Quinces are fall fruits, related to apples and pears, but they cannot be eaten raw. When cooked, they prole the perfect accent to many dishes. Look for firm, low-skinned fruit and store in a cool, dry place—but the refrigerator. To capture the true essence of Chef : -iey’s dish, buy chanterelles from Nova Scotia, if Dessible.
2 pounds button mushrooms, wiped clean, trimmed, and chopped I quarts water
large quinces, peeled, quartered, and seeded 6 cups Chicken Stock cup chopped celery cup chopped carrot cup chopped onion 1 sprig fresh thyme 1 bay leaf
teaspoon dried marjoram
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 3 two-and-one-half-pound guinea hens
1 teaspoon walnut oil
2 pounds chanterelles, wiped clean, trimmed, and sliced 8 shallots, minced
lA cup fresh tarragon leaves 1 roasted clove garlic
Special Equipment: chinois
1 Assemble the mise en place trays for this recipe.
2 In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the button mush¬rooms and water over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced to V2 cup. Strain into a bowl, press¬ing on the mushrooms. Discard the solids and reserve the liquid.
3 Meanwhile, in a medium-sized saucepan combine the quinces, chicken stock, celery, carrot, onion, thyme, bay leaf, and marjoram. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, until the quinces are very soft. Drain the liquid and reserve for another use. Discard the thyme and bay leaf. Pass the remaining solids through a chinois or other fine sieve into a small saucepan. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Set aside.
4 Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
5 Generously season the guinea hens with salt and pepper. Put in a shallow pan and roast for about 45 minutes, or until cooked through and the juices run clear when the flesh is pricked with the tip of a sharp knife. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.
6 While the hens are roasting, heat the walnut oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the chanterelles, shallots, and tarragon. Sauté for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are very soft. Push the roasted garlic pulp from the skin and add to the chanterelles. Add the reserved mushroom liquid and stir to combine. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
7 Place the quince purée over low heat just to warm through.
8 Using a boning knife, remove the breast halves from the hens. Slice each half, diagonally, into thin slices. Remove the legs with the thighs attached.
9 Spoon the warm quince purée into the centers of 6 warm dinner plates. Arrange a sliced breast half around one side of each serving of purée. Lay the legs on the other side. Arrange the chanterelle mixture on top of the breast meat, and drizzle some of the liquid from the chanterelles over all. Serve immediately.
► When buying walnut oil, purchase the smallest quanti¬ty possible, as it is expensive and it turns rancid very rapidly. A small amount of this flavorful oil adds a dis¬tinctive, nutty fragrance to vinaigrettes, baked goods con¬taining walnuts, sautes, or sauces. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator. It usually does not keep for longer than 2 months.