Wednesday, September 01, 2004

stuffed leg of chicken with blue cheese

6 chicken legs
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, chopped coarse
2 egg yolks
2/3 cup fresh bread crumbs from French or Italian bread
1 1/2 tbsp. crumbled blue cheese
pepper from the mill
1/3 cup chopped pistachios(or walnuts)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 to 1 1/4 cups brown veal stock as needed (beef broth)

1/2 lb. unblanched slab bacon
24 whole shallots
chopped chervil

bone the chicken legs from the back, that is, from the meat side so the outside skin remains whole and may be used as casing. flatten with a meat bat.
heat the butter until the foam subsides. add the mushrooms, salt and pepper. let the mushrooms lose their juices. raise the heat very high and saute until dry. cool completely. add the egg yolks, crumbs, cheese, a pinch of salt, 3-4 turns of the pepper mill, and the nuts. mix well. divide into equal parts and stuff each chicken leg with the mixture and sew the leg closed but not too tightly. ("jambonettes"=little hams.)
set aside.
prepare the garnish. cut the bacon into 1/3 inch wide lardoons. put them in a cold 9-inch skillet or sauteuse pan and render them slowly until they turn golden. remove them to a plate. keep the bacon fat.
peel the shallots and saute them in the same bacon fat until they start to color; remove them to the same plate as the bacon. keep for later use. in the same pan where the bacon and shallots were sauteed, and in the same bacon fat, brown the chicken jambonettes or both sides. discard the bacon fat. salt and pepper both sides of the little hams. add the white wine and let evaporate almost completely. add 1/2 cup of stock. cover the pan and cook 15 minutes. uncover the pan, add the shallots and bacon and another 1/2 cup of stock. continue cooking another 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted at the upper part of the drumstick comes out easily. if there is from 2/3 cup to 3/4 cup of gravy in the pan, do not add any more stock. if there is only 1/2 cup, add the remaining stock and give one or two good boils to blend the flavors. sprinkle with chopped parsley or chervil and serve in the sauteuse pan. serve with pilaf, rice and vegetables.

from Madeleine Kamman's "When French Women Cook", the Mimi chapter...