Chicken mousseline

Chicken mousseline

By
From
Leiths How to Cook
Makes
400 g
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

A mousseline can be poached as it is and served with a sauce, or used as a base to which other flavourings are added, in which case it often becomes a stuffing.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
200g boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 egg white
175ml double cream, chilled
salt
ground white pepper

Method

  1. Trim any sinew from the chicken breasts and cut them into chunks. Place in a food processor and blend until broken down and smooth. Try not to blend for too long or the chicken will become warm. Add the egg white and a pinch of salt and blend again to mix.
  2. Pass the chicken through a very fine drum sieve into a bowl, a little at a time, using a scraper to push it through the mesh. Work in small batches, as trying to sieve too much at once will overwork and warm up the chicken. Once it is all sieved, weigh it. You will need three-quarters of this weight in cream. Cover the chicken and chill for about 30 minutes until cold.
  3. Now add 1–2 tablespoons chilled cream at a time to the chicken, beating it in quickly after each addition, using a plastic spatula. It must be added gradually or the mousseline will be too thin to hold its shape. Once all the cream has been added, poach a little of the mousseline in simmering water to test for seasoning, then taste and add salt and white pepper as necessary.
  4. Chill the mixture until ready to use.

Variation

  • Fish mousseline: Replace the chicken breast with skinless salmon fillet or a white fish fillet.

A note on preparing mousselines...

  • A mousseline is generally chicken or fish, blended to a paste and with an equal quantity of cream added before it is seasoned.

    All ingredients and ideally all equipment (particularly if making larger quantities) must be kept chilled at all times, or the cream can curdle as it is added and cause the mousseline to separate, or make it very thin and unable to hold its shape.

    Enough cream needs to be added to lighten the mousseline, or it will be heavy and dense. Conversely, if too much cream is added, it dilutes the flavour of the chicken or fish and prevents the mousseline from binding. As a guide, use between three-quarters and equal parts of cream to chicken or fish.

    Mousselines must be cooked carefully to ensure they remain very soft and tender. Overcooking will toughen them, making them rubbery, and if very overcooked and overheated they can split and become grainy and watery.
Tags:
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
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