Beurre Manié (french
or rubbed butter) is a thickener used to give pan sauces body and flavor. If you don't know what I mean by pan sauce
, see the recipe at bottom.
It is made from equal parts flour and butter mixed together (I mix mine as I need it, grabbing about 1/2 - 1 tbs ( 7-15 ml) of butter and an equal looking amount of flour). Mix it together with just a fork or other tool until you get a thick paste. Add up to 1 tbs (15 ml) of the beurre manié to a pan sauce (take the sauce off the heat first), stirring it in with a whisk, or spoon or implement of choice, return to the heat and stir for about 1 minute and you'll have a nicely thickened sauce which has a wonderful depth of flavor from the butter - this is not low fat, but its quicker than reducing your sauce to thicken it and it gives a great silky shiny appearance to your sauce.
Here's a recipe that details a pan sauce and shows how and when to use the beurre manié. Other good pan sauces can be made from the base of shallot with mushrooms and cream, shallot with tomato, white wine and basil.
Chicken breast sauteed with a lemon/shallot pan sauce
- cut the chicken into two breast pieces, flour it on both sides, shaking off excess.
- Saute it in a medium hot pan in the butter and olive oil for about 4 minutes per side. A neat trick for doneness is to let the final saute side be the front side, opposite the chicken tenderloin, the breast is done when clear juices begin to run here (starting with a frozen chicken breast invalidates this)
- Remove the chicken, add 1 large finely chopped shallot and saute over medium heat until it starts to turn translucent and soft (don't burn or it will be bitter).
- Pour in the white wine and deglaze the pan, add lemon juice from and allow this all to reduce a bit. You can add some capers too at this point if you like a chicken piccatta
- Add the chicken stock and reduce again until you have about the amount of liquid you had after adding the wine.
This is a pan sauce. If you use this pan sauce at this point, it will be nice and flavorful, but runny and without much body. Add 1/2 - 1 tbs (7-15 ml) of beurre manié off heat, whisking until butter melts into the sauce. Return to heat to thicken for just a minute, then serve.