This French dish has been a popular classic in Britain for decades. It consists of a whole cooked chicken coated with an aspic sauce (chaud-froid sauce) and then elaborately garnished. Individual chicken joints are, however, easier to coat.
- Boneless chicken breasts - 6
- Onion - 1 large
- Thyme - 1 sprig
- Bay leaf - 1
- Salt and black pepper
- Carrot - 1 small
- Parsley stalks - 6
- Peppercorns - 6
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Milk - 300 ml (= pint)
- Butter - 25g (1 oz)
- Plain flour - 25g (1 oz)
- Powdered gelatine - 2 tsp
- Aspic jelly - 300 ml (= pint), hot
- Cucumber peel - 2.5 cm (1 inch) piece, to garnish
- Tomato - 1 large, pared peel to garnish
- Lemon - 1 small, pared rind to garnish
- Dill sprigs - to garnish
Place the chicken breasts in a large saucepan. Peel the onion and cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) slices. Reserve one slice then add the rest to the pan together with the thyme, bay leaf and enough cold water to just cover the chicken.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring slowly to the boil, remove the scum, lower the heat and cover the pan with a lid.
Simmer gently for 40-45 minutes or until the chicken breasts are cooked through. Lift out the chicken portions and drain. Save the cooking liquid as the basis of a soup or sauce, if liked.
Scrape the carrot, leaving it whole and put it in a saucepan with the reserved onion slice, parsley stalks, peppercorns, salt and milk. bring slowly to the boil, then turn off the heat and leave to infuse for 30 minutes.
Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes; strain the infused milk and gradually stir it into the butter and flour roux.
Bring the sauce to the boil over a low heat stirring continuously and cook gently for 2 minutes. Season to taste. Cover the surface with dampened greaseproof paper and set aside until just cooled.
Stir the gelatine into the hot aspic and heat gently, stirring, until it has dissolved completely. Leave to cool, then stir half into the white sauce.
Place the sauce in the refrigerator briefly until it is just beginning to thicken as the aspic content sets. Do not chill the remaining aspic and gelatine mixture.
Meanwhile, remove the skin carefully from the chicken portions, pat them dry and place them on a wire rack. Stand the rack over a sheet of foil or a plate.
Coat each portion carefully with the sauce, spooning it evenly over the top of the chicken and allowing any excess to run off. Chill for 15 minutes to set.
Cut the cucumber peel, tomato peel and lemon rind into narrow strips, dip them in the remaining aspic jelly and arrange them in decorative patterns on the chicken. Allow to set before spooning over the remaining aspic jelly. Leave the chicken in a cool place to set completely. Add the dill garnish before serving.
Print this recipe
Submitted By: Marlen