Guinea Hen Cutlets and Unlaid Eggs with Autumnal Vegetables

There are some rare and amazing products to be found at the Union Square Greenmarket, if you go there early enough and get a little bit lucky. While I was buying a guinea hen last week, I found, buried in a cooler, a bag full of livers, hearts and unlaid eggs:

Notice how large and yellow some of the livers are: this is pretty much natural guinea hen foie gras; you could almost eat them raw. The unlaid eggs are the other gems of the bundle: gently heated, they offer a burst of rich egg yolk flavor and texture when you pop them in your mouth.

I wanted to combine these outstanding rarities with the already delicious guinea hen meat available at the market, using as much of the bird as possible. The livers go very well with ground meat, hence the idea for a Russian cutlet, wrapped in the tender breast meat. The carcass is used to make a stock, reduced to a sauce together with the hearts. And to accompany the dish, I picked a mix of seasonal vegetables.

Guinea hen fabrication
Yields 4 servings and leftover ground meat

1 guinea hen

  • Separate the wings, legs and breast from the carcass.
  • With the skin still on, place each breast between sheets of plastic wrap, and pound to obtain two 4″ x 6″ rectangles. Cut each rectangle in half, wrap and refrigerate.
  • Bone the legs and wings, and pick the meat from the carcass. Process this meat with the skin in a meat grinder using a large die, cover and refrigerate. This will yield more than the amount needed for the cutlets. (You could use the extra ground meat to make more cutlets, without wrapping them in pounded breast meat. You might even be able to pound one of the boned thighs and use it to make another cutlet. You could also use the leftover meat for pelmeni or pirozhki.)
  • Use the bones and carcass to make stock.

Guinea hen cutlets
Yields 4 servings

9 oz ground guinea hen meat
3 oz fatty guinea hen livers, coarsely chopped
1 oz onion, sliced
1/2 oz butter
1 oz bread without crust, small dice
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp curing salt
garam masala, to taste
ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp whisky
guinea hen breast, pounded into 4 rectangles

  • Place the ground meat and livers in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  • Sauté the onion in half of the butter over medium heat until golden brown, then let cool. Sauté the bread in the same pan with the rest of the butter until brown on all sides, and reserve.
  • In a bowl, mix the ground meat, livers, onion, salt, curing salt, garam masala, black pepper, and whisky. Process in a meat grinder using a small die, then mix with the bread.
  • Season the breast rectangles with salt, place the stuffing in the center, and roll — do not overstuff. Tightly wrap the cutlets in plastic film and refrigerate for at least a couple hours.

Guinea hen sauce
Yields 4 servings

8 guinea hen hearts, coarsely chopped
olive oil
3 cups guinea hen or chicken stock
1/2 oz butter

  • In a saucepan over high heat, saute the guinea hen hearts in olive oil until brown on all sides.
  • Add the stock, and reduce by three quarters. Strain, return to the saucepan, and reduce until the sauce coats the back of a spoon.
  • Whisk in the butter and reserve.

Assembly
Yields 4 servings

7 oz peeled fingerling potatoes, cut into 2-3 pieces each
7 oz peeled sunchokes, cut into pieces about the same size as the potato pieces
salt
4 guinea hen cutlets
olive oil
4 oz guinea hen or chicken stock
6 oz chanterelles, cleaned
1 tbsp chives, finely chopped
guinea hen sauce
16 unlaid guinea hen eggs

  • Place the potatoes in a pot of cold salted water, and cook over medium-high heat for about twenty minutes, until almost done. Shock in ice water and reserve.
  • Boil the sunchokes in the potato water for about 10 minutes, until tender. Shock in ice water and reserve.
  • Sauté the cutlets in a hot pan with olive oil until golden brown on all sides. Add the stock and cook in a 200 F oven for 30 minutes.
  • Sauté the potatoes and sunchokes in a hot pan with olive oil until golden brown on all sides. Add the chanterelles, season with salt, and cook until soft. Sprinkle with the chives and reserve.
  • Reheat the guinea hen sauce in a small saucepan. Add the unlaid eggs and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove from heat immediately.
  • Dress and serve, as pictured above.
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One thought on “Guinea Hen Cutlets and Unlaid Eggs with Autumnal Vegetables

  1. Pingback: Iguarias da Culinária do Leste Europeu « Gastronomio

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