Chef Wolfgang Puck has a standing date every year for the Academy Awards: He caters the star-studded Governors Ball after the awards show. This year, Puck says, the theme is 1930s glamour – and, he tells PEOPLE, “we’ll have the food to match it.”
“The celebrities who come to the Oscars ceremony haven t eaten for hours, so when they come to our dinner, they re hungry and they expect to get great food,” Puck says of the bash. “And nobody pays attention to their diet.”
On this year’s menu? A crispy potato galette with smoked salmon, followed by a main course of organic chicken pot pie with black truffles and root vegetables. First, though, guests will start with sushi and shrimp, oyster and crab, served with cocktail sauce, mustard sauce and mignonette, a vinegar and shallot sauce to be served with the oysters.
The 1,500 guests will also nosh on buffet-style appetizers, including mini Kobe beef cheeseburgers, assorted pizzas and tempura shrimp.
And for dessert? Puck’s traditional 24-carat chocolate Oscar, of course.
“There s always a bit of tradition when we do the Oscar dinner,” he says, “We don t want to overdo it, but we do give every guest a gold-covered chocolate Oscar to take home.”
Not invited to the annual Governors Ball? Don’t worry – you can throw your own Oscar dinner at home – and make Puck’s chicken pot pie dish. Watch as Puck shows you how to make the recipe (above), then try it yourself!
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TRUFFLED "CHICKEN POT PIE"
This recipe uses a classic French chicken veloute scented deliciously with winter black truffles. You may substitute or add to the vegetables we’ve used below according to your taste, however, please do make sure anything added to the veloute mixture is as dry as possible. A vegetarian version of this can be made by substituting a vegetable or mushroom stock for chicken stock in the veloute recipe and by adding more vegetables in place of the chicken. Serves six.
Make an enriched chicken stock:
• 1 gallon chicken stock
• 1 each 3-3.5 whole chicken (excess fat trimmed)
• 1 each carrot (peeled, rough chop for mirepoix)
• 2 stalks celery (rough chop for mirepoix)
• 2 each yellow onion (rough chop for mirepoix)
• 3 sprigs thyme
• 1 each bay leaf
Combine all ingredients in a pot and bring up to a boil. Turn heat down to bring it to a simmer. Cook for 2 hours, skimming off fat along the way.
Remove chicken and let cool. Strain enriched stock through a fine mesh sieve and skim off any remaining fat off the top. Reserve 1 quart for the veloute and cool the rest of it down for later use in a soup or a sauce.
• ½ cup flour
• ½ cup butter
• 1 quart enriched chicken stock
• 1 cup creme fraiche
• 2 tablespoons black truffle oil
• ¼ cup chopped black truffle
• 1 each lemon
• Salt (or truffle salt) to taste
• White pepper to taste
Make a roux by melting the butter in a pot. Once completely melted, whisk in flour. Cook on low heat for 5 minutes while continually whisking.
Slowly add enriched stock to roux. Bring veloute up to a boil and then turn heat down to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Veloute should be slightly thick. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Add truffle oil, creme fraiche, and chopped truffle. Whisk thoroughly, season to taste with salt and pepper and juice from lemon. Check for consistency. Make sure its not too thick, loosen with more stock if necessary.
• 2 cups cooked pearl onions (red and white)
• 2 cups cooked baby carrots (yellow and orange, cut into ½” pieces)
• 2 cups cooked (or defrosted if frozen) green peas
• 18 slices black truffle
• Meat from chicken cooked from enriched chicken stock (not fine shredded)
• 6 each approximately 10oz. ramekins or 4″ wide soup vessel Puff Pastry, cut into circles that overlap your ramekin or vessel by 1.5″
• 2 whole eggs +1 egg yolk for egg wash
Preheat a “still” or low fan oven to 350 degrees. Make sure veloute and all ingredients are completely cool before you begin. In a wide bowl or a wide pot, combine veloute, vegetables, and chicken and mix well with a rubber spatula. Spoon mixture into ramekins, leaving about ½” room from the top. Place 3 slices of shaved truffle on top of mixture in each ramekin.
Prepare an egg wash by whisking whole eggs and egg yolks together in a separate bowl. Make sure puff pastry is cool enough to work with. (Leave in the freezer and take out 5 minutes before using). Brush outside edge of ramekins with egg wash about 1″ from the top of the rim, all the way around.
Cover each ramekin with puff pastry and secure the puff pastry by pressing around the outside of the ramekin. Brush puff pastry with egg wash and bake in the oven until golden brown (usually 20-23 minutes). Glaze again with egg wash halfway through cooking.