French Breast of Chicken with Artichoke, Olive Oil Tomatoes, Peas, Roasted Garlic Emulsion, and Risotto Cake

In my opinion, chicken is one of the tastiest meats in the world. Also, you can do almost any dish with it. You can put it in pasta, paella, or curried dishes. Chicken meat makes for some of the most amazing soups, too. Now when you pair it with something as delectable as tomatoes drenched in olive oil and pretty rice cakes, they sound healthily chic. Well, here is a French Breast of Chicken with Artichoke, Olive Oil Tomatoes, Peas, Roasted Garlic Emulsion, and Risotto Cake recipe for those who might be having chicken and risotto cravings out there.  The recipe title alone would make you positively hungry, don’t you think so?

Serves: 4

CHICKEN

4 French breasts of chicken
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp chopped parsley
1/2 tsp chopped thyme
Salt
Milled peppercorns
As needed, Olive Oil Tomatoes

ROASTED GARLIC EMULSION

1 cup garlic cloves
As needed, Giancarlo’s Brodo
2 Tbsp honey
1 oz butter, unsalted
1/3 cup white wine
2 shallots, minced
1½ cups heavy cream
4–6 Tbsp butter, unsalted, cold
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

RISOTTO CAKES

3 Tbsp butter, unsalted
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 leek, thinly sliced and diced
1 cup raw short-grain Italian rice (Vialone Nano)
2½ cups Chicken Brodo, hot
2 Tbsp chopped basil
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
3/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese
4 Tbsp whole butter, unsalted
4 Tbsp cream
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
As needed, clarified butter

ASSEMBLY

8 artichoke halves, prepared as in Grilled Sea Bass recipe
1/4 cup petite peas
2 Tbsp whole butter, unsalted
To taste, kosher salt
1/2 tsp minced fresh mint leaves
*Make the risotto cakes at least 3 hours or up
to 1 day before preparing the rest of this dish.

CHICKEN

1. Place the chicken in a bowl with the olive oil, parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper. Toss to season evenly.

2. Chicken can be roasted or grilled to your liking. I prefer placing the chicken on a rack over a pan and roasting for 6 minutes at 425ºF, then another 8–12 minutes at 325ºF, until the chicken is just done and the juice runs clear. Keep the chicken warm.

ROASTED GARLIC EMULSION

1. Place the garlic in a small pan. Cover to three-quarters depth with the brodo. Add the honey and butter. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook until the garlic cloves are tender, 10–12 minutes. Remove garlic cloves and reserve the broth.

2. In a saucepan, simmer the wine and shallots until reduced to about 1 oz.

3. Add the garlic cloves to the wine reduction. Add the cream and 2 oz of the reserved broth. Simmer until the liquid is reduced in half.

4. Puree the mixture with a hand blender while slowly adding the cold butter. Do not allow the emulsion to break.

5. Strain the emulsion and season with salt, pepper, and the olive oil.

RISOTTO CAKE

1. Place the butter and oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add the leek and cook until soft.

2. Add the rice and cook 1–2 minutes. Add half of the brodo, bring to a simmer, and cook slowly until all of the liquid is absorbed.

3. Add the remaining brodo and cook until it is absorbed and the rice is tender but still slightly firm.

4. Fold in the basil, parsley, Asiago, butter, and cream. Season with salt and pepper. Spread the mixture on a small pan 1 to 1½ in. in height. Cool in the refrigerator overnight.

5. Cut the chilled rice mixture into the desired shapes. Pan-fry the cakes in clarified butter until golden brown on each side.

ASSEMBLY

1. In a saucepan, take the artichoke halves, peas, butter, and mint along with the remaining reserved broth and cook for 2–3 minutes until items are hot.

2. Place the risotto cake in the middle of the plate. Top with the chicken breast. Around the plate, distribute the peas, artichokes, and tomatoes. Lace the emulsion over the items on the plate from a squeeze bottle, or place spots of sauce around the plate.

Now this recipe is a bit tedious to prepare and would consume a lot of your time, too. To maybe remedy that, I suggest you read the entire French Breast of Chicken with Artichoke, Olive Oil Tomatoes, Peas, Roasted Garlic Emulsion, and Risotto Cake recipe once. That way, you would be able to estimate the work you might need to do. Then, make a list of all the ingredients you might need and make sure you have all of them before you start cooking. Lastly,  follow the recipe as it is written so that there’s less likelihood that you’d bungle the finished product.

