Thursday, November 17, 2011

Asparagus and Chicken Mousse with Orange Butter

          Strange as it may sound, but I’ve never served this typically “entrée” type of a dish as an appetizer – I had it a few times only for breakfast. It might seem too pretentious but I don’t find anything wrong with starting a day with something fancy, delicious and a bit elaborate. And I can really sacrifice half an hour of extra sleep in the morning for getting a sensational dish on my plate.

            To say true, I love asparagus as a side for a savoury breakfast. But since I wanted to transform it into a main ingredient for my first meal of the day, I turned to “Larousse gastronomique”. One of the recipes that I found was perfect for my intentions – a light mousse with an orange butter. Love citrus fruits! So sweet and juicy, they give a boost of flavour to any dish and make the whole plate look vibrant – especially in the first rays of an early morning sun! I guess that was the main reason why I enjoyed having this mousse for breakfast. So….probably I will serve this dish as a starter at a dinner party one day, but right now it’s only on my “breakfast” menu – with a big “star” mark indicating a favourite.

Recipe adapted from “Larousse Gastronomique”


200 gm asparagus spears, trimmed and blanched
60 asparagus tips (about 5 cm long)
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
50 gm raw chicken meat
2 tbsp crème fraiche
100 ml light cream
salt and black pepper to taste

Orange butter
100 gm butter
juice of 1 orange
zest of ½ orange
salt and black pepper to taste

4 tbsp crème fraiche
zest of ½ orange


  1. For mousse, blend asparagus spears with the egg, the egg yolk, chicken meat, crème fraiche and light cream. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Preheat the oven to 140C. Grease 4 moulds with butter. Arrange asparagus tips vertically at regular intervals around the edge of each mould. Fill the moulds with the mousse and bake them in a bain-marie for 20 minutes.
  3. For orange butter, reduce the orange juice with the zest. Whisking continually, add butter cut into small pieces. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. To serve, carefully remove each portion of mousse from the moulds and transfer them to the serving plates. Garnish with quenelles of crème fresh and orange zest. Pour orange butter around.


  1. You can experiment with the mousse by adding truffle juice (reduce the amount of cream in this case) or by partially substituting chicken meat with precooked mushrooms.
  2. I love the charred flavour of asparagus tips while my husband is not so excited about it so I don’t put them in his mould any more. If you want, you can make your mousse without those tips as well.

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