Sunday, 7 June 2015

Guinea Fowl, Sandwich, Charred Corn, Spiced Fennel Puree & Jus

Sometimes in class we get to do a bit of whatever we want.  We're given a list of ingredients and we're told to go wild, and this was that. 
 I can only imagine attempting this at home without 12 different pots and pans and all the equipment and porters washing after you.  Maybe you're luckier than I am, so maybe this is easily achievable at home under an hour. 

I'm almost done with school, how crazy is that?  Almost done with 9 months of intensive culinary school.  I've gained 2 kilos, my hands are scarred for life and I've grown to love Crocs.  Everyday I wear the sexy chef outfit with the loose patterned pants, the oversized jacket, the hairnet, the hat and the black Crocs that are so incredibly comfortable. Wouldn't dare to be seen in them outside the school but I think I'll use them as slippers at home after this course. Yea if anything this course has just made me incredibly low maintenance when it comes to appearance.  Forget make-up and combing my hair, I'm in Crocs and a hairnet, there's no way of looking better.

So guinea fowl- essentially a posh chicken.  A fattier, richer, gamier tasting chicken. When you handle it it's ridiculous,  your hands get so greasy. This is with a cumin-spiced fennel puree, some pretty-looking charred corn, a sandwich made with crispy guinea fowl skin and a guinea fowl leg sausage patty and some jus.

Serves 2
2 guinea fowl breasts, trimmed
1/2 corn on the cob

25g carrots, chopped
25g onion, chopped
25g celery, chopped
Guinea fowl bones, chopped
100ml red wine
500ml chicken stock
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs of mint

2 guinea fowl legs
1/2 shallot, finely chopped
1/2 garlic clove, minced
1 thyme sprig
1 lemon
1/2 egg, whisked

Spiced fennel puree
50g butter
1/4 onion, finely sliced
1/2 fennel, finely sliced
1/4 tsp ground cumin
100ml double cream

Put the bones in a pan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until caramelized.  Add the chopped vegetables and cook until colored.  Deglaze with red wine and once it's reduced by 2/3, add the stock, the bay leaf and the mint stalks.  Leave it to simmer for 40 minutes. Skim off the fat as necessary.  Then strain and reduce until it coats the back of a spoon.

Charred Corn
Char the corn with a blowtorch or over a naked flame. Slice the kernels off the cob into small clusters.

Fennel Puree
Finely chop the fennel and onion and sweat in butter over low heat with the ground cumin until tender. Blitz and adjust consistency with cream. Pass through a sieve and season.

Sweat the shallots in some butter over low heat, don't color.  Once softened add the garlic clove and cook for a further minute.  Leave to chill.  Chop the leaves from the thyme, and mix with the shallot/butter along with the zest of 1 lemon.

Set the oven to 180C.  Remove the skin from the thighs, keeping it as intact as possible.  Lay the skin flat on a parchment paper lined baking tray.  Season with salt and pepper and lay another sheet of paper on top.  Put another baking tray on top, or something heavy, like a pan.  Put in the oven for 15-20 minutes until crisp. 

Chop the thigh meat as finely as possible and mix with the shallot mixture. Add half an egg and season. Fry a bit of it in a pan just to test for seasoning.  Then form a ballotine by wrapping it in clingfilm like a sausage with a diameter of about an inch.   Put in a pan of simmering water to cook for about 20 minutes.  Then Cut into 2cm slices.

Cut the skin into squares to fit the meat in the middle. Use a bit of the puree as glue to stick the skin onto the sausage slice.

Guinea Fowl
Season the breasts with salt and pepper and fry skin side down over medium high heat for a few minutes, then flip over and fry until cooked.

Serve with sliced mint leaves.

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