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Poached and Roasted Poussin

Madame Zingara’s Second Annual Chef’s Showcase is now in its fourth week and it's chef Matthew Delit's turn to impress us with his cooking skills. Matthew will be serving his tantalising menu at The Sidewalk Café in Cape Town from 26 June - 2 July 2012. Sample the dishes and cast your vote at the end for your favourite menu, and you could win some awesome prizes. Here's the delectable dish that got Matthew into the final of this competition... POACHED AND ROASTED POUSSIN (Served on Pomme Puree and Chou vert farci, accompanied by lentils and chicken fumme) Ingredients: 2 baby chickens - deboned 100g puy lentils chou vert farci (stuffed cabbage leaves): 2 large cabbage leaves 2 deboned chicken thighs chicken mousse (recipe included) 50g button mushrooms ½ onion 2 cloves of garlic, minced chicken fumme: 2l brown chicken stock 500g chicken bones 1 carrot 1 onions 1 stick celery 1 tbs tomato paste 1 bay leaf 1 tbs coriander seeds 1 tbs white pepper corns 250ml white wine pommes puree: 3 large potatoes 50ml milk 50ml cream 50g  butter Directions: Prep method: for the chickens: Bring a pot of water to the boil with plenty of thyme, rosemary and garlic in it. Poach the chickens in the water for 4-5 minutes then remove and cool down. For the chou vert farci (stuffed cabbage leaves): Chicken mousse: place the meat of two deboned thigh legs into a food processor together with one egg white, a dash of cream and seasoning to taste. Blend until smooth and set aside.
  • Finely chop the onion and mushrooms and sauté in butter with the garlic. Season to taste and cool down.
  • Once cooled down, combine the mushroom mix with the chicken mousse.
  • Remove the hard piece from the centre of the cabbage leaf and blanch in salted water for about a minute.
  • Place the cabbage leaf on a sheet of cling film and spoon some chicken mousse in the middle.
  • Fold the leaf over to encase the mousse, then fold the cling film around the cabbage and tie a knot.
For the fumme:
  • Roast the chicken bones until brown all over.
  • Remove the bones then add the vegetables and aromatics.
  • Brown the vegetables off then deglaze the pan with the wine.
  • Add the bones back to the pot then add the stock.
  • Bring to the boil, skim and turn the heat down.
  • Cook for about an hour, pass the sauce through a fine mesh strainer and reduce.
Pommes puree: Cook potatoes in salted water until soft. Strain the water off and add cream and butter. Beat the potatoes till light, fluffy and smooth. Season to taste. for the lentils: Place in a pot with cold water and cook for approximately 20 minutes. To finish:
  • Preheat the oven to 210C.
  • Poach the chou vert farci in simmering water for about 15 minutes.
  • Sear the baby chickens off in a pan - when they have a nice colour all around, turn the birds so that the cavity is facing up.
  • Place a clove of garlic, a sprig of thyme and rosemary and a knob of butter in the cavity and roast in the oven for about 10 minutes (depending on the size).
  • Take them out and allow them to rest for 5 minutes.
  • While they are resting, place some mash into the middle of a bowl.
  • Put the chou vert farci on top of the mash.
  • Spoon some lentils around the mashed potatoes.
  • Carve the breasts and lean against the Chou vert farci.
  • Drizzle with the chicken fumme.
Born and raised in Cape Town, Matthew left for London at the age of 18 to follow his passion for food. During his seven years there his journey took him to the Groucho Club in Soho, the 2 Michelin Star restaurant Petrus, The Clerkenwell and The Chancery, The Modern Pantry and Made in Camden. Matthew joined the Madame Zingara group at the beginning of this year and is currently showing off his skills at Don Pedro and All his Beautiful Wives in Woodstock. For bookings contact Sidewalk Café on 021-461-2839 or visit sidewalk.co.za. For more information on the Chef’s Showcase or the Madame Zingara Group of Companies visit madamezingara.com.