Raymond Blanc's chicken with mushrooms recipe

Raymond Blanc's chicken with mushrooms recipe

This is a great classic of French cuisine and it originates from my own region. It is quick and easy to prepare and I urge you to cook it for your friends. To me, morels are the finest mushrooms in the world and you can now find them dried in good supermarkets. I even prefer the dried ones to the fresh ones as their flavour is so much more pronounced. The traditional Jura wine is the best, if you happen to have some, otherwise a dry sherry works very well.

Raymond's tips:

    1. Planning ahead: the dried morels need to be soaked for at least a couple of hours. You can prepare the chicken half an hour in advance and warm it through in the morel sauce to serve.

    2. Dried morels are highly prized by the gourmet. These mushrooms grow in many parts of Europe during the spring. Conical-shaped, with a distinctive honeycomb structure, they hold sand and grit, so need to be washed a few times in fresh water to ensure they are thoroughly cleaned.

    3. The butter will start to foam at about 130°C. At 150–155°C it will turn a hazelnut colour. This is the perfect stage to caramelise the chicken without drying it.

    4. I boil the sherry or wine before adding it to the dish to remove most of the alcohol, retaining the flavour and character.

    5. It is essential to avoid overcooking the chicken, or it will become dry. The timing here should ensure that your chicken is tender and succulent.

    6. Use dried ceps in place of the morels. Or you can use fresh wild mushrooms, adding them with the button mushrooms.

    7. Replace the chicken with guinea fowl or pork chops, adjusting the cooking time accordingly.

      Ingredients

      • 30 g dried morels, soaked in 250ml water for at least 2 hours
      • 4 organic/free-range chicken breasts, skinned
      • 1 pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
      • 15 g unsalted butter
      • 250 g firm button mushrooms, washed quickly, patted dry and quartered
      • 120 ml dry sherry or Jura wine
      • 400 ml double cream
      • 1.1 oz dried morels, soaked in 250ml water for at least 2 hours
      • 4 organic/free-range chicken breasts, skinned
      • 1 pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
      • 0.5 oz unsalted butter
      • 8.8 oz firm button mushrooms, washed quickly, patted dry and quartered
      • 4.2 fl oz dry sherry or Jura wine
      • 14.1 fl oz double cream
      • 1.1 oz dried morels, soaked in 250ml water for at least 2 hours
      • 4 organic/free-range chicken breasts, skinned
      • 1 pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
      • 0.5 oz unsalted butter
      • 8.8 oz firm button mushrooms, washed quickly, patted dry and quartered
      • 0.5 cup dry sherry or Jura wine
      • 1.7 cups double cream
      For the leeks
      • 2 medium leeks, trimmed, cut into 2cm pieces and washed
      • 200 ml boiling water
      • 1 pinch of sea salt
      • 15 g unsalted butter
      • 2 medium leeks, trimmed, cut into 2cm pieces and washed
      • 7 fl oz boiling water
      • 1 pinch of sea salt
      • 0.5 oz unsalted butter
      • 2 medium leeks, trimmed, cut into 2cm pieces and washed
      • 0.8 cup boiling water
      • 1 pinch of sea salt
      • 0.5 oz unsalted butter

      Details

      • Cuisine: French
      • Recipe Type: Main
      • Difficulty: Easy
      • Preparation Time: 10 mins
      • Cooking Time: 20 mins
      • Serves: 4

      Step-by-step

      1. To prepare the morels: drain the morels, reserving the soaking liquor, and squeeze to extract as much of the liquor as possible. Rinse the morels, drain and squeeze dry. Cut larger morels into smaller pieces; set aside. Pass the reserved liquor through a muslin-lined sieve to remove any sand or grit and save 100ml.
      2. To cook the chicken: season the breasts with salt and pepper. In a large frying pan, melt the butter over a medium heat until it is foaming. Add the chicken breasts and colour lightly for 3 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and reserve.
      3. In the fat remaining in the frying pan, soften the soaked morels and button mushrooms together, for 1-2 minutes. Meanwhile, boil the sherry or wine in a small pan for 30 seconds. Add the sherry or wine to the mushrooms with the reserved morel liquor and a pinch of salt. Pour in the cream and bring to the boil.
      4. Place the chicken breasts back in the pan, making sure the cream sauce covers them. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts, until they are just cooked through.
      5. To cook the leeks: while the chicken is cooking, put the leeks into a saucepan, pour on the boiling water and add the salt and butter. Cover and cook at a full boil for 5-10 minutes until tender.
      6. To finish the dish: using a slotted spoon, lift out the chicken breasts and place in a warm dish; keep warm. Boil the sauce rapidly to reduce until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Place the chicken breasts back in the sauce to reheat for 2 minutes.
      7. To serve: with a slotted spoon, lift the leeks from their liquor and arrange on warmed plates. Sit the chicken breasts on top and pour the morel sauce over and around. By this time your kitchen will be filled with heavenly smells. Accompany with a chilled bottle of Jura wine for a perfect moment. Bon app├ętit.

      Raymond Blanc's Kitchen Secrets

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      Photo courtesy of Jean Cazals

      Raymond Blanc’s website

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