Dill and Butter Sauces

A proper sauce is an indispensable addition served with French appetizers, salads, and main courses. Various types of French mayonnaises and marinades feature raw or gently heated ingredients and add valuable enzymes and a heavenly taste to vegetables, meats, and fish dishes.

Creamy Dill Sauce:

This refreshing sauce goes wonderfully with cold roast beef, poached salmon, cold cooked ham, or salmon mousse. Beat 1 egg and combine with 1 tbsp grated onion, 4 tbsp lemon juice, 4 tbsp finely chopped dill, 1 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 1 cup crème fraîche or piima cream. Check for seasonings and add more salt, pepper, or lemon juice, if desired. Serve immediately.

Beurre Blanc (Butter Sauce):

This is a classic French sauce served with fish dishes. Place in a small pan 6 tbsp minced shallots, 6 tbsp dry white wine, and 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice. Bring to boil and reduce to about 2 tbsp. Piece after piece, add 1/2 cup butter cut into small cubes, whisking thoroughly after each addition. Sauce should thicken and become frothy. As soon as all butter has been melted, remove the sauce from the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve right away with cold or hot fish.

Béarnaise Sauce:

This wonderful sauce is a great complement to grilled meats or fish. The taste is fantastic, but making it requires some mastering. In a small saucepan, combine 2 tbsp finely chopped shallots or green onions, 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh or dried tarragon, and 2 tbsp each of white wine vinegar and white wine or vermouth. Bring to boil and reduce to about 1 tbsp. Piece after piece, add 1/2 cup butter cut into small cubes, whisking constantly until all butter has been melted. Slowly, drop by drop, add 5 beaten eggs yolks, whisking the sauce constantly until it has thickened. Remove from the heat and add a bit of fresh lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper. Serve warm.

French-Style Caesar Salad with Creamy Dressing and Duck Cracklings

French-Style Caesar Salad:

This salad is a traditional appetizer in the Auvergne region of France. It closely resembles a classic Caesar salad (actually, it is a precursor of the Caesar salad), but features a different type of dressing. To make the salad, take a large head of very fresh romaine lettuce, remove tough outer leaves, slice off the end, and open up to rinse out any dirt and impurities in cold running water. Pat dry and slice salad leaves across at about 1-inch intervals. Using the large-holed side of a grater, grate 1 once good quality Parmesan cheese, preferably Reggiano or Gran Padrino (do not use supermarket-bought powdered Parmesan). Toss the sliced lettuce leaves with the grated cheese, a handful of warmed crumpled duck cracklings (see below), and a generous amount of creamy dressing (see below). To serve, add on top 1/4 cup salad croutons (see below). Enjoy as an delicious appetizer for lunch or supper.

French Creamy Dressing:

Mix together in a small bowl 1 tsp Dijon-type mustard and 3 tbsp raw wine vinegar. Slowly add 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil in a thin stream, stirring constantly with a fork until the oil is emulsified. Add 1 tbsp expeller-pressed flax oil. Stir in about 1 tsp of finely chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, tarragon, basil, thyme, or oregano. As a last touch, blend in with a fork 1/4 cup crème fraîche, and serve immediately with French-Style Caesar Salad.

Duck Cracklings:

In order to render duck fat and make cracklings, cut pieces of duck skin and fat into small chunks and cook them in a heavy-bottomed pan for about 30 – 40 minutes, until the pieces have turned golden and a lot of fat has been rendered. Remove cracklings with a slotted spoon, pat dry with paper towels, and store in a refrigerator. Prior to serving with the salad, cracklings should be gently heated.

Salad croutons:

Take 3 slices whole grain bread (preferably sprouted or sourdough), trim off crusts, and spread on top a mixture of 1 clove mashed garlic, 1 tsp French-style herbs (parsley, tarragon, thyme, etc.), 6 tbsp butter, and a pinch of paprika. Bake the bread slices in an oven at 250 degrees for about 1 hour, until they are crisp. Allow to cool, and cut into small cubes. Salad croutons can be stored in a container with a lid without refrigeration until needed.

Chicken & Duck Liver Mousse with Truffles

French is a homeland of many delectable recipes. Today, we are featuring a delicious French appetizer which would be especially suitable for a Sunday dinner or a gourmet party reception – Chicken & Duck Liver Mousse with Truffles. Traditionally, it calls for fresh chicken and duck livers, about 1 1/2 pounds each, 1 or 2 tbsp truffles (very finely chopped), 1 cup crème fraîche or piima cream, 2 cups clarified beef or duck stock, 1/2 cup dry white wine of cognac, 2 tbsp each of butter and extra virgin olive oil, 2 eggs, and salt and pepper to taste. The best stock for this recipe is home-made, while crème fraîche or piima cream, as well as indispensable duck livers and truffles, can be purchased from European gourmet markets. Although making this appetizer might be quite costly and time-consuming, we guarantee the fantastic result!

