Winter is truffle season, and this dish is a celebration of truffles. They can turn a mundane ingredient such as chicken into something special and festive.
serves: 8 difficulty: easy prep time: 20 min to prep + 1.5 hrs to cook
for the chicken
- 1 large fresh black truffle. I get mine from my friends at Truffle Shuffle.
- 4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on (half a breast per person)
- 1 cup whole milk
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- [optional] truffle salt. My friends at Truffle Shuffle have a wonderful product that is available on their web site and at Whole Foods in California.
- 1 tbs of canola or vegetable oil
for the black truffle sauce
- 1/4 lbs (100 grams) black truffles. I used preserved ones (i.e. previously frozen) which are much cheaper
- 2 tbs butter
- 2 tbs all purpose flower
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream, [optionally] whipped
Place the chicken breasts skin side up on a cutting board.
Use your fingers to gently pry the skin away from the breasts, making sure to keep the skin attached to the breasts. You simply want to create a small pocket of space between the skin and the breast meat.
Using a mandolin or truffle shaver, shave half of the fresh black truffle into very thin disks.
Place these disks underneath the skin of the chicken. The skin of the chicken should hold the truffles in place.
Season the flesh side of the chicken breasts with truffle salt (if you have it) or plain salt.
Place the chicken inside a nylon bag . Add the milk, thyme, and bay leaves to the bag, and vacuum seal it.
Place in the fridge, and let the chicken marinate overnight, or for at least 4 hours.
An hour and a half before you need to serve the dish, place the vacuum sealed bag in a vous vide machine, and cook at 149 degrees for an hour. When the chicken is cooked, take the breasts out of the bag and discard the rest of what is in the bag.
In the meantime prepare the black truffle sauce. The technique is the same as the white truffle gravy, but the proportions are slightly different and we are using black truffles. First you need to thoroughly clean the truffles with a brush (old tooth brush?), if they are not cleaned already. Wash them and chop them coarsely. In a sauce pot over medium heat, melt the butter, and lightly sauté the chopped white truffles. Season with sea salt. Add the flour and stir well. Add the chicken stock, and whisk to incorporate well. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer vigorously for 5 minutes. Take off the stove and let cool enough so that you can put it in the blender. Blend the sauce until perfectly smooth and homogenous. You can whip the cream, and fold it, or simply add the cream without whipping it. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
Heat a frying pan, and add 1 tbs of canola or vegetable oil. Place the breasts skin side down and fry for 2 min. The purpose of this si purely aesthetic – to brown the skin of the breasts. Remove from the pan, and slice each breast in two.
To serve, place 2-3 spoons of the black truffle sauce on the bottom of the plate, place half a chicken breast on top of the sauce. Use the remaining half of the fresh black truffle to shave it on top of the chicken breast.
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