CHEF and blogger Paul James writes for our paper.
The idea for this recipe came from reading about a town on the island of Corsica, called Cargèse.
The island of Corsica is a territorial collective of France. The regional capital is Ajaccio, But it was Cargèse, a small town located on the western edge of Corsica which struck me the most.
Now anyone who follows this column or my food and travel Facebook page ‘Recipes From My Travels’ knows of my love of Greek food and culture, so finding out about this small town intrigued me.
In 1676 a group of 600 Greeks, escaping from the invasion of their country by Turkey, set up home in Corsica. The location they chose was at Cargèse and as a result it is still known as ‘the Greek village’.
So I thought I would come up with a dish using ingredients popular with Corsica and also France.
The Genoese, who ruled Corsica for hundreds of years before the French took over in 1768, planted sweet chestnut trees throughout the island. The chestnuts were used to make pancakes, bread and also porridge.
Tarragon is one of the four fine herbs of France and is used for chicken, fish, and egg dishes.
Tarragon has a wonderfully aniseed taste that is easily identifiable.
I decided to incorporate the chestnuts, French mustard with the rice to make a lovely smooth stuffing, then served it with a velvety tarragon infused mayonnaise.
Served with a simple side salad – it is all that is needed for a perfect lunch.
Visit recipesfrommytravels.com for more on Paul’s blog and recipes.
Corsican chicken with chestnut stuffing and tarragon mayonnaise
100grams of Pre-packed cooked chestnuts
100grams of Wild grain rice (par cooked)
1 chicken fillet breast
2tbsp of mayonnaise
1tsp of lemon juice
1/2 tsp of French mustard
1tsp of shredded fresh tarragon
A good knob of butter
1. Par cook the wild rice and put to one side to cool down.
2. Roughly chop up the chestnuts.
3. Blend both together in a small food processor.
4. Add the French mustard, mix and put to one side.
5. Get your fillet and insert a sharp knife into the side and carefully open up the chicken to form a small envelope.
6. Put a griddle pan on so it is hot and pre-heat the oven to 180c
7. Get the chestnut stuffing and gently fill the chicken, trying not to overfill.
8. Fold over and put a couple of skewers through the fillet to hold it into place.
9. Place onto the griddle pan and leave it for a few minutes, carefully turn it over, add a knob of butter on top and cook for another couple of minutes and transfer it to the oven until it is thoroughly cooked.
10. Leave to rest onto a plate.
11. In a bowl add the mayonnaise, tarragon and lemon juice and give it a good mix.
12. Cut the chicken fillet on an angle and serve with salad and a good dollop of mayonnaise or if you are feeling ‘cheffy’, pipe it onto the plate.