Chicken with Morels; Sherry Wine Sauce
Recipe courtesy of The Raymond Blanc Cookery School.
To me morels are the very best mushrooms in the world. Now at last one can get them dried in good supermarkets. I even prefer the dried ones to the fresh ones as their flavour is so much more pronounced.
A dish that you must cook for your friends; It is a great classic of French cuisine and it comes from my own region. It is not particularly light, but who cares when it is so good! Two other advantages are that it is easy and quick, it can also be prepared half an hour in advance. For this dish I have replaced the Jura wine by a dry sherry and it works very well. To accompany this dish a dry Jura (*1) white wine would be perfect. Interestingly enough, both the morels and the Jura wine are from my own region and they complement each other so perfectly.
|Ingredients for chicken|
|15g/1 tbsp||Unsalted butter|
|360g / 2x||Chicken breasts, free range/organic, skin off|
|2 pinches||Sea salt|
|15g||Dried morels soaked in 250ml of water overnight|
|60g||Button mushrooms, very firm, washed quickly,quartered|
|100ml||Dry sherry, boiled for 30 seconds to remove the alcohol|
|150ml||Morel juice, passed through a fine sieve or muslin, to remove any sand|
|150ml||Double cream (*2)|
|For the leeks|
|2||Leeks, medium size, outer leaves removed, washed and cut into 2cm pieces|
|15g / 1tbsp||Unsalted butter|
Soak the dried morels overnight in cold water.
Drain the morels, squeeze to extract as much of the soaking water as possible, reserve the water. Then wash the morels in plenty of water to remove any sand. Drain and squeeze excess water from the morels. Chop large morels to size. Reserve.
Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. In a frying pan, melt the butter over a medium heat until it is foaming. (*3) Add the chicken breasts and colour lightly for 3 minutes on each side (*4), remove from the pan and reserve.
In the remaining fat, soften the soaked, cleaned morels and button mushrooms, for 1-2 minutes, season with a pinch of salt. Add the boiled sherry (*5), morel juice and double cream; bring to the boil and place the chicken breasts back into the pan. The cream sauce must cover the breasts. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes depending on the size of the chicken breasts (*6). Remove the chicken breasts from the pan and keep warm. Reduce the sauce on full boil until it coats the back of a spoon. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Cooking the leeks
While the chicken breasts are cooking, bring the water, salt and butter to the boil, add the chopped leeks, cover with a lid and cook on full boil for 5-10 minutes.
Finishing the Dish
With a slotted spoon, lift the leeks from their juices and mix in with the morel sauce. Place the chicken breasts into the sauce to reheat for 2 minutes. Taste, correct the seasoning if required.
Lift the leeks with a slotted spoon on to a serving dish, sit the chicken breasts on the leeks and pour generously the morel sauce over and allow your guests to help themselves. By this time your kitchen will be filled with heavenly smells and the chilled bottle of Jura wine will create a perfect moment. Bon Apetit.
Recipe © Raymond Blanc 2016.
Photograph © David Griffen 2016.