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Secret Recipe: Oliveto's Fontina-Stuffed Hen Breast

Photo courtesy of Oliveto

7x7 asks the city's chefs for the recipes to their most loved cocktails, bar snacks, starters, mains, and desserts. If there's a dish you can't stop thinking about and want to make at home, email schuyler@7x7.com. Your wish may end up on the blog, along with the actual recipe from the chef. 

Thanks to Susan R. for the request!

Fontina-Stuffed Hen Breast with Parsnip Purée, Chantenary Carrots, and Hen Sugo

Serves 4

Hen Stuffing (1 quart)

3 tablespoons Regina extra virgin olive oil

1 quart diced (3/4”) pain de’mie

1 large King Richard leek (only the white), brunoise (diced)

1 large yellow onion, brunoise (diced)

2 quart Bloomsdale spinach, packed tightly

1 ½ pint grated Fontina Val d’Aosta cheese

2 tablespoons fresh sage, chiffonade (cut into long strips)

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely minced

Equiment needed:

Large stainless pan

Food processor, can use hands if lacking one

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a large stainless pan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil on medium high heat.

3. Add the leeks and onions, let sweat until translucent.

4. Add spinach and wilt until all residual water has evaporated.

5. Toast pain d’mie in 375 degree oven until bread is evenly golden.

6. Cover the bowl containing spinach, onion, leek, and bread, and allow to cool to room temperature.

7. Add cheese, sage, and rosemary.

8. Pulse in a food processor or knead by hand until a uniform texture not to smooth, but does not have any large chunks of bread in it.

9. Salt and pepper to taste.

 

Hen Breasts

4 airline breasts, breasts with wing attached to first joint

Equipment needed:

Boning knife

Pastry bag or sausage stuffer

Plastic wrap

Aluminum foil

Meat thermometer

1. Lay breast skin-side down, horizontal with wing-side closest to you.

2. Use a sharp boning knife to make a small incision (that can fit two fingers) on the side of the breast.

3. Without widening the incision, use the tip of the knife to make a pocket in the breast running the entire length.

4. Check the size of the pocket with a finger, and extend the area if necessary.

5. Use a pastry bag or sausage stuffer to fill the cavity with the stuffing (see recipe above), spreading evenly 1/2-inch thick throughout the breast.

6. Use the breast tender still attached to cover up the incision.

7. Season breast with salt on both sides.

8. Season with pepper on non-presentation side.

9. Wrap the breasts tightly first in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil.

10. Poach at 178 degrees in water until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

11. Remove from poaching bath and submerge in ice water until cooled to 40 degrees.

 

Parsnip Purée

6 large parsnips, peeled and sliced

1 medium yellow onion

4 tablespoons Regina extra virgin olive oil

1/2-inch piece of cinnamon

2 quarts whole milk

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Equipment Needed:

Stainless steel rondeau(or other medium pot)

Blender

Fine mesh strainer

1. Peel, then slice parsnips 1/8-inch thick.

2. Peel, then julienne the onion.

3. In a stainless steel rondeau, heat 4 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat.

4. Add onion, sweat until translucent.

5. Add parsnips, cooking until glossy (approx. 5 minutes).

6. Add milk to cover, add cinnamon.

7. Salt to taste.

8. Cover and cook over low heat until parsnips are very tender.

9. Strain parsnips, and save the milk.

10. Remove cinnamon stick and purée in a blender, adding butter slowly and adjusting consistency with reserved milk.

11. Strain through a fine mesh strainer.

12. Texture should be very smooth.

 

Carrots

20 baby Chantenary carrots

1 bay leaf

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons Regina extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1. Peel carrots, clean caround stems to remove dirt.

2. Poach, starting in cold salted water with a bay leaf.

3. Bring water to a simmer.

4. Cook carrots until tender but still firm.

5. Remove from water and allow to cool on a paper towel.

 

Hen Sugo

1 hen foot

1 hen wing

1 hen neck and head

3 large onions, julienned

1 quart dry white wine

1 gallon rich hen stock

1 tablespoon crackled black peppercorn

3 bay leaves

1 spring rosemary

Equipment needed:

Wide rondeau

Fine mesh strainer

1. In a wide rondeau, cook hen parts over medium heat, removing fat as appears.

2. Build up as much fond (rich brown residue) on the bottom of the pan as possible by stirring constantly, maintaining a steady medium-high heat.

3. Once parts are evenly brown, and pan is coasted in fond, lower heat and add onions.

4. Sweat onions, deglaze pan with wine.

5. Reduce wine by half, and add hen stock.

6. Add peppercorns, bay leave, and rosemary.

7. Simmer over medium heat, skimming constantly.

8. Reduce to sauce consistency.

9. Strain through fine mesh strainer.

 

To serve:

5 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup water

2 tablespoons sugo

Equipment needed:

Sauté pan

Stainless steel pan

Stainless steel pan

12 inch round plate

1. Reheat hen breasts in 150 degree water bath.

2. Remove breasts from bags, thoroughly dry, and sear skin side in a stainless steel pan over high heat in a few tablespoons of olive oil.

3. Cook skin until crisp and golden brown.

4. Allow breasts to rest five minutes.

5. While hen is resting, heat carrots in a sauté pan with butter, olive oil, sugar, water, and salt and pepper to taste.

6. Cover sauté pan, allow water to reduce and form a glaze on carrots.

7. Heat purée slowly in a stainless steel pan.

8. On 12 inch round plate, lay one long swipe of parsnip purée slightly off center, place carrots on the opposite side.

9. Cut breast into 6 thin slices, fan out over the purée.

10. Sauce 1/3 of the breast with 1 tablespoon sugo and drizzle the rest of sugo in a circle around the plating area.