Stuffed Chicken Breast with Figs and Pistachios Vinaigrette

 

This is one of the recipes I most teach in my cooking classes, because I find many people like the breast part best. I thank my Instructor Chef David, who owns a restaurant near Pisa, for the concept of the stuffed breast. This is my winter interpretation of a stuffing for breasts of chicken. The figs in the filling make a wonderful contrast with the savoury meat and sauce and the pistachios give it a nice crunch. The lard is simply to give the meat more flavour and fat as the breast is very dry. The lard should be sliced paper thin so that it melts during the cooking process (if you can find "Lardo di Colonnata" you will see the difference, because it is cured with salt, herbs and spices and aged for 6 to 10 months). This way of stuffing breasts of chicken also looks especially nice when you plate it - cut it on a diagonal and you have a roll of so many colours plus the extra brightness of the pistachio green! The recipe has a long explanation but fear not - it won't take you more then 5 minutes to make each breast if you have all the ingredients prepared and ready at hand.

What you will need

4 individual chicken breasts (breasts of 2 chickens)

8 dry figs - medium size

12 lard slices cut paper thin (or pancetta if you can't get lard)

12 sage leafs

4 ounces Roasted pistachios, peeled and not salted

3/4 cup Vin Santo (Italian sweet dessert wine)

7 ounces butter

salt

Sichuan pepper (because of the lemony taste)

1 tablespoon zest of lemon - fresh

4 tablespoons Vin Santo (reserved)

4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 tablespoon Lemon juice freshly squeezed

salt

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