Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Chicken in white wine, mustard and cream

Chicken in white wine, mustard and cream

I have mentioned before, that my inspiration for a lot of the recipes in this blog come from me having spent my summer holidays as a boy, with my mother's family in the Charolais region of Burgundy in France (the gastronomic capital of the world!). This dish is especially typical of the fantastic food my auntie used to cook for us when we stayed with her. And it consists of a lot of the great, local ingredients Burgundy is famous for: Chicken from Bresse to the east, white wine from the Maconnaise to the south, mushrooms from the Auxerrois to the north east, mustard from Dijon in the north and cream from the famous cows of the Charolais itself.


2 fresh chicken breasts with the skin on
A hand full of small, closed cup button mushrooms
50ml of white wine
25ml of cream
Dessert spoon of Dijon mustard
100ml of boiling water
1 chicken stock pot or cube
2 tea spoons of corn flour
25g of butter


Preheat an oven to 200 degrees centigrade. Prep your chicken breast by giving them a swill under the tap, then lay them on a chopping board skin side up. Pour a drop of sunflower oil into your hand and massage it into your chicken breasts. Then break about 1/4 of your stock pot off from the rest and also rub that into them. Then season with salt and pepper. 

Warm a deep pan on the hob, and once ready, place your chicken breasts into it, skin side down and seal on a medium heat. Occasionally give them a prod with a fork to stop them from sticking. Once the skin side is golden brown and crisp, turn them over and seal the meaty side so it is golden brown as well. Then place your chicken breasts into your pre-heated oven and bake for 20 to 22 minutes. Make sure you test that they are properly cooked before serving up by prodding a skewer or pointy knife into the fattest part of the breasts to be sure that the juices run clear. If it is pink, pop them in for a bit longer, but not so long they dry out. 5 minutes tops should do it.

10 minutes before your chicken is due to come out of the oven, get started on your sauce by mixing what's left of your chicken stock pot with the 100ml of boiling water to make your stock. Then, melt your butter in the pan you sealed the chicken in, on a low heat. Once it is melted scoop in your corn flour and stir to make a roux (the base of your sauce). Turn the heat up, still stirring, so the mixture starts to froth in the heat, then add your wine. This should make the mixture coagulate. Don't panic about it. Just keep stirring until it is smooth. Add your stock and whisk until the sauce is smooth. Turn the heat down and add your mustard and your cream and continue to whisk. The sauce is meant to to be about as thick as a standard gravy. If your mixture is a lot thicker than that then add more wine (a little bit at a time) until you have the desired smoothness. If it's too runny, keep the heat turned up for a bit longer until it thickens. If nothing happens, add more butter. This should still leave you 4 -5 minutes to quickly fry your mushrooms in a knob of butter.

When you take your chicken from the oven, plate it up either on a bed of rice or with chips (as you will want something to mop up this sensational sauce) and I would recommend some french beans and asparagus if its in season. Pour what ever liquid is left in the roasting tin that the chicken came out of, into your sauce and stir it in. place your mushroom on top of your chicken breasts and smother with sauce. It is not a decision you are ever likely to regret!

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