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updated 9/28/2005 2:18:12 AM ET 2005-09-28T06:18:12

Recipe: Basil Marinated Poussin Panzanella Salad

Ingredients
  • For the basil marinated poussin
  • 6 poussins
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 pound basil leaves
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • For the panzanella salad
  • 2 pounds variety of summer tomatoes, washed and cut into abstract shapes
  • 1 cucumber, sliced into thin rings
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and sliced paper thin
  • 4 cups day-old bread croutons, tossed in olive oil and toasted
  • 1/2 cup black olive slivers
  • 3/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • A few shots of red wine vinegar
  • Additional garnishes
  • Olive oil to finish
  • Basil sprigs
Preparation

To prepare the poussins
Remove the legs from the poussins and set in a shallow container large enough to marinate all of the meat.  Starting from the back of the bird, remove the breasts from the ribcage in a single boneless piece.  Poussins (also called spring chicken) are baby chickens, 3 to 4 weeks old, weighing about 1 pound. They have a very mild flavor with little fat, and they are usually prepared as a single serving.

Put the garlic, basil leaves, and olive oil in a food processor with a good pinch of salt and some cracks of pepper.  Process until all ingredients are well combined yet not a smooth puree; the mixture should be a bit chunky.  Coat the poussins fully in the basil marinade, cover and refrigerate overnight.

To prepare the dish
Season and grill the poussin over moderately hot coals.  While the meat is grilling, prepare the salad.  Toss all of the ingredients together and season, dress with olive oil and a few shots of the red wine vinegar.  Divide the salad evenly onto plates and top each with a poussin.  Drizzle with olive oil to finish and scatter basil leaves over the top.

Serving Size

Serves 6 as a light entree

Recipe: Soy and Ginger Glazed Duck Breast Over Soba Noodle and Arugula Salad With Ponzu Sauce

Ingredients
  • 6 duck breasts, trimmed of excess fat and scored
  • For the soy and ginger glaze
  • 2-1/2 cups soy sauce
  • 2-1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup honey
  • 4 ounces ginger, sliced and smashed
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 2 pieces star anise
  • 1 piece cinnamon stick
  • For the ponzu sauce
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 3 cups lemon juice
  • 3 cups soy sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sesame oil
  • 1-1/2 ounces butcher grind black pepper
  • 1/2 ounce ground cumin
  • 1 ounce grated ginger
  • For the soba salad
  • 1/2 pound soba noodles, cooked and chilled
  • 1-1/2 pounds baby arugula, washed
  • 3 red radishes, sliced into thin rings
  • 3 portabella mushroom caps
  • Additional garnishes
  • Black and white sesame seeds, toasted
  • Crisp shallot rings
Preparation

To prepare the soy and ginger glaze and marinate the duck

Combine all of the ingredients for the glaze in a sauce pot and slowly bring to a simmer.  Continue to slowly cook for 15 minutes, then remove from the fire and let the ingredients steep to cool.  Place the duck breasts in a shallow container, skin side up, in a single layer.  Pour the cooled glaze over, cover and refrigerate.  Marinate for six hours, turning them over halfway through.

Combine the vegetable oil, chili flakes, and cayenne pepper in a pot large enough to accommodate all of the remaining ingredients.  Heat slowly over a low flame to infuse the chili flavor into the oil for 10 minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and slowly bring to a simmer.  Remove from the fire and cover.  Let stand at room temperature until cool, then strain through a fine sieve, discarding the solids.  Transfer to a container with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate until ready to use.

The recipe for the ponzu sauce yields more than will be needed for this dish, but it is a great thing to have on hand for other dishes.  In the restaurant we always have ponzu on hand, to dress a quick tuna tartar or even a beef carpaccio.

To assemble the dish
Ready the grill.  Remove the duck breasts from their marinade and pat dry.  Brush lightly with oil and grill.  The duck should be grilled over coals that have been burned nice and low to avoid the flames from jumping up as the fat renders.  Also brush the mushroom caps with oil, season, and grill alongside the duck breasts.  Remove the duck breasts from the fire after they have reached the desired doneness.  Remove the mushrooms and cut into thick strips.  Add the mushroom strips to a bowl with the soba noodles, radish circles, baby arugula, and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.  Dress the salad liberally with ponzu sauce and toss.  Divide the soba noodle salad evenly between plates, slice the duck breasts and lay over the salads.  Top each with crisp shallots and serve.

Serving Size

Serves 6 as an entree

Recipe: Napoleon of Macerated Summer Fruits and Sweet Cream

Ingredients
  • For the berries
  • 2 pints strawberries, washed and quartered
  • 2 pints blueberries, washed
  • 2 pints blackberries, washed
  • 2 pints raspberries
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • For the sweet cream
  • 3 puff pastries, 4 inches wide by 20 inches long
  • For the sweet cream
  • 1-1/3 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
  • 1/4 pound sugar
  • 2 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 2-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • Additional garnishes
  • Mint sprigs
  • Powdered sugar
Preparation

To prepare the berries
Combine all of the berries together with the lemon juice and sugar in a shallow container.  Cover and refrigerate for several hours. 

To prepare the pastry
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Place the three pieces of puff pastry on a parchment lined baking sheet and dock several times with a fork to prevent the pastry from rising too much. Bake the pastry at 425 F for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 325 F and continue to bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until the pastry is fully cooked and crispy throughout.  Remove from the oven and let cool.

To prepare the sweet cream
Scald milk, vanilla and vanilla bean.  Whisk together flour, sugar and yolks.  Temper hot liquid into flour mixture.  Return entire mixture to pot and whisk over medium heat.  Stir constantly until very thick.  Strain immediately through a fine sieve into a shallow container.  Press plastic wrap directly over the top of the cream to prevent a skin from forming and chill.  Whip the cream to stiff peaks and fold into the pastry cream.  Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large tip and store in refrigerator until ready to assemble.

To assemble the napoleon
Add 3 cups of the berry mixture to a blender and puree smooth.  Mix the puree back in to the fruits and mix to thoroughly combine.  Place one piece of the baked puff pastry onto a large serving platter.  Top with a generous amount of the macerated berries and pipe the pastry cream over.  Rest another piece of the pastry directly atop and repeat with the berries and cream.  Top with the final layer of puff pastry and dust with powdered sugar.  Decorate with mint sprigs and serve.

Serving Size

Serves 6

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