Breasts of Chicken Stuffed with Smoked Fish in a Mushroom and Prawn Sauce

This strange combination smells and tastes extremely good and the flavour of the sauce is wonderful. It is an erotic looking dish which is simple to make. If you can’t get the ready boned chicken breasts an obliging butcher would probably bone some breasts for you.

Ingredients

  • 6 boned chicken breasts
  • ¾ lb smoked cod fillets (350 g)
  • 3–4 large cloves garlic – crushed
  • 1 level teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives or fennel leaves
  • 6 oz button mushrooms – sliced thinly sideways (175 g)
  • 2–3 oz peeled prawns (50–75 g)
  • a large glass white wine
  • 8 fl oz single cream (225 ml)
  • ½ oz plain flour (10 g)
  • 1 dessertspoon lemon juice
  • a little chopped parsley as decoration – optional
  • a little oil
  • butter

Method

Butter a fairly large ovenproof gratinée dish. Lay out the chicken breasts flesh side up and rub them with the crushed garlic. Sprinkle them with plenty of black pepper and salt. Chop the fish up into small cubes and put it in a mixing bowl. Stir the chopped chives or fennel leaves and the fennel seed and some more black pepper thoroughly into the fish. Put a spoonful of this mixture in the centre of each chicken breast and fold the breast over the fish. Put these little parcels into the gratinée dish with the folded over ends underneath so that they do not flap open and let all the fish stuffing out. You will find that when they have cooked they will stay together. Brush the tops with a little oil and sprinkle with salt and cook in the centre of the oven at Gas 5 (375°F/190°C) for three quarters of an hour. When they are done pour any juice that has come out of them while cooking into another receptacle. Return the stuffed breasts to a low oven to keep them warm while you make the sauce. Melt about ½ oz butter (10 g) in a heavy-based saucepan and blend into it the plain flour. Let it bubble gently, stirring, for 1–2 minutes. Gradually stir in the juice from the stuffed breasts, the lemon juice and the white wine. Bubble gently, stirring all the time, for 2–3 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and bubble a minute more. Then stir in the prawns and finally the cream. Check seasoning. Pour this sauce on top of the stuffed breasts and serve. A little chopped parsley sprinkled round the edges looks very pretty. Serve with rice or new potatoes and either a salad or a fresh vegetable.

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