Very posh chicken breast fricassée with lemony artichokes and mushrooms
For the chicken
- 180g/6oz sea salt
- 180g/6oz caster sugar
- 4 chicken breasts
- plain flour, for dusting
- 25g/1oz butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the artichokes
To brine the chicken, dissolve the salt and sugar in 1.4litres/2½pints lukewarm water. Add the chicken, cover and transfer to the fridge. Leave to brine for at least 2 hours.
To prepare the artichokes, cut off the stalk about 1cm/½in from the globe. Peel off the outer leaves, brushing the white heart with lemon juice as you go to prevent it going black. When you have reached the heart, cut off the top about a third of the way up from the base and discard the top two-thirds. Scrape the hairy choke from the centre of the artichoke using a spoon.
Using a small knife, carve off the outer skin of the heart, applying lemon juice liberally as you go. Cut into about six slices and simmer in boiling water for 5 minutes, or until cooked through. Cover and set aside.
Discard the brine and blot the chicken dry using kitchen paper. Place between two pieces of cling film and, using a rolling pin, beat the chicken breasts until they are all an even thickness. Season well with salt and pepper and coat in the flour.
In a lidded sauté pan, melt the butter and olive oil over a medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown. Place the lid on and cook gently for ten minutes. Lift the chicken from the pan, wrap in aluminium foil and set aside to rest for 10 minutes.
To finish the artichokes, add the olive oil and butter to the sauté pan. Over a medium heat, gently cook the shallot until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Stir the artichokes and mushrooms in and cook until they just start to colour.
Add the wine and any remaining lemon juice and cook until the volume of liquid has reduced by half. Remove from the heat and fold through the lemon zest and basil. To serve, place the veggies in the middle of four plates, top with a chicken breast and a drizzle of the resting juices.