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Chicken Tart with Mushroom Pate (Duxelles)

Updated on September 9, 2017
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Exploring food facts, folklore, and fabulous recipes... one ingredient at a time.


I Have a Crush on Curtis Stone!

I did not use that title simply to drive more traffic to my article. Really, I didn't.

Those of you who know me know that I love my husband more than words can express. This year we celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary. And, just like a fine wine or aged cheese, yes it does get better with age. (OK, my kids are probably rolling their eyes about now). you remember when "Take Home Chef" was on TLC (The Learning Channel)? No matter what I was doing, when 4 o'clock rolled around I would stop, turn on the TV, and for 30 minutes smile and sigh and swoon a little over Curtis. For those of you who have not heard of Curtis Stone (really? You must be from another planet), he is a professionally-trained chef from Melbourne, Australia who has cooked in the finest restaurants in Europe. He worked at the Mirabelle, London as Sous Chef, helping create the Mirabelle Cookbook.

Eventually, he became Head Chef at Quo Vadis in Soho, London. Curtis was included in a book about London's finest chefs titled "London on a Plate." The book led to Curtis getting an agent and a number of opportunities within the media. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Yes, I idolize him for his brain. (And did I mention that he was included in the 2006 People Magazine list of 100 Sexist Men?)


In December last year, my younger daughter asked me what I wanted for Christmas. "Curtis" was my reply. Well, she couldn't actually give me Curtis--the shipping costs would have been exorbitant (after all, he's 6'4"!). But she gave me one of his cookbooks, and a wonderful one it is.

"Cooking with Curtis--Easy, Everyday, and Adventurous Recipes for the Home Cook" presents traditional seasonal favorites. And for each "featured" main ingredient there are three separate recipes--one for the novice, one for the semi-experienced cook, and one for the pro.

Today I leafed through the book searching for something special I could prepare for my husband (still my No. 1 guy!) and my older daughter. And my eyes landed on "Pigeon and Foie GrasTart". Why? I have no idea. I'll never eat pigeon (but I can substitute chicken breast). And, do you know what foie gras is? I do and I'll NEVER go there. So what could I use instead? What about the mushroom pate that is commonly used in a Beef Wellington, duxelles!!??

So, with a plea for forgiveness from Curtis, I present my own version of his recipe, "Chicken Tart with Mushroom Duxelles."

5 stars from 1 rating of Chicken Tart with Mushroom Pate

Cook Time

Prep time: 1 hour 25 min
Cook time: 12 min
Ready in: 1 hour 37 min
Yields: 4 servings


  • 4 small or 2 medium boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 sheets puff pastry
  • 2 cups baby spinach, blanched and squeezed to remove excess moisture
  • tomato fondue, (see below)
  • mushroom pate (duxelles), (see below)
  • 1 egg, mixed with fork
  • 3 tablespoons milk

Instructions for the Tarts

  1. Prepare the tomato fondue and set aside.
  2. Prepare the mushroom pate (duxelles) and set aside.
  3. Next, assemble the tarts.
  4. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, swirling to coat. Carefully add the chicken breasts and sauté about 4 minutes per side or until no longer pink in the center and nicely browned. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
  5. Cut each puff pastry sheet into 4 squares (a total of 8 squares). Place 4 pastry squares on a waxed-paper lined tray. Place a little spinach in the center of each disc to form the base of the tart, then place a cooked/cooled chicken breast on top. If using small breasts they should fit nicely. If small breasts are not available cut the medium-sized breasts to fit onto the puff pastry rounds. Spread the tomato fondue on the breast and spread about 2 tablespoons of the mushroom pate on top of each (using 8 tablespoons total). Lay another pastry square on the top and press down the sides of the pie to make a tart that looks slightly like a ravioli.
  6. Place the tarts in the refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Beat together egg and milk. Remove the tarts from refrigerator and brush with egg and milk wash. Prick the tops 3-4 times with a small knife. Place the tarts on a baking tray and bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

The Tomato Fondue (as Published in Curtis Stone's Book)

  • ·2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ·1 shallot, peeled and diced
  • ·1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • ·1fresh thyme sprig
  • ·1 bay leaf
  • ·1/4 cup red wine
  • ·10 plum tomatoes, peeled and de-seeded

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the shallot and sweat for 2 minutes until soft. Add the garlic, thyme, and bay leaf and leave to sweat until soft. Pour the red wine into the pan and stir to deglaze, then reduce the liquor to a glaze. Add the tomatoes and reduce to a thick paste. Remove the pan from the heat and cool. Transfer to a bowl, cover and leave to chill in the refrigerator until required.

Mushroom Pate (Duxelles)

  • ·1/2 lb .mushrooms (morels are great, but button mushrooms work)
  • ·2 Tbsp. unsalted butter; divided
  • ·3 Tbsp. finely chopped shallot
  • ·Salt and pepper to taste
  • ·1/2 tsp. dried thyme or 1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • ·1/4 cup dry vermouth, sherry, or white wine

Finely chop the mushrooms in a food processor. Scrape mushrooms out into a clean, cotton towel. (Note: Do not use terry cloth, and choose an old towel as you will stain it.) Twist the towel around mushrooms and wring out as much liquid as you can over the sink.

Heat a large (10-inch) non-stick skillet over a burner set between medium and medium-high. Add 1 tablespoon butter and swirl to melt and avoid burning. Add mushrooms, shallots, a pinch of salt, a pinch of black pepper, and thyme. Cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms appear dry and are beginning to brown; about 5 minutes. Stir in remaining tablespoon of butter, and, when melted, the sherry or wine. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vermouth has evaporated. Remove from heat and cool.

© 2013 Linda Lum


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    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      5 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Patsybell - Don't worry about your previous comment. We can (still) be friends. I appreciate the open dialogue. I know that you are following me now. I hope you will take the time to look at my other recipes.

      One of the problems I find with submitting recipes on Hubs is that "quantity" seems to have more weight than "quality". I don't "do" videos. And I don't enbed each step of the process with photos. First of all, I think that is demeaning to your readers (are they so dumb they don't know what boiling water looks like?), and secondly, if you are really a good writer, you don't need to post photos.

    • Patsybell profile image

      Patsy Bell Hobson 

      5 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

      My apologies. I did not mean to offend you. I admire your talent. If it were in my power, I would withdraw my earlier comment.

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      5 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Patsybell - I appreciate your endorsement of me as "a talented and creative cook". However, my daughter is a professional journalist, and the label of plagerism is something I take very seriously. I have always felt that the great thing about recipes is that they can be a stepping off point to inspiration and new ideas. If the powers-that-be of Hubpages deem my hub too akin to what Mr. Stone prepared, then my hub will not be featured. Tucking cooked chicken into puff pastry is not a new concept and is not solely owned by Curtis Stone. He did "his thing" with it, and I did mine. The only portion of his recipe that I used was the tomato fondue which I accredited to him.

    • Patsybell profile image

      Patsy Bell Hobson 

      5 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

      Voted up and useful. I much prefer your recipe to the chef's. I don't really care about Cutis and your crush. I do see you are a talented and creative cook. I would like to see more or Your talent. Everything else in the story is clutter and plagerism.


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