The traditional recipe for queen pâté (French: Bouchée à la reine, which could perhaps be casually translated as the “queen’s snack”) prescribes preparation with veal.
I myself prefer the fillet of an excellent chicken. If available, a Label Rouge or an equivalent product from the weekly market.
You need fresh, crisp, aromatic mushrooms.
Dried porcini mushrooms add complexity and sophistication to the Ragout Fin at the end.
You can make your own pâté out of French filo pastry. But you can also climb Mount Everest and die a miserable death.
I get the wonderful pastry from the baker I trust. Here in Karlsruhe, that’s the Lörz bakery, which has been producing the best goods since 1932 and has already won several awards from Feinschmecker.
For the stock
- 1 chicken of approx. 1.5 KG
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 bunch of greens
- 1 onion with skin
- 5 mushrooms
- If available: 1 tsp. fresh red Kampot peppercorns, otherwise black peppercorns
For the bechamel sauce
- 25 G butter
- 25 G flour
- 300 ML milk
- At least 200 ML stock
- Cayenne pepper
Für das Ragout Fin
- 300 G mushrooms
- 200 – 300 ML Alsatian wine, Sylvaner or Edelzwicker
- 500 ML Béchamel sauce
- Some butter for frying
- Fleur de Sel
- 1 tsp dried tarragon
- 5 grains green pepper
- 200-300 ML of the stock
- 20 G dried porcini mushrooms
- Parsley to your liking
Scald the chicken with boiling water and wash well on all sides under cold running water. The process can be repeated if necessary.
This way, when the stock boils, less or no foam will form and the stock will be clearer.
Put the chicken in a large pot and add cold water until the chicken is slightly covered.
Chop greens, add. Cut mushrooms in half and add. Season with fleur de sel and the pepper. Quarter the onion and add with the skin.
When the water starts to simmer, check whether foam forms, skim off if necessary.
After about 20 minutes, remove the chicken from the boiling broth and scoop out the breast, return the chicken to the pot and set the tenderloin aside.
Simmer the stock for about 1.5 to 2 hours. First pour the stock through a sieve and then let it drip through the kitchen towel again until there are no more floating particles in it and the stock has an amber shimmer.
I personally prepare it the day before, less stress.
Warm it briefly before use and pour it into the fat can to separate the excess fat (if any).
Béchamel sauce (according to the Bocuse Institute)
In a heavy medium saucepan, melt the butter and add the flour. Using a wooden spoon, quickly assemble over medium-low heat until golden.
Add heated milk peu à peu, pour in stock.
Continue stirring for at least another 5 minutes until the béchamel is smooth and creamy.
Add more milk or stock if needed.
Season with salt and spices to your liking.
Cut the chicken breast first crosswise, then lengthwise with a sharp knife. Cut into approx. 1x1cm cubes, set aside.
Cut the mushrooms into slices. Finely grind the tarragon and pepper in a mortar and sauté with a little butter in a large sauté pan, add the mushrooms and sauté until they develop a nice aroma and colour. Deglaze with wine. Add half of the béchamel sauce by the tablespoonful. Keep adding the stock and wine.
Now gently stir in the diced chicken breast and add the macerated porcini mushrooms.
Carefully stir in the rest of the béchamel sauce.
Pour the Ragout Fin into the slightly warmed pâté forms, spread some parsley on top and serve immediately.