Recipe from Slade Rushing of Brennan's, New Orleans, Louisiana
8 large artichokes
Juice of 3 lemons
16 eggs, divided
2 cups flour
8 cups panko bread crumbs
2 cups heavy cream
½ cup grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 pound spinach
½ cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup choron sauce (recipe follows)
Paprika to taste
¼ bunch fresh chervil
For the Choron Sauce:
½ cup canned plum tomatoes, crushed
2 chervil sprigs
2 cups unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 large egg yolks
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon water
½ teaspoon white wine vinegar
2 dashes hot sauce
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Prepare the artichokes: To a medium saucepan, add 1 quart water, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Remove outer leaves from artichokes until only tender leaves remain. Trim tops down until center of artichokes are exposed, then trim away tough outer flesh, following natural shape. Cut off stems and scoop out artichoke using spoon. Immediately place all trimmed artichoke hearts in lemon water.
Bring artichokes to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from water and set aside to cool.
Once artichokes have cooled, beat 4 eggs together thoroughly. Set up a dredging station: Add flour to a small bowl and season with salt and pepper., add beaten eggs to a separate bowl, and add panko to third bowl.
Bread artichokes by dipping first in flour, then in beaten eggs, and lastly in panko. Repeat this process with remaining artichokes until all eight are breaded. Reserve in fridge.
Prepare the spinach: In a medium saucepan, reduce cream by half, then whisk in Parmesan. Keep warm. In a large sauté pan, heat butter over medium heat until foaming. Add garlic and spinach. Wilt quickly then drain on paper towel-lined tray. Add drained spinach to Parmesan cream, adjusting seasoning with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
Heat fryer to 350 degrees. In a large saucepan, add apple cider vinegar to 1 gallon water and bring to a simmer.
Poach the eggs: Crack 12 eggs into individual ramekins (4 of the eggs are in case of a mistake). Using a slotted spoon, spin water into whirlpool-like circle and drop in all eggs, quickly, one by one. Let eggs cook for 3 minutes then, using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel-lined sheet.
Drop artichokes into fryer and fry until golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes. Remove from oil and season with salt and pepper.
Plate the eggs sardou: Place ¼ cup creamed spinach in center of four warm plates. Place two artichokes on top of spinach, side by side. Top each artichoke with poached egg, then spoon choron sauce over top. Garnish with paprika and chervil sprigs.
Heat crushed tomatoes and chervil sprigs in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until there is no more liquid and purée is reduced to about 1 tablespoon. Discard chervil sprigs and set tomato purée aside.
Place cubed butter in a small, microwave-safe bowl and heat on high until butter is completely melted, about 2½ minutes. Let sit for a few minutes, skimming off any foam on top. Pour clear yellow butter into another dish, avoiding any milk solids that have settled on bottom. Set aside clarified butter.
Combine egg yolks and lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat, whisking briskly until it starts to thicken. (Note: You may need to move pan on and off heat to control temperature in order to not scramble the yolks.)
Once thickened, use a ladle to slowly drizzle half the clarified butter into egg mixture while whisking constantly. Thin sauce a bit with 1 tablespoon water to prevent it from getting too tight and breaking. Continue adding remaining butter while whisking until you have a thick, silky, emulsified sauce.
Whisk in vinegar, hot sauce, salt, and reserved tomato purée. Keep sauce warm until needed.