Chicken Cutlets à la Bivona

Côtelettes de Volaille à la Bivona

Method

Butter some cutlet moulds and sprinkle them with freshly chopped tarragon and chervil, or minced parsley; cut some very thin slices of cooked chicken and press them into the shape of the mould, lining it completely, then trim the edges round. Scrape the meat from some raw chicken (the legs will do for this), and pound it in a mortar till smooth, and to half a pound of pounded meat add six large or eight small bearded oysters, three large tablespoonfuls of thick cream, a saltspoonful of salt, a tiny dust of cayenne, one raw white of egg and one tablespoonful of thick Bechamel sauce, and mix it all till smooth, then rub it all through a coarse hair, or a fine wire sieve, and fill up the cutlet tins with this purée, using a bag and pipe, and smooth it over with a wet warm knife. Place a piece of cooked ham or tongue in the top of the purée, cutting it to fit the mould; press this down, then stand the cutlet tins in a sauté pan, and cover the bottom of the pan with hot water, but not sufficient to enter the tins; cover the cutlets with a piece of buttered paper, and place the sauté pan in a moderate oven or on the side of the stove for a quarter of an hour. Then take the cutlets up and dish them on a border of potato or farce, with cooked salsify and little squares of ham or tongue in the centre, and a strip of truffle stuck in each cutlet, and the following sauce round the base.

Sauce for these cutlets

Put the liquor and beards of the oysters used for this dish in a pan with the bones of the chicken chopped small, two sliced onions, a bunch of herbs, a wineglassful of white wine, and one and a half pints of cold water. Stand on the stove, and when it boils skim it and boil on for half an hour, then mix it with two ounces of butter lightly fried with two ounces of flour, but not discoloured, stir till it all boils up again, tammy, add the juice of half a lemon and half a gill of cream, and keep in the bain marie till required for use.

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