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Chicken Paupiettes with Lemon-Tarragon Sauce

Chicken Paupiettes with Lemon-Tarragon Sauce
A paupiette is a thin piece of beef, chicken or veal that is stuffed and rolled before cooking. When this particular version is sliced, it reveals a colorful pinwheel design of vegetables and meat.

Ingredients:

  • 12 large spinach leaves
  • 1 carrot, peeled and julienned
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, each 5 oz.
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto, trimmed
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 2 tsp. arrowroot
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs. fromage blanc
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon, plus leaves for garnish

Directions:

Bring a saucepan three-fourths full of water to a boil. Add the spinach leaves and blanch for 5 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a plate, arranging them so that they may be easily separated; set aside. Add the carrot to the same boiling water and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Using a meat pounder, pound each of the chicken breasts between 2 sheets of plastic wrap to a uniform thickness of about 1/4 inch. Season the breasts with salt and pepper. Place the chicken breasts on a work surface. Arrange 3 spinach leaves atop each breast, covering the meat completely. Top the spinach with the prosciutto and then the carrot, again dividing evenly and leaving a 1/2-inch border on each of the 2 short ends of the chicken. Fold the short sides in over the filling and, beginning from a long side, roll up tightly. Tie each roll at 2-inch intervals with kitchen string.

Heat a nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat. Coat the pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the rolls, seam sides down, and cook until browned, about 4 minutes. Turn and continue to cook until the chicken is opaque throughout, about 4 minutes more. Transfer the rolls to a cutting board and let rest for 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the broth and shallot and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for about 5 minutes. In a small bowl, stir together the arrowroot and lemon juice until the arrowroot is dissolved, then whisk the mixture into the sauce. Boil until reduced to 2/3 cup, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the fromage blanc and chopped tarragon. Ladle the sauce onto warmed individual plates. Slice the rolls and fan over the sauce. Garnish with tarragon leaves and serve hot.
Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Fresh & Light, by Lane Crowther (Time-Life Books, 1998).