Chicken breast demi Deuil, Creamy Truffle Sauce.

After a superb Fringe Food Festival dinner at Chateau Yering’s Eleonore’s Restaurant last night I felt inspired to attempt something extravagant. I was quite pleased with the results, a chicken breast cooked with truffle slices under the skin, after the Poulet demi Deuil style, a Creamy Perigord Truffle Sauce, and some cous cous to mop up the sauce.  The recipe said the sauce serves four, and it went onto three plates, I also suspect it would have looked more balanced on up to ten plates. Following the superb suckling pig dish at Eleonor’s, where a sous vide was used to prepare the meat, with final preparation resulting in a wonderful crackling style skin. I wondered what I could do with the somewhat fragile traditional chicken recipe I have used before, Poulet demi Deuil.

I took 3 chicken breasts, and applied truffle slices under the skin, along with a small pinch of salt under the skin, and another pinch over the back.  Forgetting to add any wine as I’d intended, I placed the breasts into an oven bag, and removed all the air.  (I put the oven bag in a food vaccum bag/sealer, but pressing it out would likely work, perhaps even with a second strong outer bag filled from the kitchen tap, and venting air from the inner oven bag)  I then placed the bag on a submersed rack in water bath with an electric wok, and a thermometer, adjusting it to make a water bath of 68C (70C will toughen the meat) (the rack to prevent direct contact with the heated walls).  The chicken was left in this for 3 hours, checking the bath was correct temperature regularly.(google cooking  poultry with sous vide, it must be sufficiently high temperature for long enough to properly pasteurise food)  The chicken was then removed and browned in an electric oven with top heat (190C ~10minutes)

The sauce was my first attempt at such a complex process, and a trained chef would likely have done it better and certainly faster, but it was still fantastic.  It also called for a staggering amount of truffle (I did have 150g piece of truffle salvaged from a 500g one, that needed to be used immediately), but I am certain a fraction of the amount of sauce (and truffle) would be sufficient for most plates.  Lacking a source for Madeira and white port, I substituted a mellow tawny port and Tokay. (I also forgot to add the paprika and nutmeg.. next time)

Creamy Perigord truffle sauce

Recipe from The Joy of Truffles by Patrik Jaros

20 g shallots
30 g white mushrooms
20 g butter
80 ml champagne or white wine
60 ml white port  -I used Tokay port
40 ml Madeira  -I used a smooth tawny port
350 ml chicken stock
200 ml single cream
150 ml creme fraiche
freshly grated nutmeg
a pinch of cayenne pepper
100 g Perigord truffle, peeled
10 g butter
20 ml Madeira
Makes 4 portions

Sweat finely sliced mushrooms and shallots in butter. Add champagne, white port and Madeira, and cook until almost completely reduced. Pour in chicken stock and again reduce almost completely. Add cream and creme fraiche, season with nutmeg and cayenne pepper, bring to boil, briefly liquidize, and strain through a fine sieve. Meanwhile thinly slice black truffle and warm in a little butter. Add Madeira and the sauce made earlier. Allow to infuse for 5 minutes, and just before serving add a spoonful of whipped cream, if desired. This sauce goes well with roast or casseroled poultry, filled pasta and lightly cooked veal dishes.