A specialty Lucerne, these are usually made with dumplings of ground veal or chicken, but the version here uses boneless chicken quickly poached to retain all its tenderness. 

Below, Chef Sascha Boettger of the Taube in Lucerne.

Makes about 8 servings

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat, rinsed, and dried

1 quart chicken stock

2 cups white cooking wine

2 large carrots, tipped and peeled

1 large leek, halved and rinsed

1 celery heart with leaves

1 yellow onion, root trimmed and halved

Bouquet:  3 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, 3 small branches fresh thyme, 2 bay leaves

Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 pounds white mushrooms, rinsed and sliced

1 pound frozen baby peas

6 tablespoons/3/4 stick unsalted butter

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup half and half or light cream

8 puff pastry croustades, see next page

Chopped parsley for serving

  1. Combine the chicken, stock, vegetables, and bouquet in a large soup pot or Dutch oven and add water to cover if necessary.  Bring to a simmer, skimming often, then season with a teaspoon of salt.  Cook the chicken at a steady simmer until tender, about 20 minutes.  Remove the meat from the liquid, cool slightly and cut into thin slices.  Place it in a bowl just large enough to hold it, strain a ladleful of the broth over it, cover, and set aside. Let the broth reduce for an hour, then strain it and discard the vegetables and bouquet.
  2. Combine the mushrooms, peas, and 2 cups of the broth in a saucepan with a cover.  Season with salt and bring to a boil.  Cook until tender, about 5 to 10 minutes.   Set aside.
  3. For the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour.  Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes to cook the flour.  Whisk in 4 cups of the reduced broth, adding the broth in which the mushrooms and peas were cooked if necessary.  Bring to a simmer and let the sauce simmer gently, stirring often, until it is reduced and thickened.  Taste and correct seasoning.
  4. When you’re ready to serve the croustades, reheat the sauce over low heat and add the cream.  Drain the meat and the mushrooms and peas and add to the sauce.
  5. Heat gently and pour a ladleful of the chicken and sauce into each croustade.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve immediately.

Puff Pastry Croustades

A delicious case for any creamy or sauced mixture, these croustades are as easy to prepare as they are lovely to behold.

Makes 12 croustades

2 sheets puff pastry, about 12 x 18 inches

Egg wash:  1 egg well whisked with a pinch of salt

  1. Lightly flour the work surface and place one sheet of the dough on it.  Use a pastry wheel to cut it into six 6-inch squares.
  2. Fold each square in half to form a triangle, then cut an inch in from the sides, over the fold, and almost to the tip.
  3. Place the triangles on a paper-lined baking pan and unfold them.
  4. Pierce the center square with tines of a fork and brush sparingly with egg wash.
  5. Fold each outside corner to its opposite inside corner.  Press on the border with a fingertip, then pierce the border with the point of a paring knife.
  6. Repeat with the second piece of dough.
  7. Chill for an hour.
  8. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake the croustades until deep golden and baked through, about 20 to 30 minutes.  Cool on a rack and reheat before serving.