“Generously flavoured with winter truffles, this decadent French dish uses a breed of chicken from the province of Bresse. It cannot legally be imported into Australia, but you can still substitute it with quality free-ranging organic chicken breasts. Chanterelle mushrooms can be replaced with any small wild mushrooms you can find.” Adam Liaw, Destination Flavour Singapore
- 5 Bresse chicken breasts, with skin on
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 10 g black truffle, finely chopped
- 15 green asparagus spears, woody ends removed
- 50 ml olive oil
- 225 g chanterelle mushrooms, or any other small wild mushroom, wiped clean
- salad leaves and edible flowers, to serve (optional)
- 190 ml milk
- 35 g unsalted butter
- 90 g polenta
- 15 g black truffle, finely chopped
- 60 ml (¼ cup) chicken stock
- 60 g unsalted butter
- 100 ml truffle juice (see Note)
- 15 g black truffle, finely chopped
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time 45 minutes
To make the polenta, place the milk, butter and 110 ml water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Whisking continuously, gradually rain in the polenta. Reduce the heat to low and cook, whisking continuously, for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the chopped truffle and adjust the seasoning. Pour into a small, flat container so it is about 1–1.5 cm thick. Smooth the top and stand until cool, then refrigerate until set.
Meanwhile, place the chicken breasts, skin-side down, on a work surface. Using a sharp knife, carefully open up the chicken breasts to butterfly them, taking care not to cut right through. Season with salt and pepper, then sprinkle the cut side of each breast generously with finely chopped truffle. Working one at a time, place each chicken breast on a piece of plastic wrap and roll up tightly into a ballotine. Seal the ends tightly, then refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat a sous vide or water bath to 58°C. Add the chicken ballotines and poach for 28 minutes. As soon as the time is up, remove and place in a large bowl of iced water to stop the cooking process. When cool, unwrap the chicken and cut each ballotine in half on the diagonal.
While the chicken is cooking, cook the asparagus in lightly salted boiling water for 90 seconds, then drain and plunge into a bowl of iced water to stop the cooking process. When cool, drain and set aside.
Remove the polenta from the refrigerator and cut into 5 even rectangles, then cut each in half diagonally. Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Cook the polenta until golden on both sides. Drain on paper towel. Add a little extra oil to the pan and cook the halved chicken ballotines until golden on all sides and heated through.
Meanwhile, to make the truffle jus, place the stock in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Whisk in the butter and truffle juice, then adjust the seasoning and stir in the chopped truffle. Add the asparagus and mushrooms and gently shake the pan until well coated and just heated through.
Divide the polenta among 5 plates, then top with the halved chicken ballotines followed by the asparagus and mushrooms. Spoon a little truffle jus over the top and serve immediately topped with salad leaves and flowers, if using.
• Truffle juice is the liquid released by truffles when they are sterilised for canning or bottling. Available from specialist food stores or online.
Image by Adam Liaw.