At the three-Michelin-starred, Relais & Châteaux–listed Restaurant at Meadowood in Napa Valley, California, chef Christopher Kostow delivers upscale dining and exquisite degustation menus. Here, the recipe for his signature guinea fowl dish.
Guinea Hen Jus:
3 tbsp (44 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
10 lbs (4.5 kg) guinea hen carcass, from roasting
Approximately 18 L chicken stock
1 lb (480 g) carrots, diced
1 lb (480 g) pound celery , diced
1 1/3 lbs (600 g) onions, diced
Twin Sisters’ olive oil
Guinea Hen Preparation:
1 guinea hen 2-3 lbs (1134 g)
1 lemon, cut in quarters
3 1/2 lbs (1600 g) kosher salt
1/3 cup parsley leaves (20 g)
2 2/3 tbsp (10 g) tarragon
3 1/3 cups (800 g) egg whites
About 4 garlic cloves (20 g)
Extra-virgin olive oil
Maitakes à la Grecque:
1/2 lbs (225 g) maitake mushrooms
1 cup (236 g) white wine
1/2 cup (118 g) water
1/4 cup (60 g) white wine vinegar
1 tsp (4 g) coriander seed
3 bay leaves
1/2 tsp (1 g) black peppercorns
1/2 tsp (1 g) fennel seeds
2 tsp (5 g) thyme leaves
1/3 cup (100 g) lemon juice
1/3 cup (70 g) twin sister’s olive oil
1 2/3 lbs (750 g) katadin potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cups (490 g) cream
2/3 cups (150 g) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (200 g) crème fraîche
Preserved lemons, sliced
Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot. Roast the guinea bones on all sides, then remove from the pan. Add the carrots, celery, and onion and continue to roast on high heat to caramelize the vegetables (about eight minutes). Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the temperature and simmer the broth for six hours. Strain through a chinois and return to the heat. Reduce the liquid by 80% or until it is dark and slightly thick. Strain once more through a chinois and cool in the refrigerator. To serve, heat about 1 cup of the jus in a pot and season with lemon juice and Twin Sisters’ olive oil.
Guinea Hen Preparation:
Prepare the guinea hen by removing the wing tip portion as well as the offal. Stuff the lemon into the cavity of the guinea hen and truss tightly so that the skin is taught around the bird. Allow to air dry in the refrigerator for at least 1 day. Place the kosher salt in a food processor and turn the machine on. Add the parsley and tarragon and pulverize with the salt. Slowly add the egg whites to aerate them and stiffen. Remove the salt meringue from the food processor and place into a bowl. Mix thoroughly. Place the guinea hen on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper. Using small amounts at a time, mould the salt crust around the guinea hen ensuring there are no gaps in the crust. Once a smooth surface has been achieved, place into a convection oven set at a temperature of 500°F (260°C). Bake for 35 minutes, then remove from the oven. Rest the guinea hen for 25 minutes, then crack the crust and allow to air dry. Remove the breasts and the leg quarters from the carcass and bones, reserving the carcass for making the jus. Pour the olive oil into a cast iron pan and place on high heat. Roast the breast and the leg quarters, skin side down, for about four to five minutes. Once crispy and golden brown, remove from the pan and slice the pieces into halves.
Maitakes à la Grecque:
Break the maitakes from the clusters into individual pieces. Place the white wine in a sauce pot over high heat. Reduce the liquid by half and then add the water, white wine vinegar, coriander seeds, bay leaves, black peppercorns, fennel seeds, and thyme leaves. Remove from the heat and steep warm for one hour. Add the olive oil, then season with lemon juice and maldon salt. Cool the liquid to room temperature and place in a shallow container. Add the maitakes and place the entire vessel into the chamber of a vacuum seal machine. Compress twice and store the marinating mushrooms in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
Season the potatoes with salt and place into vacuum seal bags. Cook at 200°F (93°C) for 40 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the cream and butter in a small pot and heat to a simmer. Once the potatoes are cooked, pass them through a tamis, then place in a medium pot. Add the cream and melted butter to the potatoes, mixing just with a spatula to combine. Lastly, season with the crème fraîche and kosher salt. Hold in a warm place.
Spoon a small amount of the potato puree in the center of a bowl. Place one slice of the guinea breast, thigh, and leg around the potatoes. Arrange a few of the maitakes on and off of the guinea hen and garnish with the greenhouse salad and preserved lemon slices. Pour a small amount of the sauce lightly over the top of the dish, serve.
Photos courtesy of Visit Napa Valley.