A variation on this dish is to omit the truffle and simple serve the chicken in cream sauce on a bed of sautéed black trumpet mushrooms.
Yield: 5 – 6 servings
Poularde en Demi-Deuil with Tr
Truffle Velouté Sauce
If using fresh truffles, scrub them with cold water and dry them. With a small knife, cut away the peel and reserve the peel and truffles separately. If using canned truffles, drain them, reserving the liquid. Cut fresh or canned truffles into 8 to 10 thick slices. Chop the rest of the truffle along with any reserved peel and set aside for the sauce.
Wipe the chicken inside and out with paper towels. Lay the bird on its back, with the drumsticks facing you, on a work surface. Gently slide your fingers under the skin that covers the breast, being careful not to tear it. Arrange most of the truffle slices on the breast meat, and then let the skin fall to hold them in place. Insert the remaining slices under the skin on the legs. Truss the chicken.
Put the bird, breast down, in a pot just large enough to hold it. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and bouquet garni. Pour in the wine and enough water so that about three-fourths of the bird is immersed. The breast meat should be completely immersed. Season with salt and pepper and bring just to a boil. Cover the pan and simmer gently until the chicken is tender and no pink juice runs out when the thigh is pierced with a skewer, l to 2 hours, Skim occasionally, and turn the bird halfway through poaching, using a two-pronged fork The cooked chicken may be refrigerated in the broth for up to 2 days. However, the sauce is best made just before serving.
To finish, if necessary, reheat the chicken gently in its broth on the stove top, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove it from the cooking liquid, cover it loosely with aluminum foil, and keep warm. Boil the broth until reduced to about 3 cups/750 ml, 20 to 30 minutes.
For the truffle velouté sauce, melt half of the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, whisk in the flour, and cook until foaming. Strain in the reduced broth and bring the sauce to a boil, whisking constantly until it thickens. Simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon lightly, about 2 minutes. Stir in the creme frache and the liquid from canned truffles, if using, and bring the sauce just back to a boil. Whisk in the chopped truffle and Cognac. Take from the heat and whisk in the remaining butter in small pieces. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
To finish, discard the trussing strings and set the chicken on a platter. Spoon a little sauce over the bird and around the base of the dish. The truffle slices should show clearly through the skin. Serve the remaining sauce separately. Carve the chicken at the table.