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Roasted Chicken Breasts with Crayfish, Fava Beans, and Morels

This recipe is courtesy of chef John Fraser from the New York City restaurant Dovetail.

  • Servings: 4
Roasted Chicken Breasts with Crayfish, Fava Beans, and Morels

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, April Spring 2008

Ingredients

  • 28 crayfish
  • 3 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 4 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped fennel
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup Madeira wine
  • 10 white peppercorns
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 sprigs fresh tarragon
  • 4 fresh parsley stems
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 6 plum tomatoes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 dashes Tabasco
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 15 pods fava beans, picked and shelled
  • 4 medium chicken breast halves, skin-on
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 10 large morels, halved and washed
  • 2 cups baby spinach, washed and stems removed
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves, torn

Directions

  1. Prepare an ice-water bath; set aside. Rinse crayfish under cold water. Place Old Bay and lemon in large saucepan; fill with water. Place over high-heat and bring to a boil. Add crayfish and cook until red, about 1 minute. Drain and immediately transfer crayfish to ice water bath until cooled. Separate tails from bodies. Set tails aside.

  2. Dry crayfish bodies thoroughly. Heat 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil in an 8-quart Dutch oven over high-heat and add crayfish bodies. Cook, stirring, until browned, about 2 minutes. Cut 8 cloves garlic in half. Reduce heat to medium and add garlic, along with onions, carrots, and fennel; cook, stirring constantly, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add Madiera and cook until liquid is almost evaporated.

  3. Transfer crayfish body mixture to a large stockpot. Cut 4 plum tomatoes in half and add to pot; add enough water to cover. Tie white peppercorns, 4 sprigs thyme, tarragon, parsley stems, and bay leaves in a small piece of cheesecloth to make a bouquet garni; add to pot. Bring to a boil over high heat; immediately reduce heat to low and let simmer for 1 hour, skimming surface as necessary.

  4. Strain liquid through a fine mesh sieve set over a saucepan, pressing down on solids with a ladle; discard solids. Place saucepan over medium heat and cook until liquid is thickened and reduced, about 20 minutes. Add heavy cream and continue cooking until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add 1 tablespoon butter and lemon juice; stir until butter is melted and well combined; season with Tabasco and salt. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth; set aside.

  5. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; prepare and ice-water bath; set aside. With a paring knife, core remaining 2 tomatoes, and score an X on the bottoms. Add tomatoes to boiling water; cook until skins begin to split, 30 to 60 seconds. Drain and immediately transfer to ice-water bath to cool. Remove skins, using a paring knife, if necessary, and discard. Halve tomatoes. Remove seeds with a spoon, and discard. Finely chop tomatoes; set aside.

  6. Prepare an ice-water bath; set aside. In a medium saucepan of boiling salted water, cook fava beans 1 minute. Drain and immediately transfer beans to ice-water bath until cool. Peel beans; set aside.

  7. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Using a sharp knife remove the tip and first joint of the wing of each chicken breast, and discard, leaving the second joint still attached to the breast. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil in a large heavy-bottomed ovenproof skillet over high heat. Add chicken, skin side down, and transfer to oven; roast until cooked through.

  8. Crush remaining 2 cloves garlic. Remove skillet from oven and turn chicken. Add remaining 4 tablespoons butter, crushed garlic, and remaining 6 sprigs thyme to skillet. Baste chicken with butter for 2 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes.

  9. In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over high heat. Add morels and cook until browned, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add fava beans, spinach, chopped tomatoes, mint, and reserved tail meat from crayfish; cook, stirring, for two minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

  10. Divide morel mixture evenly among 4 plates. Top each with a chicken breast; spoon over sauce and serve immediately.

Reviews (5)

  • mmsrjs 9 Aug, 2008

    NO! THERE IS NOT TOO MANY INGREDIENTS BIG MAMA.... ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS FIRST PUT THE REQUIRED INGREDIENTS IN SMALL DISHES IN THE ORDER LISTED. THEN WHEN YOU ARE READY TO START, EVERYTHING IS RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU AND EASY TO PICK UP AND PUT INTO YOUR DISH. JUST LIKE MARTHA DOES ON THE PROGRAM. TAKE HEED, YOU MIGHT LIKE IT.

  • cookinbigmama 16 Apr, 2008

    this recipe has too many ingredients!

  • rkorchid 15 Apr, 2008

    This is a fabulous recipe. Don't be put off by the exotic ingredients and lengthy preparation steps. There are simple substitutions and the time consuming sauce can be spread out over a whole morning or day. The final assembly is quite speedy. I made substitutions:

    skinless/boneless chicken breasts

    frozen supermarket crayfish . I can imagine using shrimp.

    frozen lima beans for fava beans.

    oyster mushrooms instead of morels.

    12-minute oven roast time for the chicken which is perfect.

  • Cynthiamills 13 Apr, 2008

    Even if all you do is prepare the chicken breasts according to this method you will have an excellent dish. I have dealt with crayfish and they are not fun. I would suggest getting them cooked and shelled from a fish monger.

  • jodyk 11 Apr, 2008

    Well, considering the scarcity and expense of the ingredients in this recipe, as well as it's complexity, I'll never get a chance to try it. Kind of ridiculous for thiis venue, even for Martha.

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