Free-Range Airline Chicken Breasts


Executive chef Daniel Andre of the Buckhead Club in Atlanta uses airline chicken breasts for this festive, flavor-packed recipe. “They’re trendy with chefs right now,” he explains. “Part of the bone is exposed for presentation purposes, and the bone also keeps the meat juicier.” 
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 ounces wild mushrooms
1 tablespoon shallots, minced
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
3 cups baby spinach leaves
4 ounces prosciutto, julienned
salt and pepper
4 ounces goat cheese
2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
6 free-range airline chicken breasts, 9 ounces each
Cranberry Mustard Cream Sauce (recipe follows)
6 rosemary sprigs 

In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Saute the mushrooms, shallots, and garlic for 2 minutes. Add spinach leaves and prosciutto, and combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and gently pat dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Place in a large bowl and refrigerate until cool. Add goat cheese and panko breadcrumbs, and combine.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Gently loosen and lift the skin of the chicken breasts, keeping the long side of the skin intact. Spoon a dollop of the stuffing mixture underneath the skin and secure with toothpicks. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. In the same large skillet, sear one side of the breasts to a golden brown on medium-high heat. Carefully turn the breasts over, and finish cooking in the oven for 13 minutes.

To serve, slice the chicken breast, and ladle the Cranberry Mustard Cream Sauce around it. Garnish with rosemary sprigs.

Yield: 6 servings

1 tablespoon shallots, minced
1 tablespoon sun-dried cranberries
3 ounces white wine
4 ounces heavy cream
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons cold butter
salt and pepper 

In a small saucepot, saute shallots on low until tender. Add cranberries and white wine and reduce by 3/4 of volume on medium-high heat. Stir in heavy cream and reduce by half. Add the mustard and cold butter until incorporated. Season to taste. Keep warm until serving.

CHEF’S TIP: “Let the chicken breast rest for about 15 minutes before slicing it to retain the juices and moistness of the meat.”


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