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This recipe is classed as advanced

Rating 3.67 / 5 (15 votes)

Prep time:
1 hr 20 min
Cook time:
1 hr

Michael Caines serves locally reared ‘Ark’ chicken in a light white wine sauce for a real taste of Devon


1. For the tarragon mousse: blend the chicken with a pinch of salt in a food processor for 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl in the fridge to chill. Repeat this process twice.

2. Add 50g of the cream to the chicken mixture and pass through a fine sieve into a bowl set over ice. Stir in the remaining cream and the tarragon. Season with salt and pepper.

3. For the chicken: cut a pocket into each chicken breast lengthways and fill with the tarragon mousse. Rub the chicken breasts with butter and season with salt and pepper. Wrap up the breasts individually in microwavable cling film and put in the fridge until ready to cook.

4. For the white wine sauce: gently fry the shallots and garlic in 20g of the butter to soften without colouring. Add the thyme and bay leave a cook for a further 2 minutes.

5. Pour in the white wine and reduce the liquid away to nothing. Add the chicken stock and reduce by half then add the cream and whisk in the remaining cubes of butter. Season and keep warm for later.

6. For the leek fondue: cook the leeks in boiling salted water until tender then refresh in iced water. When cold, strain from the water and dry on a cloth.

7. Put the cream and garlic in a pan and cook until thick and reduced. Fold in 200g of the cooked leek and season with salt and pepper.

8. Heat a saucepan of water to 90°C and poach the chicken breasts in the cling film for 12-15 minutes, until cooked. Remove and leave to rest for a further 10 minutes and then remove the cling film. In a frying pan slowly colour the skin until golden and crisp in a knob of butter.

9. For the summer vegetables: fry the mushrooms in a little butter, salt and pepper. Stir into the white wine sauce.

10. Cut the asparagus tips to the same length and peel the broad beans from their papery skins. Add to the sauce and reheat.

11. Using a 6cm ring, divide the creamed leeks into the middle of each plate. Slice each chicken breast into 5 rounds and lay around the outside of the creamed leeks. Serve 3 pieces of asparagus onto each plate then spoon around the mushrooms and broad beans with the white wine sauce.

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Latest Comment


This was the best challenge I have had in a long time, but oh-so-worth-it! The tarragon mousse is to die for, and poached chicken had almost been a forgotten technique in my kitchen but will be done more often now. The veg in the sauce is delicious, I substituted sliced beans for the broad beans (couldn't find any) and that leek fondue - just bliss! My boyfriend was so impressed with this, and I would recommend it any day.

Mrs Noodles Mrs Noodles  Posted 12 Jul 2009 12:32 PM