4 cups cold water
3 tablespoons plain salt
8 teaspoons Turbinado sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 teaspoons grapeseed oil
4 chicken breast halves
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup almonds
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup peeled and minced shallots
2 cups jellied plain chicken stock
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
Pinch ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
4 hard boiled egg yolks
5 teaspoons Turbindo sugar
2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons cold butter
1/8 teaspoon Spanish saffron threads
6 – 8 sprigs fresh parsley
Ribbon grated Manchego cheese
Diced black olives
Matchstick slices of red bell pepper
There are three ways to prepare the chicken breasts:
- Frenched: Take a boneless, halved chicken breast with skin on and wing attached. The wingette, flapper and skin are removed form the wing and the meat is pushed down to the breast, leaving the bone exposed. Remove any remnants of the joint between the wingette and drumette. The bone should be clean.
- Drumette and wingette attached: The flapper is removed from the boneless, halved chicken breast with skin and wing attached.
- Use boneless, wingless, and skinless halved chicken breasts.
Combine the brining ingredients in a bowl large enough to hold all four breast halves.
Brine the prepared chicken breast halves overnight.
Place almonds in a heat-proof bowl.
Bring 1 cup of cold water to a boil in a small saucepan.
Add boiling water to the almonds.
Allow almonds to steep for 1-2 minutes, or until the skin slips easily off the nutmeat.
Drain off the hot water, reserving almonds.
Cover almonds with cold water.
Drain off cold water.
Peel skin off each almond.
Finely grind the almonds.
Reserve ground almonds.
Drain marinade from the chicken breast halves and discard marinade.
Heat a cast iron skilled large enough to hold the four chicken breast halves.
For breast halves with skin and wing attached:
Season the raw chicken with salt and pepper. When the skillet is hot, add olive oil to the skillet, coating the bottom completely. Place chicken, skin-side down, in the hot skillet. Fry until the skin is golden brown. Remove the chicken from the pan and reserve. Reduce the heat under the cast iron skillet. Add the shallots. Saute the shallots for about 5 minutes or until soft and translucent. Return the chicken to the skillet and cover with the chicken stock. Add the bay leaves and garlic. Cover and simmer for 12 minutes. Preheat oven to 300° F. Turn the chicken over, cover and simmer for an additional 12 minutes. Turn off oven.
Chef’s Note: The chicken breast should be cooked through and the juices should run clear.
Remove and reserve chicken breast in a covered, oven-proof dish and place in the warm oven.
For skinless chicken breasts: Season the raw chicken with salt and pepper. When the skillet is hot, add olive oil to the skillet, coating the bottom completely. Add the shallots. Saute the shallots for about 5 minutes or until soft and translucent. Return the chicken breasts to the skillet and cover with the chicken stock. Add the bay leaves and garlic. Cover and simmer for 12 minutes. Preheat oven to 300° F. Turn the chicken over, cover, and simmer an additional 12 minutes. Turn off the oven.
Chef’s Note: The chicken breasts should be cooked through and the juices should run clear.
Remove and reserve the chicken breasts in a covered dish. Keep chicken breast warm in the preheated oven.
Remove the bay leaves from the chicken broth.
Blend the chicken broth, ground almonds, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and hard boiled egg
yolks until smooth.
Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Discard solids.
Heat the liquid until the sauce thickens.
Bring to a simmer. Do not boil.
Remove sauce from heat.
Add saffron and cold butter.
Stir until butter melts.
Frenched chicken breasts or chicken breasts with wings: Place sprigs of parsley on the serving platter. Place whole breast halves with wings attached on the platter. Decorate with chosen vegetables. Drizzle lightly with sauce.
Wingless chicken breasts: Slice the wingless poached chicken breasts, at an angle, into medallions. Place sprigs of parsley on the serving platter. Arrange medallions on top of the parsley sprigs. Decorate with chosen vegetables. Drizzle some of the sauce over the medallions.
Garnish as desired.
Place remaining sauce in a sauce boat.