Just got in from work on a day where the sun came out in the afternoon and reminded me it was Spring.. I wanted something light and flavoursome and I couldn’t get three ingredients out of my mind. I knew that I had all of these ingredients at home and they were Chicken, Asparagus and Eggs. Well I toiled over what I might cook and after a glance through a few cookbooks I eventually came up with this..
Spring Chicken with Warm Potato Salad and Spring Vegetables
1/2 Tsp White Peppercorns
100g Unsalted Butter
From the Garden:
Small bunch of Tarragon
Basically we are going to make a warm potato salad coat the potatoes nicely in the sauce and crunchy spring vegetables and sit the herb encrusted chicken breast on top. You’ll need a large oven proof frying pan a saucepan for the Potatoes and two small saucepans to make the sauce.. Oh and a blender!
First start with the herbs; chop the Lemon Thyme, Mint, Parsley and Garlic Chives you’ll need quite a lot as each Chicken Breast will take a lot of herbs. Place the herbs on a plate. On a second plate sprinkle your flour and season. Get a third plate ready for the egg whites that you’ll separate later.
To cook the potatoes first get a saucepan on the hob fill it with boiling water and season well with plenty of Salt. If you have muddy Jersey Royals give them a light clean and chop the bigger potatoes in half. Get them in the boiling water and cook for 10 – 12 minutes until cooked. Just before the potatoes are cooked break the thick end of the Asparagus spears off and chop the remaining edible part of the stalk and tips into 2 cm sections. A minute before the potatoes are cooked throw in the chopped Asparagus sections. Drain after thirty seconds allowing the potatoes and Asparagus to steam in the Saucepan.
Place the two small saucepans on the stove, both on low heats. In one saucepan place the butter (roughly chopped) and in the second place a splash of water, cider vinegar and the peppercorns. Bring the vinegar and water solution to boil and reduce by half. The butter should also be brought to a soft bubbling boil.
Meanwhile, take your eggs and separate putting the egg yolks in the blender and the whites to the third plate you prepared right at the start.
Get the frying pan on with a good glug of Olive Oil in it (Medium heat).
Back to the chicken, season the fillets and then roll in the flour and then the egg white and then finally the herbs; you want a complete coating of each of the layers. As you finish a breast place it into the frying pan and then repeat the process with the second breast. Lightly fry the breasts turning when the coating goes light brown. When the chicken is lightly browned place the pan in the oven to cook for 10 to 12 minutes.
When the vinegar and water solution has reduced strain out the Peppercorns and add the vinegar mix to the butter. The butter and vinegar mix should be brought back to a bubbling boil.
Get the top of the blender on you are going to pour the hot vinegar and butter onto the egg yolks whilst the machine is on slow so leave the little top open. Make sure that the pouring is slow and only a thin trickle should be going into the eggs (the machine should be on the whole time). Slowly pour the mix into the eggs until it is all in the machine allow to mix for another 30 seconds and then pour the mix into a warm bowl and set aside for a few minutes. It should stiffen up a little more this is when you can chop your Tarragon and add it to the mix alongside a twist of Lemon and seasoning. If it’s not thick then place the bowl over a boiling saucepan (make sure your dish is capable of doing this!) and whisk continuously until the desired thickness is achieved (you want a thick sauce similar to Mayonnaise).
Chop the Cucumber and Spring Onion and then add them to the now warm Potatoes and Asparagus. Season the potato mix and then stir in two or three tablespoons of the Tarragon sauce. The chicken breast should have come out of the oven three or four minutes before where it could rest in the pan. Place a nice pile of the warm potato salad onto each of the pre heated plates. Slice the chicken into thick slices and fan nicely over the potato salad. Spoon a little more of the sauce over the chicken and then serve immediately.
This take on a Béarnaise sauce with the Asparagus and soft umptuous Chicken is simply delicious! The Lemon juice and Tarragon simply brings the dish to life and the nutty full flavoured Jersey Royals and crunchy Cucumber and Spring Onions just make every mouthful a fresh taste of Spring!
It’s lovely, you must try it!
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