Lobster fricassee with fish dumplings and asparagus

(Recipe #89, pages 144 – 145)

Thoroughly clean fat spring chickens, put them on the stove with barely enough salted water to cover; add a generous knob of butter and with some mace, and simmer until done, skimming carefully. A good ¼ hour beforehand, add very tender asparagus, well peeled and parboiled.

Meanwhile remove the meat from the head, tail, and claws of a boiled lobster and cut it into oblong pieces. Grind the shell, head, and legs rather coarsely in a mortar, and fry them slowly in butter for ½ hour.

When the chickens are tender, use a sharp knife to cut all the meat into dainty pieces, pour the fat and a bit of broth over them, add the asparagus tips, cover the pot, and keep it warm. Cook small fish dumplings (section XIV, no. 3) in the remaining broth and place them with the asparagus. Then add enough flour to make a fricassee sauce to the butter the shells have been simmered in, cook it until done, add chicken broth, boil it for ½ hour, and run it through a fine sieve.

Rinse the pot, put the chicken meat, asparagus, and dumplings in it, and pour the bright red, creamy sauce over them and simmer for a few minutes. Add the lobster meat (which like crayfish must not come to a boil again), take the pot off the stove, and stir 1–2 egg yolks into the sauce. Place the fricassee in a hot serving bowl and garnish with puff-past croutons.

Translated by David Green.

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