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Peppered chicken breast with mustard spinach and flambéed mushroom sauce


  • 4 x 150g/6oz free-range chicken breasts, skin off

  • 2 tbsp mixed peppercorns

  • 2 tbsp light olive oil

  • 75g/3oz unsalted butter, diced and chilled

  • 175g/6½ packet mild mixed mushrooms, sliced

  • Good splash cognac

  • 150ml/5¼fl oz fresh chicken stock (from a carton is fine)

  • 2 tsp sherry vinegar

  • 200g/7oz English spinach leaves (not baby)

  • Good splash double cream

  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1.

    Place the chicken on a chopping board and beat flat with a meat tenderizer. Next place the peppercorns on a plate and spread over each piece of chicken, pressing down to form a thick crust.

  • 2.

    Heat one tablespoon of the light olive oil and 25g/1oz of the butter in a wide shallow frying pan, add the chicken breasts and cook for 2 minutes each side. Then allow to rest whilst you make your sauce.

  • 3.

    Tip in the mushrooms along with the remaining oil, and cook for a minute until tender, then tip on to a plate and reserve.

  • 4.

    Quickly deglaze the pan with the cognac scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to release any sediment then add the sherry vinegar and pour in the chicken stock.  Allow to simmer down for a couple of minutes until slightly reduced and thickened.

  • 5.

    Tip in the cooked mushrooms and allow to warm through, then whisk in 25g/1oz of the remaining butter until you have achieved a smooth glossy finish and remove from the heat.

  • 6.

    Add the remaining butter to a large pan and once it starts to foam tip in the spinach. Sauté over a high heat until just wilted. Season to taste then stir in the cream and the mustard.

  • 7.

    To serve place some spinach in the centre of each plate followed by a rested piece of chicken finish with a spoonful of the flambeed mushroom sauce.

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