The Secret to an Easy Valentine's Dinner that Wows: Black Truffles

February  7, 2017

A Valentine’s gift for you: a dinner that will blow away your date, your family, or your friends with minimal angst. Here to do all the heaving lifting for you? The luxurious black truffle. Our test kitchen chef, Josh Cohen, used double the precious tuber to transform a simple chicken breast into a decadent, wow-inducing, show-stopper of a main dish.

Photo by James Ransom

The secret lies in the marination: You gently prod shavings of black truffle under the skin of a chicken breast, and drop it in a resealable zip top bag where it bathes in milk and bay leaves.

After an overnight slumber in your fridge (or a couple hours if you're a more last-minute type of person), the whole plastic bag goes right into a pot of simmering water—you might recognize this as makeshift sous vide. The gentle bubbling will cook that chicken low and slow, resulting in moist, juicy meat. As Josh puts it, “The majority of chicken breast that we eat is dry and overcooked—this chicken is truly a revelation.”

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After its simmer, pat the chicken down, sear it in butter (only the richest for your Valentine), and make a simple pan sauce. Hold on, don’t freak out, you can make a pan sauce: After you remove the chicken from the pan, in go splashes of white wine, chicken stock, and a showering of truffle shavings over medium heat. Whisk, whisk, whisk and let the sauce reduce down to your desired thickness.

Ready? Plate it up, ring the dinner bell, and revel in the "ooohs" and "aaaaahs".

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Top Comment:
“I guess I could just put garlic and herbs under the chicken breast skin, but I'd love a new idea.”
— 2tattered

Making anything for your Valentines this year? Do tell.

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Kate DelCorpo
    Kate DelCorpo
  • susie romano
    susie romano
  • 2tattered
  • arcane54
  • Robyn
Olivia Bloom

Written by: Olivia Bloom

Has a soft spot for string cheese.


Kate D. February 8, 2017
I've never been able to buy nor seen boneless chicken breasts with skin on. I'm guessing this is a butcher request?
2tattered February 8, 2017
Buy a lovely chicken, carve off the breasts and make soup with the rest!
susie R. February 8, 2017
Truffles actually don't have much flavor. You're much better off using truffle oil and truffle salt. Much cheaper and much stronger truffle flavor. Going to try it!
Robyn February 8, 2017
Fresh truffles are very pungent. Nearly all truffle oils are artificially careful what you are paying money for. Best to make your own truffle oil
2tattered February 8, 2017
I would love to make this, but cannot afford truffles. Does anyone have a good idea for a substitute? I guess I could just put garlic and herbs under the chicken breast skin, but I'd love a new idea.
Chrissy C. February 8, 2017
I was thinking the same thing but thought about truffle oil? Not so expensive.
2tattered February 8, 2017
Truffle butter, maybe? If there IS such a thing. Dried truffle powder mixed into some butter - if there is such a thing as dried truffle powder (should be..)
2tattered February 8, 2017
Maybe grind up some dried porcini (crepes) and mix with butter to put under the skin. I'm going to try that, I think.
Shayna February 8, 2017
They sell truffle butter (and moderately priced truffles) at Whole Foods!
2tattered February 9, 2017
'Cepes ', damnit.
arcane54 February 8, 2017
Sounds delicious! And Oregon black truffles are available locally. Can any of our many Food52 chefs suggest options for cooking in plastic and still getting the juiciness mentioned? Perhaps a second parchment lid inside a saucepan? (Please don't try to reassure me that it's safe - just not doing it!)
Alegria February 8, 2017
Thinking the same thing. Cloth bag, wrapped in parchment, then plastic wrapped over the cloth and parchment?
JP February 8, 2017
There are commercially available silicone sous vide bags
Amanda S. February 8, 2017
+1 to what JP said—we stocked these reusable silicone baggies in our shop expressly for this purpose (and for toting sandwiches to work).