Chicken in a bun

Tom Kerridge transforms the humble chicken sandwich into a sumptuous, Michelin-calibre indulgence with brioche and mushroom duxelles
By Tom Kerridge
Chicken in a bun
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: plus proving and chilling time
  • Effort: hard

Ingredients

For the brioche

  • 450 g plain flour
  • 25 g fresh yeast
  • 55 g caster sugar
  • 20 g salt
  • 120 ml milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 350 g softened unsalted butter

For the chicken

  • 4 small chicken breasts, with wing attached
  • 1.1 litres chicken stock
  • sprig thyme
  • 500 g button mushrooms
  • truffle oil, to taste
  • 100 ml double cream
  • 10 savoy cabbage, leaves, core removed
  • 500 g pig's caul fat

For the egg wash

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 10 g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp milk

Tips and Suggestions

You can get your butcher to trim the chicken breasts for you: ask for four suprêmes of chicken.

Chilling between each stage of preparation will make the chicken firmer and easier to work with as you wrap it in the various casings.

Be sure not to overcook the chicken at the poaching stage or it will be dry and tough once it is cooked the second time.

Blitzing the mushrooms in a food processor is far quicker than chopping them by hand.

Method

1. For the brioche: place the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Warm the milk, add it to the dry ingredients and mix on low power for a few minutes. Add the eggs and continue mixing until they are completely incorporated.

2. Increase the speed and mix for another few minutes until the dough starts to come together. Add the butter and continue to mix for 2-3 minutes, until completely incorporated.

3. Remove the bowl from the machine. Cover with a clean tea towel and place in a warm spot for an hour to prove.

4. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and chill until the dough is firm and has doubled in size again (it can be left in the fridge for up to 48 hours).

5. For the chicken: preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas 4. Cut the wing off each breast, leaving the bone in it. Scrape the bone down so that it looks as if it were French-trimmed. Remove the skin from the breasts. Put the skin and chicken wings in a roasting tin in the oven for about 30 minutes, until golden brown.

6. Meanwhile, bring the chicken stock to the boil in a wide pan. Place the breasts in it and poach until just cooked this will take 6-10 minutes depending on the size of the chicken. Remove the breasts from the stock and let them cool before placing in the refrigerator to chill.

7. Pour the stock used for poaching over the roasted chicken skin and wings, add the thyme and simmer until the liquid has reduced to a glaze consistency, about 15-20 minutes. Pass the sauce through a sieve and keep warm.

8. In a food processor, blend the mushrooms until very finely chopped. Put them in a saucepan and dry fry for about 15 minutes, until all the water has evaporated. When they have reached duxelle stage (very thick), season with salt, pepper and a dash of truffle oil. Add the double cream and cook briefly, the remove from the heat and chill.

9. In a saucepan of boiling salted water, blanch the cabbage leaves until tender, about 1-2 minutes, then drain and cool in ice-cold water. Drain well and pat dry, then cut the stems out of the leaves.

10. Spread the duxelle mixture on the cooled chicken breasts, moulding it around the sides, following the shape, until you have a nice even covering about 1cm thick.

11. Lay the cabbage leaves on a board and use them to wrap each chicken breast, leaving the wing bone extended. Cover the chicken parcels with a piece of caul fat and chill again.

12. Roll out the brioche dough so that it is quite thin. Cut into four even pieces and wrap one around each chicken breast, leaving the bone sticking out and making sure the seam is underneath. Dust a plate with flour, put the chicken buns on it and chill for an hour until the brioche is set.

13. For the egg wash: mix together the egg yolks, sugar and milk.

14. When almost ready to cook, preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas 4.
Brush the egg wash over the chicken buns and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the brioche is cooked, then serve the chicken buns with a jug of sauce.

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