The airline breast is a more sophisticated way of serving the usually boring chicken breast. Also, cooking it in this fashion helps to keep the meat from drying out.
- Cook Time
- Prep Time
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 6 fresh chicken breasts with wings attached, skin on
- Salt and white pepper
- 3 cups dry white wine, such as chardonnay
- 1 small bunch thyme
- 4 tablespoons (½ stick or ¼ cup) unsalted margarine
- 5 tablespoons (approximately ⅔ stick or ⅓ cup) unsalted margarine
- 2 small shallots, peeled and minced
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
- 1 small bunch thyme
- 1½ pounds wild mushrooms
- 1½ cups veal stock
1. To make the chicken breasts: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place a non-stick, 10-inch skillet on the stovetop over medium-high heat and add oil. Season both sides of the chicken breasts liberally with salt and pepper. When the pan is hot, sear, or brown, the chicken pieces skin side down. Sear until the skin becomes very well browned and crisp, about six to nine minutes. You may need to sear the chicken in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Once all of the chicken has been seared, place the pieces meat side down on a clean baking sheet and set aside. You are searing only the skin side for texture; searing the meat side will dry out the meat.
2. Add the wine, thyme, and margarine to the same pan with the rendered fat, and cook until the liquid has reduced by half.
3. Place the baking sheet with the chicken in the oven and carefully pour the reduced cooking liquid into the bottom of the pan. Roast for nine minutes until the chicken is firm to the touch yet still has a little resistance to it when poked with your finger.
4. To make the sauce: Place a 10-inch skillet on the stovetop over medium heat and add the margarine, shallots, garlic, and thyme. Cook gently until softened and slightly browned. Add the mushrooms and the veal stock and cook until the mushrooms are tender and the sauce has reduced and thickened enough to glaze the mushrooms; this will take about 13 to 15 minutes.
5. To finish the dish: When the chicken is ready, remove the pan from the oven and place the chicken pieces on a cutting board. Pour the remaining cooking liquid from the baking sheet into the mushroom sauce and stir well to combine. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
6. To serve, cut each breast into five slices and fan them onto a plate, being sure to serve the wing piece as well. Generously cover with mushroom sauce. I like this dish served with Israeli couscous or pommes purée.
Recipe posted with permission from Le Marais: A Rare Steakhouse - Well Done, by Mark Hennessey and Jose de Mereilles