Chicken and Mushroom Flan
- 150 gms béchamel sauce
- 500 gms mushroom, sliced
- 200 gms chicken breast, cubed
- 50 ml olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 pinch freshly ground nutmeg, or to taste
- 50 gms grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- 2 whole eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 50 gms butter
- 50 gms bread crumbs, lightly toasted
- 100 gms Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
- 100 gms heavy cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
FOR FONDANT (SAUCE)
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius / gas mark 6. Heat some olive oil in a pan and sauté the onion and mushroom till they turn brown. Heat the rest of the olive oil and toss the chicken on very high heat. Do this in batches of two or three.
Keep the pans aside and let them cool. Puree one-half of the mushroom mix in a food processor till it turns smooth and creamy.
Mix the pureed mushroom in a bowl with the Béchamel sauce, salt, nutmeg, Parmigiano Reggiano, eggs and egg yolks. Stir the ingredients until they combine completely. Gently fold in the balance mushroom and chicken.
Butter a mould, or individual small moulds, and coat with breadcrumbs. Fill the mould(s) with mushroom mix. Place the mould(s) in a water bath (bain marie) before baking. Bake until the top of the sformato turns golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. It will take about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove and cool for 15 minutes.
To make the sauce, mix the grated Parmigiano Reggiano, heavy cream, and salt and pepper in a small saucepan. Heat gently, stirring constantly, until the sauce turns smooth and creamy.
To serve, turn the sformato out onto a large plate. Cut into two-inch slices and place them on serving plates. Spoon the fondant over the slices and serve immediately.
Note:Sformato is a sort of Italian baked custard or flan. Normally it is a first course in Italy, but you can also serve it as a light lunch main course or side dish.
By Chef Ritu Dalmia