Recipes, Chicken Recipes

Roast chicken crown, wild mushrooms & cream sauce

By roasting a chicken crown, you maximise both the flavour and texture of the breast — foaming brown butter, thyme, and mushrooms only serve to enhance it in this recipe further.

When the wild mushroom season in the UK comes around in the late Summer and through into Autumn, this is a lovely way to serve a roasted chicken crown. Chicken, mushrooms, and a cream sauce work on many levels, and the spätzle makes a fun addition. They are something a bit different, which you might find yourself making quite often —they are easy to do and very versatile.

Chicken crown cooked and sliced in a pan, with wild mushrooms and cream sauce.

Serves 2-3


For the spätzle

For the cream sauce


The first thing to do here is make the spätzle dough:

  1. Whisk the eggs together in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the flour and salt and mix into the egg mixture. Slowly add the water and mix until it comes together as a loose dough. Leave to one side, covered with a dish cloth.

Then attention needs to turn to the cream sauce:

  1. In a large saucepan, which has a lid that fits, add the butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. To this, add the mushrooms and begin to caramelise. Once they have begun to colour, add the rest of the vegetables — the celery, onions, garlic, bay, thyme, and fennel seeds. Season well with salt and cook with the lid on, stirring regularly, over a medium heat for around 15 minutes. You want to really sweat out all that lovely flavour from the vegetables.
  2. Once the vegetables are all soft and sweet, turn the heat up and add the vermouth. Let this boil and reduce a touch, then add the chicken stock and bring up to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid has reduced by about a third. Then add the cream and reduce by about a third again.
  3. Pass the liquid through a sieve, making sure to squeeze all the liquid out of the vegetables. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Add a splash of lemon juice or vinegar to balance the acidity.

To roast the chicken crown:

  1. Remove the crown from the fridge and it’s packaging at least two hours before you want to cook it. Season it well with salt.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  3. Choose an oven-proof pan that is big enough for the crown and place it over a medium heat. Add a tablespoon of oil and then the chicken crown, breast side down. We want to colour off the skin of the bird. Keep it moving around the pan, regulating the heat as necessary, until the skin is nicely browned.
  4. At this point, add a large knob of butter, letting it brown lightly. Baste the crown with the butter and then add 2 sprigs of thyme and the mushrooms to the pan. Moving everything around so that the mushrooms coat the bottom of the pan and the chicken rests on top. Place in the oven and set a timer for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Remove the chicken from the oven and leave to rest for at least 20 minutes, somewhere warm.

While the chicken is in the oven, you need to cook the spätzle:

  1. Fill a pan with water, as if you were about to cook pasta, and bring it to the boil. Make sure it is seasoned with salt.
  2. Find a colander and place it over the boiling water and then spoon about ¼ of the dough into the bottom of the colander. Using the back of a big spoon, gently push the dough through the colander and into the boiling water. Once the dough hits the water, it will begin to cook and they should resemble little wiggly worms, or at least that’s how they appear to me.
  3. Melt a large knob of butter in another saucepan.
  4. The spätzle will only take a minute to cook. Remove them with a slotted spoon and tip them into the melted butter.
  5. Repeat the process until all the dough is cooked.
  6. Season the spätzle with salt and a little grate of nutmeg.

    You are ready to serve, probably in a bowl, so you can get plenty of that cream sauce in there.

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