Prep 25 mins
Cook 1 hr 15 mins
Here is another recipe from McCall's Cooking School; this one for chilled chicken breasts covered in a delicious tuna (tonnato) sauce. This makes a very pleasant make-ahead hot weather meal. It is a take-off of the more familiar vitello (veal) tonnato. Indeed, the delicious sauce, which could be described as a tuna mayonnaise, can also be used over poached veal, over turkey cutlets, even over cold hard-cooked eggs or as a dip for crudites. You'll probably think of other uses, as well. I used to poach the chicken as detailed in the recipe, but nowadays, I bake them in the style of Ina Garten (Cooked Chicken for Recipes - Barefoot Contessa Style). The meat is juicy and tender, perfect for this presentation. Tuna packed in olive oil will give the best flavor to the tonnato. Any leftover sauce will keep, refrigerated, for up to 5 days.
- 1 head iceberg lettuce
- 4 whole chicken breasts (1 lb. each)
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 1 stalk celery, sliced
- 1 carrot, pared and sliced
- 2 parsley sprigs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 small bay leaf
- 1 (10 3/4 ounce) can condensed chicken broth, undiluted
- 1 cup water
- 1 (2 ounce) can anchovy fillets
- 1 (7 ounce) can tuna
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1⁄2 cup finely chopped celery
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 dash black pepper
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tomatoes, cut into 8 wedges
- watercress leaf
- kalamata olives (optional) or nicoise olive (optional)
- Cut out core of iceberg lettuce with pointed knife; discard core. Hold cut part of lettuce under cold running water to separate leaves. Drain well on paper towels, in colander or salad spinner. Refrigerate, stored in plastic bag in crisper or plastic container with tight fitting lid.
- Wipe chicken breasts with damp paper towel. With sharp knife, split in half. In large 10-inch skillet, combine onion, celery stalk, carrot, parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, the thyme, bay leaf, undiluted chicken broth, and water. Over medium heat bring to boiling; add the chicken.
- Bring to boiling; reduce heat; simmer, covered, 30 minutes, or until chicken is fork-tender. Remove skillet from heat; cool chicken breasts in broth 1 hour. Meanwhile make Tonnato Sauce: Drain anchovy fillets; with sharp kinfe, chop 2 fillets; reserve the rest for garnish.
- Drain tuna; discard liquid. In blender or food processor, combine chopped anchovies with tuna, mayonnaise, chopped celery, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Blend until smooth. Turn into 2-cup container with tight-fitting lid; refrigerate, covered. Makes about 2 cups.
- Remove cooled chicken breasts from broth; strain broth, and refrigerate, covered, to use another time. Remove and discard skin and bone from chicken breasts. With sharp knife, shred lettuce.
- To serve: Cover a large round serving platter with shredded lettuce. Place one whole tomato, cut into 8ths and reassembled, in the very center of the plate. Arrange the 8 breast halves on lettuce in a circle around this tomato. Spoon tonnato over each breast, covering it completely. Garnish each breast with a whole reserved anchovy fillet. Place tomato wedges between breasts Garnish with watercress.