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Friday, February 13, 2009

Chicken Chivry

This is an adaptation of a Cordon Bleu recipe and is a bit complicated. Have ready the buttered oven dish and the two papers, make the mousseline early if you like but IT MUST BE KEPT IN THE FRIDGE. Think it out before you start and do not worry if you do not have a thermometer – carefully test the heat with your finger – if you can stand the heat, it's ready. Buying pre-peeled pistachios saves preparing your own and remember beurre manié must be in exact equal parts. This dish is worth the trouble and you will be very proud of yourself.

Serves: 4

3 large chicken breasts with tenderloins intact
1 egg white
200ml cold cream
White pepper
Pinch nutmeg
50g pistachio nuts, peeled and finely chopped
250ml chicken stock
4 tablespoons Verjuice or dry white wine
4 tablespoons cream
Beurre manié = 1 tablespoon butter mixed with 1 tablespoon plain flour
1 tablespoon French tarragon, finely chopped


Remove the tenderloins from the chicken and roughly chop them. To make the mousseline place tenderloins, egg white, cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a food processor. Process on high for one minute until smooth. Stir in the pistachio nuts. Place mixture in the refrigerator until required.

Cut a pocket in each chicken breast as indicated in the above photograph. The initial cut must be no wider than the width of the blade. Use one hand as a guide and gently cut the pocket in the breast with the other – feeling your way very carefully so as not to make a hole. Fill a piping bag with the mousseline mixture. Pipe the filling into each breast. Butter an ovenproof vessel large enough to hold the chicken breasts, snugly. Pour the chicken stock over the breasts, cover with buttered paper and a lid or a piece of foil. Cook in a hot oven 200C for 35-40 minutes. Remove the breasts from the stock and keep warm.

In a small saucepan place the wine, 150ml chicken stock from the cooked chicken, 4 tablespoons cream and bring almost to the boil, simmer until slightly reduced, remove from the heat. Using a thermometer – when the temperature drops to 55C gradually add beurre manié in small balls – whisk in thoroughly. The sauce must not be so hot that the butter melts too quickly or too cold that it does not melt at all. Place the saucepan back on the heat and gently reheat until the mixture thickens. Do not let it boil. Remove from the heat and add the tarragon. Now, have a very strong drink – not only will you need a drink but you also truly deserve one!

To serve: slice the chicken breasts and serve with the finished sauce

Note: three chicken breasts will adequately serve four people

1 comment:

  1. This sounds and looks lovely! I'm definitely going to give this one a go...