Monday, December 30, 2013

Chicken Quenelles in Parmesan Sauce

This one is being put up by popular demand.  It makes a large (6-8 servings at least) amount of light and fluffy chicken quenelles, and they make amazing leftovers.

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 8 oz old bread or breadcrumbs
  • 5 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Bechamel sauce
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 gallon milk
  • 4 oz parmesan
Top with
  • 4 oz parmesan
You can make the quenelles and sauce in either order, but I prefer to make the bechamel sauce first, and put it to the side while I make the quenelles.

Bechamel sauce:
Heat milk over medium low heat to steaming.  In a medium/large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  When butter is bubbling, add flour and stir for about a minute.  Switch to a whisk and begin adding milk a little at a time, incorporating it fully.  Once all the milk is added, contine stiring until mixture thickens, about 10 minutes.  Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer, whisking  occationally, 10 more minutes.  Add parmesan, set aside (occationally stiring to incorporate cheese into the sauce)

If breadcrumbs are hard, soak in milk beforehand.  Combine chicken breasts, breadcrumbs, cream, milk, eggs, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor (If necessary divide into two batches). Process until a smooth, fluffy mixture is obtained.  Bring a pot of salted water to a simmer. Use a soup spoon to scoop out quenelles, shape (should be roughly egg shaped; they don't come out perfectly every time, they'll still taste good), and drop into water, about 6-10 at a time (I've done up to 15 at once in a very large pot).  Cook for 6 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon (to allow water to drain) to a 9"x16" pan.  Repeat until all of the chicken mixture has been used, and two 9"x16" pans have been filled.  Pour Bechamel sauce in even amounts over both pans, and sprinkle with parmesan. If you want at this point the pans can be set aside and finished later, or even the next day if you heat them in the oven before broiling. Put in oven under broiler, with rack in the middle, for about 10 minutes, until top is golden brown.

Serve with a side of fresh fettucini or cheese tortellini and sauteed spinach.

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