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Soak the dried morels for the sauce in hot water for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Infuse the oil with the garlic in an ovenproof pan over moderate heat for 2 minutes. Pat the chicken breasts dry with kitchen paper then season with sea salt and black pepper. Fry the chicken, skin-side down, in the oil with the thyme, for 5 minutes or until the skin is golden and crisp.
Turn the chicken over, add the butter to the pan, and sear the other side while spooning the melted butter and oil over for 1-2 minutes. Turn the chicken once again, so that the skin is facing upwards, then roast for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.
For the morel sauce:
Make the sauce in the meantime. Drain and cool the morels, reserving the liquid. Heat a little olive oil in a pan and sauté the shallots, thyme and garlic for 5-6 minutes until golden. Add the morels, a little more oil and seasoning. Cook for 5-6 minutes, then carefully pour in most of the morel soaking liquid (leaving the sediment behind).
Add the wine and bubble until most almost totally reduced. Add the chicken stock and boil for 8-10 minutes until reduced by half. Add the cream and simmer until thickened to the consistency of single cream. Pass through a sieve, pressing the mushrooms and shallots to extract as much flavour as possible. Season and return the sauce to the pan.
Sauté the fresh morels in butter with some seasoning. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice and keep warm.
Rest the chicken while you reheat the sauce. Slice each chicken breast in two horizontally and season each half. Arrange on warm plates, pour the sauce around and scatter with the cooked fresh morels. Serve with the asparagus and sautéed potatoes.
For the asparagus break off the tough and woody stems at the base of the spears. Heat a griddle pan until almost smoking. Brush the asparagus with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the asparagus to the griddle pan with a pair of tongs and griddle until tender, turning them now and again to cook evenly.
Charlotte potatoes with garlic, pancetta and thyme:
Peel the potatoes and cut into even 1cm cubes. Parboil in salted water for 3-4 minutes. Drain well and pat dry with kitchen paper. Heat a little oil in a frying pan. Sauté the potatoes with the garlic and thyme until the potatoes are almost cooked. Add the pancetta and continue to cook, until the pancetta is golden brown and crisp on the edges. Remove the thyme and garlic and check for seasoning.
Copyright © Gordon Ramsay
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