Recipe of the month: Bresse spring chicken with morchellas and "vin jaune"
This month, we remain in France-Comté with a traditional recipe from the Bresse region for spring chicken and morchella. This recipe brings together a number of local ingredients: Bresse spring chicken, morchellas and vin jaune (“yellow wine”) from the Jura wine-growing region.
This recipe pays tribute to a great chef of the Jura region, Léon Deloge, who was known as Lonlon. His immense talent made this a favorite regional dish.
It is certainly a singular dish since Bresse poultry is the only poultry carrying the French Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (A.O.C.) label, as well as the European Appellation d’Origine Protégée (A.O.P.) label. These labels (established in 1957 and 1996, respectively) strictly define the zone, race and husbandry conditions in order for poultry to be called “Bresse poultry.”
The reputation of Bresse poultry relies upon its transformation on the plate. Many great French chefs, including Georges Blanc (President of the Protected Appellation “A.O.P. Volaille de Bresse”), Paul Bocuse, Mère Brazier, Régis Marcon, Patrick Bertron, have used their talents to showcase the qualities of this poultry. No menu can make a claim to greatness without Bresse poultry. One must know how to cook and enjoy this intensely flavorful chicken—the chicken nicely browned and the capon, the king of Christmas tables.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
• 1 Bresse spring chicken or chicken
• 80 g fresh or dried morchellas
• ¾ cup yellow wine
• 2 shallots, diced
• 1 cup chicken stock
• 1⅓ cup crème fraîche
• 2 tbs oil
• 4 tbs butter
• Salt, pepper
1. Soak the morchellas for 15 minutes in warm water. Rinse and dry the morchellas and set them aside.
2. Cut the chicken into pieces.
3. In a frying pan, heat 2 tbs of butter and the oil. Brown the chicken pieces. Remove the chicken from pan and discard the oil.
4. Deglaze the frying pan with the wine, using a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits. Add the chicken stock, one cup of the crème fraiche, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir gently.
5. Return the chicken pieces to the pan and simmer on medium heat for 40 minutes, uncovered.
6. In a separate pan, heat the remaining butter and sweat the shallots. Add the remaining crème fraiche and the morchellas, and simmer until almost all the liquid has evaporated.
7. Once chicken is done cooking, serve on a plate with the sautéed morchellas and sauce.
I’ll end this recipe with this quote from Mr. Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. I wish you all a bon appétit. Until next time!