Chicken a la Reine
- FOR THE PUFF PASTRY CRESCENTS:
- 1 sheet puff pastry dough
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- FOR THE STUFFED CHICKEN:
- 4 (1-pound) whole chicken breasts, boned and skinned
- 3 tablespoons crushed ice
- 1/3 cup well chilled heavy cream
- 1/2 cup firmly packed cooked, squeezed, and chopped spinach (about 1 pound fresh)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon rind
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 cup chicken stock or more
- FOR THE SAUCE:
- 2 1/2 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups chicken stock, boiling
- 2 tablespoons truffle butter, softened
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Lemon juice to taste
Make the stuffed chicken: Arrange the chicken breasts on a cutting board and cut them in half. Remove the fillet strip from each breast, discard the white tendon, and in a food processor grind the fillets. Add the ice, blend the mixture until the ice is absorbed, and with the motor running add the cream. Add the spinach, the salt, the fennel seeds, the rind, the nutmeg, and the pepper and blend the filling well, scraping down the sides.
Cut a slit in each breast of chicken for the filling. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of the spinach filling into each pocket. Close with toothpicks. The chicken may be prepared up to this point 24 hours in advance and kept covered and chilled.
Place chicken in a baking pan. Add the white wine and enough chicken stock to barely cover the chicken. Add salt and pepper. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven, covered, for 45 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
Make the sauce: In a saucepan, melt the butter. Blend in 3 tablespoons flour and let cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat. Whisk in the boiling chicken stock. Bring the sauce to a boil for 1 minute, stirring, until the sauce thickens. Place back on heat and let simmer. Beat in the cream by the spoonfuls. Add 2 tablespoons softened truffle butter by 1/2 tablespoons, salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste.
Remove chicken from the poaching liquid. Serve with the sauce and the puff pastry crescents.