Extravagant Game and Mushrooms Extravaganza of Game and Fungi
6 breasts each of the following game birds (pheasant, pigeon, quail and partridge) plain flour for dusting
85 g butter
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp brandy
1 tsp truffle oil
2 tbsp good aged balsamic vinegar
a little chicken stock (see page 104) or water from soaking the morels
salt and pepper to taste
200g St George’s mushrooms
200g fresh ceps
100g fresh morels, or 30 g dried, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes
2 tbsp olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
BEETROOT SALAD (OPTIONAL)
800 g beetroot, freshly boiled
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp torn coriander leaves
The autumn mushroom season coincides with the beginning of the game season. However, although I use them here, it is seldom you will find fungi such as ceps, St George’s mushrooms, chanterelles or morels, because they appear in springtime. But to me this quartet of mushrooms represents the acme of the fungi world, and I like to combine them with the sublime flavours of the different breasts of game birds. And if you really want a feast of tastes, then add a little truffle, either shaven or in the form of oil, to the breasts. This is food nirvana!
First make the beetroot salad, if serving. When cool enough to handle, skin the beetroot, and cut into thin slices. Sprinkle with the vinegar, coriander and some salt and pepper, and leave to cool completely, for the flavours to merge. Prepare the mushrooms by cleaning and trimming as appropriate. Cut the St George’s mushrooms into quarters. Leave the fresh ceps whole if they are small, or cut in half if larger. Halve the fresh morels. Drain the dried morels (if using), reserving their soaking water.
For the birds, first dust the breasts with flour then, starting with the largest breast, fry them in the butter and olive oil until they are lightly browned. Repeat with all the breasts, cooking the smallest and most tender – the quail – last. When all are cooked, set them aside and keep warm. Add the brandy, truffle oil and balsamic vinegar to the pan. Boil to deglaze the pan and loosen all the cooking juices. Add some stock or water if need be. Boil until you have a liquid sauce. Adjust the seasoning. Return the breasts to the pan and keep warm. Meanwhile, to cook the mushrooms, heat the butter and oil in another pan and add the morels, followed by the chanterelles, ceps and, lastly, the St George’s mushrooms. Sauté briefly just to soften and lightly brown them. Add salt, pepper and lemon juice to finish.
To assemble, arrange the breasts on a large platter and intersperse with the fungi, so the breasts look as if they were studded with jewels. Serve the gleaming red and green beetroot salad to one side. You will then need to open some bottles of an important red wine. Forget about the cost, and just enjoy!This recipe is from The Complete Mushroom Book: The Quiet Hunt