Ooooh, this was such a surprise – the photograph does not do this dish justice – it is absolutely scrumptious. The duxelles provide a rich depth of flavour that lifts the humble chicken breast to a thing of utter deliciousness and the whisky and mustard cream sauce – simply sublime – we could have easily licked the dish clean were it not for our impeccable manners – try this one – we will be having it again and again. Easy, cheap and so, so special. Yummy doesn’t cover it!
What you need…
Small baking dish, lightly buttered
4 large boneless chicken breasts, skinned
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
Sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons whisky
3 tablespoons white wine
3 tablespoons water
Chicken stock made from a stockpot and water
for the duxelle
150g brown mushrooms, cleaned and finely chopped
6 spring onions, chopped
1 small carrot, peeled and finely chopped
3 teaspoons fresh rosemary needles, finely chopped
Sea salt and black pepper
for the sauce
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 egg yolk
150ml soured cream
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoon whisky
1 teaspoon sugar
What to do…
Let’s start with the duxelle, which you can do in advance if you like. Heat the butter over a moderate heat and fry the mushrooms, spring onions, carrot rosemary, salt and pepper for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
Take your chicken breasts and either cut pockets into each breast by slicing horizontally or flatten gently with a mallet. Either stuff the pockets with the duxelle or spoon down the length of one side of the breast and fold over. Either way, pinch to close and ‘pin’ together using cocktail sticks – they won’t look pretty but don’t worry, you’re removing the cocktail sticks later.
Heat the oil over a moderate heat and seal the breasts as best you can (given the cocktail sticks) all over and without browning. Season with salt and pepper. pour over the whisky and flame it (love a bit of drama!). Pour over water and wine. Cover and gently poach over a low heat for 20 minutes.
Remove the breasts from the pan and pop them into your baking dish. Remove the cocktail sticks and discard. Pour the remaining pan juices into a jug and add enough chicken stock to make 250ml.
To make the sauce, melt the butter over a moderate heat and tip in the flour. Using a balloon whisk, quickly beat together and cook for 1 minute. Slowly add in the hot stock, whisking all the while, until thickened. In a jug, lightly beat the egg yolk and then pour over the soured cream, mustard, whisky and sugar. Mix together. Off the heat, gradually add the cream mixture to the hot sauce, whisking again. Return to the heat and whisk until thickened. Don’t let it boil. Pour the sauce over the chicken and pop into the oven for 25 minutes to warm through. Clear up so that when you sit down to enjoy this deliciousness you are not surrounded by the debris of pots and pans! Pour wine, sit down and enjoy!
Rice works well with maybe some greenery (tenderstem brocolli, sugar snap peas perhaps) on the side.
I chopped my mushrooms, carrots and rosemary in a mini food chopper – much quicker than doing it manually, even though each ingredient was done separately.
Lynn Bedford Hall, New Creative Cuisine