#113 Chicken Favorites

Chicken and Spinach Wraps with Hazelnut Sauce (Yields: 4 servings)

For this recipe you will need:

• 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1 clove garlic, lightly crushed
• 1 1/4 lb young spinach leaves
• Salt & pepper, to taste
• 4 skinless and boneless chicken breast halves, trimmed (about 5 oz each)

Hazelnut Sauce:
• 2 tablespoons port wine
• 2 cups brown chicken broth
• 2 teaspoons cornstarch
• 1 1/2 tablespoons hazelnut oil
• 1 small tomato, blanched, peeled, seeded and finely diced
• 1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
• Salt & pepper, to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Add the garlic, and just before the oil begins to smoke, add the spinach. Season with salt and pepper, and sauté, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for about 4 or 5 minutes, or until the spinach is wilted, and all the liquid has evaporated. Remove the garlic clove and discard. Transfer the spinach to a platter and let cool. When the spinach has cooled, squeeze out the excess moisture with your hands. Divide the spinach into 4 equal portions and set aside.

Using the blade of a sharp knife or cleaver, flatten the chicken breasts until 1/2 to 2/3 inch thick. (Alternatively, cover the chicken breast with plastic wrap and lightly pound with the bottom of a heavy sauté pan or skillet). Season with salt and pepper. Lay a 12 by 12-inch piece of plastic wrap on a work surface. Place a flattened piece of chicken breast in the centre of the plastic wrap and add a line of spinach in the centre of the chicken. Lift up the plastic wrap so the chicken flips over in a roll, sealing the spinach inside. Without rolling the plastic wrap inside the chicken, roll the chicken into acylinder and seal with the wrap. Tie both ends of the plastic wrap with kitchen twine and repeat for the remaining chicken. Keep refrigerated.

To prepare the hazelnut sauce, place the port in a saucepan and reduce by half over medium-high heat. Mix the broth and cornstarch in a bowl, increase the heat to high, add the broth mixture, and reduce again by half. Vigorously stir in the hazelnut oil until emulsified. Gently stir in the tomato and parsley, season with salt and pepper, and keep warm.

Bring 1 gallon of water to a boil in a large saucepan or stockpot. Reduce heat to a simmer, and slowly lower the wrapped chicken breasts into the water. Poach for 10–12 minutes, remove from the water, and place on a platter. Cut one end off the plastic wrap, and holding the ties end, squeeze out the chicken breasts. Slice each breast on the bias into 4 or 5 slices. Fan out the slices on warm servings plates and spoon the hazelnut sauce over the top of the chicken. Serve immediately.

download | print this page

Copyright © 2009 Hubert Keller. All rights reserved.