult to do on a daily basis in the restaurant. People ask us all the time, ‘Why do your steaks taste better? Why can’t I make this at home?’ and now we can finally answer those questions. We didn’t want to make it a book full of recipes, but something more. It’s not meant to be a dry, boring read; we want people to read it regardless of whether or not they’re cooking that day. It wasn’t meant to showcase our skills or knowledge. We wanted anyone with basic cooking skills to be able to make these recipes,” Hennessey said.
The book is divided into sections, with pages dedicated to sauces, soups, salads, beef, poultry, fish and more. Some of the recipes featured in the cookbook have been, or are currently, on the Le Marais restaurant menu. Each section has pictures and clear descriptions, both of food and of daily operations in the restaurant.
Published by the Gefen Publishing House, the cookbook features accolades from Chef Anthony Bourdain; award-winning chef Susie Fishbein; Alan Richman, GQ Food and Wine Critic; Salvatore Rizzo, owner/director De Gustibus Cooking School by Miele; and Chef Alain Sailhac, dean emeritus, International Culinary Center. The book will be available for purchase online and in stores at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Target or anywhere books are sold.
“We put a tremendous amount of time and effort into this. Cover to cover this is a great read with great recipes. You would be remiss if you didn’t have it on your shelf,” Hennessey said.
One of Chef Hennessy’s favorite recipes from the cookbook is the ‘Airline Breast of Chicken Forestiere.’
Airline Breast of Chicken Forestiere
For the Chicken Breasts:
- 6 breasts of chicken, skin and drumstick wing on
- Salt and white pepper
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cups of dry white wine
- 1 small bunch of thyme
- 4 Tbsp. of margarine
For the Sauce Forestiere:
- 1½ lbs. of wild mushrooms, cleaned
- 5 Tbsp. of margarine
- 2 small shallots, minced
- 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 1 small bunch of thyme
- 1½ cups of veal stock
For the chicken breasts, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Using a large, nonstick skillet, add enough oil to the pan to lightly coat the bottom. Season both sides of the chicken breast liberally with salt and pepper. In batches, place the chicken into the pan, skin-side down. Leave the breast in the pan until the skin becomes very well browned and crisp, anywhere between 6-9 minutes. Once all of the breasts have been browned, remove them, and then add the wine, thyme and margarine. Allow this to reduce by half. Place the chicken breasts onto a sheet pan, meat-side down. Add the liquid to the bottom of the pan and then roast in the oven for 9 minutes.
While the chicken is roasting, make the mushrooms. In a large skillet on high heat, add the margarine, shallots, garlic and thyme. Sauté until they are softened and slightly browned. Add the mushrooms and the veal stock and let this cook until the mushrooms are tender and the sauce is reduced and thick.
Once the chicken has been removed from the oven, take the chicken off of the pan and then pour the remaining liquid into the mushroom sauce. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
To serve, slice the breast into five slices and generously top with the mushroom sauce.
Visit Le Marais restaurant at 150 West 46th Street, between 6th and 7th Ave, New York, NY 10036. Open Sunday through Thursday 12 p.m.-12 a.m.
By Amanda Leifer