Greed

Greed (non-fish)

Chicken Noodle Soup

…………….

There are those in life who are afflicted with some unfortunate allergies. Unfortunate on several counts, firstly it means they miss out some amazing food like shellfish, secondly, because it means more work for us in the kitchen. I have to confess that at most of our meals we simply tell people to get on with it and don’t take these into account, they simply don’t get served their particular kryptonite. However, for this meal we made an exception; partly because we were charging people more money for this dinner than ever before and it seemed unreasonable not to cater to their needs given how much they’d paid; also, the guest of honour had a shellfish allergy and we could hardly snub him by not providing an alternative. This was only a problem for a couple of the courses, the most notable being Greed (to be posted soon), so we devised this dish as a replacement.

I must say that of all our courses this was one that particularly failed to match up to its theme, that of ‘Greed’. Based on chicken noodle soup, with its humble, peasant origins, it was quite the opposite of anything too extravagant.

I had originally wanted to create a dish using edible gold leaf wrapped around a jellied stock cube to create tiny ingots, but this was ruled out on the grounds that it would be unbelievably expensive (though I saw this as being entirely the point) and overly ‘fiddly’. Essentially, I was shouted down by my colleagues. At some point though I will make the dish I envisaged and no doubt parade it before you here in all its expensive and fiddly glory.

This recipe was inspired by the 1960s themed dinner in Heston’s Feasts series. At the meal he gets the guests to make their own noodles from a stock jelly, before dissolving them in hot water to form a broth. Our dish was composed of a bowl of noodles made from jellied dashi stock, on top of which we placed some wonton noodles and a garnish of spring onion and enoki mushrooms.  This bowl was served with chicken stuffed with their livers, which we had cooked sous vide before browning in a hot pan. The guests would pour on hot water which would turn the dashi noodles into a broth and cook the wonton noodles. A simple dish made more complex. I always enjoying getting the guest to interact with a dish in a way which isn’t just eating it so I quite liked this aspect of the course.

Just before the meal we realised that in our deliberately non-fish course we had actually used fish – the dried tuna bonito flakes in the dashi. Luckily, none of the guests were allergic to fish, just shellfish, and a couple of others who were served it simply disliked the taste and texture of fish. By the time we reached the plated dish though the taste of fish was undetectable, it essentially served to boost the umami levels of the stock.

The plating of the dish posed some problems, chiefly that the heat from the meat would melt the jelly noodles if it were left on it for any time at all. In order to get around this we developed an elaborate service method which required an absurd number of kitchen staff; one waiter delivered the bowls of noodles and garnishes, Josh would then silver serve the slices of chicken on the noodles and I would add the water to turn it into a broth, before Olly followed adding a small amount of chicken glaze (just really reduced stock) to the dish to boost the flavour of the broth. Only four people had allergies. It should never take four staff to serve four people. Below there is a plating suggestion which makes more sense if  you aren’t insane and want to make life much easier for yourself.

Unfortunately for this particular course we were somewhat lax with photographs, however, we will be redoing a lot of the courses in the near future as part of a bigger plan we have upcoming so they may be up here in the future.

…………….

Recipe

 

Soup noodles

Recipe makes: c. 1500ml

  • 15g rishiri kombu
  • 1.5kg low calcium mineral water
  • 60g katsuo bushi (dried bonito flakes)
  • 8 gelatine leaves (you want a very firm set as you will have to try and slice this into noodles later)
  • Soy sauce

Take the kombu, wipe it with a damp cloth and place it in a pan with the water

Heat it to 60c and hold it there for 1 hour

Remove and discard the kombu

Raise the temperature of the liquid to 80c and then turn the heat off and immediately add the bonito flakes

After 10 seconds strain the stock through a sieve lined with damp muslin, allow it to flow freely, don’t press it

Discard the solids and leave to cool

Take 500g of the dashi, season with soy sauce

In a pan add the gelatin and wait until it is soft then gently heat the mixture

Pour the liquid into a Tupperware dish and allow to set in the fridge

Store in fridge

 

Chicken

  • 5 chicken thighs, bone and skin removed
  • 200g chicken livers
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • Butter

Heat a pan hot and toss livers in some hot oil

Drain on kitchen paper

In the same pan, sweat the shallots until translucent and then remove

Chop the livers and combine with shallots

Season

Stuff chicken thighs with liver mixture and wrap into tight ballotine in clingfilm

Vacuum pack with a teaspoon of butter and cook at 60o for 2 hours

Cool in ice bath

Unwrap from the clingfilm and roll in their skin and a new layer of clingfilm back into a ballotine.

Reserve

 

Garnishes

  • Enoki Mushrooms
  • Spring onions
  • A little sweetcorn
  • Wonton noodles or some other very thin egg noodles

Chop enoki mushrooms to 3cm lengths

Slice spring onion

Drain sweetcorn

 

Serve:

Remove the dashi gel from the fridge and turn out, slice thin wide noodles from the block

Warm chicken in a low temperature waterbath and then sautee until skin is crisp

Slice into medallions

Place the chicken on top of the wonton noodles and garnish the bowl-plate as artfully as time permits.

In a separate bowl have the jelly noodles to be served to the guest.

Serve with a small pot of boiling water for guests to pour over noodles, once the broth is ready the pour it on the chicken and the noodles which they should leave for 30 seconds to cook in the liquid before eating.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: