cuisse rôtie de poulet
broccoli puree, pecorino romano “snow”, dried yuzu, thyme, balsamic pan jus
2005 copain l'hiver
We had a reservation to check out Bourbon and Branch today, but the timing ultimately didn't work out too well. As I disappointedly cancelled the reservation, I was hit by a small twinge of inspiration... We had some broccoli and chicken thigh waiting in the fridge, along with some beef bones for marrow. What kind of a quick and easy meal could be made of these components?
We had a transcendent meal at Coi a couple of months ago, and one of the most memorable dishes was a small lobe of crispy seared bone marrow served with caviar and fleur de sel. The biggest question was how to duplicate the crisp exterior. We soaked the bone marrow for a couple of hours to remove some of the blood, then roasted it in the oven at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes. Scooped out the warmed, just-melting marrow and dusted it with corn starch before pan-searing it in a bit of browned butter. We plated the two resulting portions with a tiny dab of creme fraiche for parallel richness; mustard, chili oil, bitter microgreens, and cornichons to contrast and cut through the decadence; toasted pugliese for a neutral-flavored textural contrast; and hollowed poached broccoli stems to visually mimic the bones while adding a distinct vegetable element to a fundamentally meaty dish.
I've wondered about using broccoli as a puree. The thigh was deboned, since the dark meat is juicy enough to roast without it. The dried yuzu flakes (from Japan... thanks to Melissa, our official purveyor of interesting citrus) lended a subtle brightness to the dark meat, while the thyme accentuated the depth of flavor with its earthiness. The p.r. "snow" served to bind these somewhat divergent elements, aided by the light balsamic-tinged pan jus. Ultimately, the puree made the dish a bit imbalanced, with Lav noting that she expected much more intrinsic sweetness from the broccoli. Somehow, I feel like there is more that can be done with the broccoli puree... I just need to figure out how to better exploit that flavor.
These were some pretty rich dishes, so we opted to pair everything with a bottle of 2005 Copain l'Hiver. The "Saisons des Vins" series -- the second label from Wells Guthrie at Copain -- never lets you down. The l'Hiver, a rich and full-bodied syrah, was packed with densly extracted plum, accented by white pepper and a hint of smoky tobacco. Super inky; our teeth were stained after half a glass. Not as much acidity as I had expected, but the strength of the fruit still managed to contrast sufficiently against the decadence of the dishes.
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