This sounds like a complicated menu, but it’s a snap! Serve with a little salad and some strawberries (quartered and macerated with some of the port and little sugar) with whipped cream for dessert.
1 lb of fresh spring peas or frozen
1/2 to 1 cup of chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
4 TB of sour cream
1 tsp of fresh lime juice (or to taste)
4 free range boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 bottle of ruby port
1 large star anise or 2 small ones
1 large red pepper
1 lb of Florida fingerling potatoes
1 TB of olive oil
1 tsp of five spice powder
Spring pea soup
In a blender, add peas and enough chicken stock to make a soup consistency. (Allow frozen peas to thaw first or blanch fresh peas in boiling salted water for three to four minutes and shock in ice water.) Add 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper. Check for seasoning to personal preference. Chill until serving time. In a separate bowl, combine sour cream and lime juice. Chill until serving. Pour the soup into four bowls and add a large spoonful of lime crema to each bowl. Swirl with the point of a knife into the soup.
Trim any sinew from the breasts. Salt and pepper each one. In a large frying pan, add port and star anise. Put heat on medium high and add the breasts (before it heats up). Add water to just cover the breasts. When it comes to a boil, lower heat to maintain a low simmer without letting it come to a full boil. Poach for ten minutes, then turn off the heat and let it sit for another 10 – 15 minutes. At serving time, slice each breast and fan one on each plate.
Sweet red pepper sauce
Heat oven to broil. Place red pepper two inches below broiler on a sheet pan. Do not walk away! Turn pepper occasionally until it chars on all sides. Allow to cool slightly and remove skin with a sharp paring knife. Take out seeds and add pepper to a food processor. Add a splash of chicken stock, if needed to make the consistency of a sauce. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, if desired. ( I like the sweetness of the pepper on its own.) Serve on the plate next to the chicken, or drizzle on top.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the fingerlings lengthwise in half. Place on a sheet pan and add the olive oil, five spice powder, a tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper. Combine with clean hands and roast for 30 – 40 minutes until they become golden.