Lemon thyme chicken, spinach mousse, quinoa and pinenuts

November 30, 2012

4 x 250gm Chicken breast skin on
4 x               Sprigs Fresh thyme
1 x                Lemon
100 gm.      Baby spinach
50 mls        Cream
Allspice ground
For the quinoa
1                     Spanish onion
80 gm           Button mushrooms
20 gm           Unsalted butter
100 gm         Organic red quinoa
1 bunch        Baby carrots
20 gm           Large pine nuts


For the sauce

1 kg               Chicken bones
1.5 litres       White chicken stock
1                     Carrot
1                     Brown onion
½                  Celery
left over leek from above


Roast the chicken bones in a perforated tray at 120°C until golden and fat has rendered.

Make a miropoix of onion, carrot, celery and leek.  Place in a large pot with the brown bones, some thyme, peppercorns and a bay leaf, cover with cold chicken stock.  Bring to the boil then simmer for two hours.  Pass the stock and then reduce over a moderate heat by half, skimming regularly.

Peel the skin of the chicken breast back leaving it attached at the top.  Trim the chicken breast up square and remove the tenderloin. Carefully toss the trimmed chicken breasts with chopped thyme leaves, grated lemon zest and a touch of oil.  Set aside in the fridge covered.  Wash, blanch, refresh and squeeze out the baby spinach.  Place in a food processor and chop very finely.  Add the chicken trimmings, tenderloins, and a pinch of allspice, thyme leaves and process to a fine paste.  Add just enough cream to make a smooth stiff mousse, season to taste.

Lay a square of glad wrap on the bench; season a trimmed chicken breast and using a pallet knife paste a quarter of the mousse onto the breast under were the skin would go, pull the skin over the mousse and reform into a neat shape.  Using the glad wrap, roll into a tight bonbon and tie off the ends.  Place into vacuum a bag and vacuum seal on medium.  Cook for one and a half hours at 62°C using your hypodermic probe thermometer.

Peel the red onions leaving the core intact then cut in to thin wedges.  Lay out on baking paper on flat tray and dry out in a medium oven.  Trim and quarter the button mushrooms.  Vacuum pack with butter and thyme and cook at 82.5°C for thirty minutes.

Wash peel and trim the baby carrots, place in a vacuum bag with a pinch of salt and a splash of oil, then vacuum seal on high and cook at 82.5°C for forty minutes.  When cooked tip contents of bag into a hot pan and sauté until glazed and slightly browned.

Bring a large pot of water to the boil add quinoa and cook for 13 minutes strain and cool spread out on a tray.


To finish cut open the bag of mushrooms, remove the thyme and discard.  Tip the contents of the bag of mushrooms into a hot pan, sauté for a minute add the onions then quinoa and deglaze with a little brown chicken stock.  Cook out until nearly dry and season.


Toast the pinenuts and chop roughly.  When the chicken breast is cooked remove all plastic and line the breasts up in a tray.  Finish in a very hot oven til skin is golden, slice to serve on the quinoa, garnish with baby carrots, pinenuts and sauce .