Sauté whole livers in small batches in a mixture of olive oil and butter until they turn brown. When all are ready, return them to the pan and pour over wine or cognac and 1 cup stock. Boil rapidly until almost all liquid evaporates and let cool. Carefully mash together the livers with 1 cup cream and 2 raw eggs until they reach a creamy consistency (you can use a food processor for that). Transfer the creamy mixture to a bowl, season generously, and stir in the truffles.

Pour the mixture into a buttered loaf pan, spread the top smoothly (best to use a 1-quart pan that will be about two thirds full) and cover tightly. Place in a bigger pan of hot water and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove the mousse from the oven and let cool. Open and pour over the remaining 1 cup stock, cover again, and chill well in the refrigerator.

To serve, slice the cold mousse thinly and arrange the slices neatly on top of French croutons or sourdough bread and decorate with pickled cucumbers. Makes a perfect starter for any great occasion!

Lobster Cobb Salad

This Lobster Cobb Salad is a good dish for people trying to stay fit. Lobster is rich in protein and essential vitamins while it’s quite low in fat. And aside from the healthy dose of protein from this excellent seafood, you also get vitamin C and fiber from the assorted greens. Moreover, avocado is not only rich in vitamins but also antioxidants. Now, what do you get from the yummy pancetta and  Ricotta cheese? Well, since pancetta is basically just bacon, you get more protein from that, of course. And Ricotta cheese is the same as other cheeses out there, it is rich in calcium and protein. Seriously, this dish is not only a feast for the eyes, but also an excellent dose of healthy living. But don’t just take my word for it. Go ahead and try this recipe out for yourself.

Serves: 4

VANILLA VINAIGRETTE

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 oz rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
6 oz grapeseed oil
To taste, kosher salt
To taste, freshly ground black pepper

 

SALAD

Two 1¼ -lb lobsters
As needed, Court Bouillon
12 oz mixed greens (baby romaine, Bibb lettuce, frisée)
1 zucchini, small, thinly sliced lengthwise to form ribbons
4 slices pancetta
4 Tbsp fresh ricotta
1 tsp Spice de Cosette
2 eggs, hard-boiled, cut in half
1 avocado, quartered and sliced
4 flatbread pieces
2 vanilla beans, split
2 Tbsp lemon zest

 

VANILLA VINAIGRETTE

1. Combine the vanilla bean and seeds, sugar, and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and allow to steep for 20 minutes. Cool and reserve.

2. In a bowl, combine the vanilla syrup, vanilla extract, vinegar,and mustard. Whisk until incorporated.

3. Slowly stream in the oil while whisking continuously to form an emulsion.

4. Season to taste with kosher salt and pepper; reserve.

 

SALAD

1. Poach the lobster in the Court Bouillon for 10 minutes. Drain.

2. Remove the lobster meat from the shell and divide it into 4 portions.

3. Divide the lettuce into 4 bunches and wrap with zucchini ribbon.

4. Place the pancetta on a Silpat and cover with another Silpat; place a sheet pan on top, and bake at 350°F until crisp, about 15 minutes.

5. Mix the ricotta with the Spice de Cosette. Form quenelles and place on flatbreads.

6. Place the lettuce bundles in the center of 4 large plates. Arrange the lobster around the bundles and top with egg, avocado, and flatbread. Drizzle 1½ oz Vanilla Vinaigrette over each salad. Garnish each with 1/2 vanilla bean and 1/2 Tbsp lemon zest.

 

This dish would require at least an hour to prepare so you better get all the ingredients bought and laid out to avoid turning that into two hours or more. And make sure you follow the recipe. This may just be a salad, but you still have to follow a process. Now, this scrumptious Lobster Cobb Salad would be great with a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay. If you ask me, I’d go with the Chardonnay. But then, some people prefer the dry, light-flavored body of Sauvignon Blanc for shellfish. To each his own, I guess. However, if you plan to serve this at a dinner party(and you want to impress guests), I think it would be better if you do a “taste test” first. Buy both bottles of wine to better judge which of the two really goes well with this salad. And invite a friend to do the taste test with you. As the saying goes, two heads are better than one, after all. Bon appétit!