Thursday, May 17, 2012

Crispy Chicken Wrapped Prosciutto with Mushrooms and Ramps

A couple of weekends ago, we ventured to Portland, OR for an overnighter and had dinner at Le Pigeon.  It was a lovely cozy restaurant with a small menu of well executed dishes.  I ordered the Lobster Stuffed Chicken which, to my dismay, quickly became Stella's meal after my first bite.  She ordered the Gnudi, which I still enjoyed happily on exchange.  The chicken had been deboned and formed into one whole piece, with the lobster in the middle, and crispy skin all around the outside.  When we returned to the hotel, I got on my laptop, and after a few clicks, ordered myself some Transglutaminase, or meat glue.  


So, here I am with meat glue in hand, and on my way to deboning my chicken.  It's difficult to explain, in brief, the process for this.  A starting point is a sharp fillet or boning knife.  With this chicken, you are winding up with two halves, so our work is a little easier.  
Ingredients:
One 3 1/2 pound chicken
1 tsp of transglutaminase
2 slices of prosciutto (not too thin, but not so thick either)


Start at the breast, cutting it lengthwise down the middle.  I use the tip of the knife it run it against the breast bone, around the wishbone, keeping the small drumette in tact with the breast meat.
When you reach the thigh bone as you work down towards the back, pull the leg back so that it pops out of the socket.  Slide the tip of the knife in between the bone and the socket and carefully cut it away.
Flip the chicken around and cut lengthwise along the middle of the back bone.  Run the knife along with backbone towards the breast bone until it runs into the top half of the chicken and the meat is fully released from the bone.  
Cut the wing portion off from the drummette attached to the breast.  Reserve the wings to make stock.
To remove the leg bone, cut along the thigh bone and onto the drumstick bone until the whole bone is revealed.  Make a circular cut around the base of the drumstick.  Pull the bone of the drumstick away from the meat and use the tip of the knife to cut the bone away.  Do the same for the drumstick and remove the entire bone.
Repeat this for the other half of the chicken.  I used all of the bones to make chicken stock.


Pull the tenderloins off the breasts and cut out the tendons.  Check the chicken to make sure there are no bone bits, sinew, or veins.  Place the tenderloins on the chicken leg/thigh.
Place the chicken onto two separate large pieces of plastic wrap.  

Working with each half at a time, and about 1/2 tsp of meat glue, sprinkle 2/3 of it onto the chicken in a  light dusting.  Use your fingers to spread it evenly all over.  Lay the prosciutto on top of the breast meat, and then sprinkle the remaining 1/3 of the meat glue on top of the prosciutto.  
Lay the leg meat over top of the beast, wrapping any extra skin around the outside of the breast.  Use the plastic wrap to help gather the chicken in and roll it tight until all of the meat is contained within the skin of the chicken.  Repeat this with the other half of the chicken.
When both sides are wrapped in plastic, take another large piece of plastic and roll the two sides together as tightly as you can.  This will help form a more uniform and tubular piece of chicken.  
Put the chicken in the refrigerator overnight.


The next day, take the chicken out about 30 minutes before cooking.  Unwrap the chicken and like magic, it will have formed into one solid piece of goodness.
To cook the chicken:
Heat oven to 500.
Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat.  When it is almost starting to smoke, add 2 tbsp grape seed oil.  
Make sure the chicken is dry, blot with paper towels.  Salt and pepper the chicken. 
Carefully lay the chicken into the skillet, breast side down.  Sear and brown it on the one side.  Then flip it over and sear it on the leg side.  
Place the chicken in the oven and roast for about 20 minutes until chicken is crispy and deep golden brown.  
Remove from the oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.


For the sauce:
1 cup of chicken demi glace
1/4 cup heavy cream


For the chicken demi glace, I made a stock with the chicken bones, carrots, thyme sprigs and onion.  I strained the stock and then cooked it down to 1/6 of its original volume.  Chicken concentrate!   To make the sauce simply add the cream to the chicken demi glade and bring to a simmer for a few minutes.
For the ramps:
Blanche in boiling water for about a minute.  Then shock with ice water.  Drain and dry a bit.
Melt 2 tbsp of butter and sauté until softened and lightly browned.


For the mushrooms, I used morels and king trumpet.  Saute them in a little butter as well.
Chicken bliss.

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