Jean-Christophe Novelli's fresh take on dishes with fromage
Sunday, 29 July 2012

Say cheese!

Jean-Christophe Novelli's fresh take on dishes with fromage

Written by Katy Pearson
Fancy something a little bit special? Here French celebrity chef Jean-Christophe Novelli transforms the humble char-grilled chicken and simple bruschetta...

Char grilled chicken, leek, Port Salut and button mushroom fricassee, whole meal crouton


  • 4 x skinned and boneless chicken supreme's (cut into thin strips)
  • 2 leeks, trimmed, washed and cut into thin slices
  • 2 x spring onions (trimmed and chopped into thin roundels)
  • 1 clove of garlic (peeled and crushed)
  • 100g chestnut or button mushrooms (sliced)
  • 100g grated Port Salut 50g breadcrumbs
  • 50g grated Port Salut
  • 75ml double cream
  • 25g butter
  • 1 bunch of chives (chopped)
  • 4 slices of wholemeal bread (cut into fingers)
  • 25ml olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried herbs
  • 1/2 glass white wine


1. Heat a char grill skillet until very hot, brush the chicken strips with some of the oil and season with salt and pepper and your favourite spice, paprika is good as is cumin or garam marsala.

2. Quickly char grill the chicken pieces until well coloured and cooked through remove from the skillet and keep warm.

3. In a large saucepan melt the butter over a low heat.

4. Add the leek and spring onion and sweat until tender.

5. Add the garlic and the mushrooms and continue to cook until the mushrooms are tender and softened.

6. Add the white wine and the cream allow to boil

7. Add the 100g of Port Salut and continue to simmer until the cheese is melted and the sauce is thick add the chives.

8. Add the strips of chicken and stir in to coat with the sauce.

9. Place in an oven proof serving dish.

10. In a small mixing bowl combine the 50g of Port Salut with the breadcrumbs and scatter this over the top.

11. Bake in a pre heated oven until the crumbs are crisp and golden and the cheese has melted.

For the wholemeal croutons

1. Place the bread fingers on a baking tray.

2. Brush with olive oil, dried herbs and season with cracked pepper

3. Bake in a hot oven until crisp and golden brown, serve on a side plate with the chicken and leek fricassee.



Bruschetta recipes

Crispy granary bruschetta, poached egg, spinach and a Port Salut glaze


  • 4 eggs (free range, large)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
  • 4 thick slices of ciabattas bread
  • 25ml olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried herbs
  • 400g washed baby spinach leaves
  • 100ml double cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 100g Port Salut (grated)
  • 50g butter (optional)
  • Sprinkle of ground nutmeg


1. On a baking sheet place the slices of ciabattas, brush with olive oil and season with dried herbs, salt and pepper.

2. Place in a hot oven and bake until crisp and golden brown.

3. Place on four plates or a serving dish.

4. In a large sauce pan heat plenty of water to boiling point.

5. Add a couple of tablespoons of white wine vinegar and season to taste with salt

6. Once boiling stir with a whisk to start a circular motion in the water and crack in the eggs one at a time, bring to the boil and immediately turn down to a simmer, cook for 3-4 minutes if a soft egg is required, a little longer for a firmer egg and 5-7 minutes for a hard poached egg.

7. Keep the eggs warm in the water until needed.

8. In a sauce pan bring the cheese to the boil reduce for a few minutes to thicken remove from the heat.

9. Stir in the Port Salut and the eggs, allow the cheese to melt

10. In a frying pan add half the butter if used and add the spinach cover with a tight fitting lid and bring to the boil allow the water from the spinach to cook the leaves and when soft and wilted strain to remove any excess water remaining.

11. Season with salt and pepper and spoon an equal amount onto each ciabattas bruschetta.

12. Top with an egg and mask with the cheese and cream mix

13. Place under a hot grill and grill until bubbling and golden brown

14. Garnish with some snipped chives and serve.




Something for after?

Jean-Christophe Novelli's top cheeseboard theatre tips:

1. Add some flavoured texture to your cheeseboard by dropping plain bread in favour of a fruit & nut bread such as apricot & walnut or prune & hazelnut and serve it slightly stale, cut into thin wafer slices

2. Fruit and cheese are a classic combination but give your grapes some extra character by serving them frozen – simply wash a bunch of grapes and shake off any excess water, place on a plate and pop in the freezer, serve directly once frozen onto the cheeseboard giving a more interesting texture with extra bite

3. Add a simple twist on the traditional by pairing your cheese with fruit that has a sharp acidity such as: cherries, raspberries, gooseberries, redcurrants, nectarines and tangy plums – these work well frozen too

4. Turn your cheeseboard into a visual feast by serving long celery stems in a vase of ice water. Team with a small bowl of rock salt too for dipping

5. Radishes are a tasty substitute to celery providing a peppery bite, leave a little stem on each on to hold on to and these can also be dipped in the rock salt

6. A fashionable alternative to the classic chutney is quince jelly – its sweet flavour will add a different dimension to your cheeseboard

7. Spice up your cheeseboard with a handful of sliced chillies or jalapenos, to give a flavoursome punch to your cheeseboard, this works particularly well with hard cheeses – these will complement the quince jelly too

8. Tantalise tastebuds with a rollercoaster ride of textures and flavours by adding olives and nuts to your cheeseboard

9. For an unexpected flavour, add some ground coffee beans to your board. A little sprinkle will give your cheeseboard a delicious edge

10. Use dried vine leaves, herb sprigs and edible flowers to add more drama, aroma and taste to your cheeseboard

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