David's Recipe for Chicken Breasts with Thyme and Lemon
Why potato starch? I made this the day after Passover, and potato starch was the only starch-type thickener I had in the house. I suspect that if you substitute fish filets for the chicken and cook a little less, you get a Sephardic Pesach dish I once saw in a book.
Main Course, Vaguely Greek
- 12 skinless and boneless chicken breasts
- Olive oil for sauteing
- 2 lemons
- 1 soup spoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 to 1 coffee spoon freshly ground white pepper
- 5 egg yolks
- 2 quarts boiling water
- 2 soups spoons potato starch
- 4 soup spoons water for the starch paste
- Cut the chicken breasts in half along their length and remove any unpleasant tendons.
- Brown the chicken breasts lightly on both sides.
- Squeeze the lemons into the egg yolks. Zest the lemons and add the zest. Beat lightly.
- Put the chicken breasts in a saucepan, and add the boiling water and white pepper.
- Crush the thyme leaves with your fingers and add to the chicken stock.
- Cook on a low simmer for 20 minutes. You will get a light brown broth.
- Add the water to the potato starch a little at a time to make a smooth paste.
- Lower the heat even further and very slowly add the starch paste to the chicken broth while stirring rapidly.
- Bring to a boil and immediate reduce to a simmer.
- Lower the heat until it is very low and slip a heat diffuser under the pot.
- While stirring rapidly, slowly add the egg-lemon mixture.
- Allow to cook on the same very low heat for another 5 minutes.
- Serve immediately. If you serve with rice, pour some of the sauce on the rice also.
- I suspect that this dish is also good served cold. On the other hand, the sauce will curdle slightly if left standing for a few hours, even with no additional heat.