Pintade with Green Asparagus and Morels

Servings 6 persons

Ingredients
  

GUINEA HEN

  • 2 pieces guinea hen
  • Fleur de sel and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil preferably French
  • 2 fresh bay leaves

Vegetable

  • 680 g green asparagus trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil preferably French
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup 110 g fresh morels, halved if large
  • Fleur de sel and freshly ground black pepper

SAUCE

  • 60 ml dry white wine, such as Burgundy Chardonnay
  • 250 ml Chicken Stock
  • Fleur de sel and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter

Instructions
 

  • Make the guinea hen: Preheat the oven to 230°C.
  • Cut the guinea hen into 8 pieces and season with salt and pepper.
  • .In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Working in batches, without crowding the pan, add about   the guinea hen pieces, skin-side down, and sear, turning once or twice, until golden brown on all sides, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer them to a large platter, and repeat with the remaining pieces and olive oil.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and pour off the fat. Add the dark meat back into the pan, leaving the breast meat on the platter. Add the thyme and bay leaves. Place the pan in the oven and roast until the clark meat is almost cooked through, about 20 minutes. Add the breast meat to the pan and continue roasting until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast reaches 70°C, about r5 minutes more. The internal temperature will rise to 75°C upon standing. Let the guinea hen rest on a warm platter while you prepare the vegetables and the pan sauce. Reserve the pan with the meat juices.

Vegetables

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and fill a bowl with ice and water.
  • Add the asparagus to the boiling water and blanch until tender, 3 to 4 minutes, depending on the size. The asparagus are done when you can put the tip of a paring knife into a spear and it's tender throughout.
  • Immediately plunge the asparagus spears into the ice water to stop the cooking and preserve their color. Once the asparagus are cool, set on a clean kitchen towel to drain. Set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil and r tablespoon of the butter in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the morels and 120 ml water and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Add another tablespoon butter and cook, uncovered and stirring occasion­ ally, until the morels are tender and the liquid has evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
  • In a medium sauté pan, melt the remaining tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add the asparagus and sauté until the spears are warmed through and the butter is nutty brown, 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the size. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.

Sauce

  • Make the pan sauce: Remove all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pan used to roast the guinea hen, making sure to leave any bits of meat. Place the pan over medium-high heat. Add the white wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape any little bits off the bottom. Simmer until the wine is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Continue simmering, adjusting the heat as needed, until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
  • Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and continue simmering until reduced to the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper, then remove from the heat, add the butter, and swirl the pan until it's incorporated.
  • Add the morels to the serving dish or platter with the guinea hen and drizzle some of the pan sauce over both. Serve with the asparagus and the rest of the pan sauce.
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