Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pecan and sage spatchcock with cranberry sauce

A few years ago now, my sister Sue and I joined a Masterclass Cooking School in Newcastle run by Chef Reinhold Forster. The theme was a formal Christmas menu, with the main a Spatchcock with Pecan Nut stuffing and Cranberry Sauce.  I have slightly altered this recipe from the original by adding the sage which I think works well together with the Spatchcock. As the Spatchcock is de-boned, you will need to ask your butcher to do this for you if you cannot do it yourself., you may need to give him some advance notice or even order it in.  As the bird will be completely re-formed it presents better if the wing and leg outer joints are left on.  For this recipe I have allowed 2 Spatchcock, cut in half will serve 4 people.  Ask your butcher for the spatchcock bones as you will need these for the Jus preparation.  Additional to the Spatchcock bones you will need some other bones, eg.bacon bone or veal.

The flavours in this dish are reminiscent of Christmas, however it can be served equally well at any time of the year.  Maybe it could work as a Christmas in July meal ...............

2 de-boned spatchcock
50 g chopped pecan nuts
3 large stale bread rolls 
1 lightly beaten egg
1 finely diced onion
100 g finely diced bacon (keep trimmings)
5 g fresh parsley chopped
10 fresh sage leaves chopped
1/2 tsp of nutmeg
sprinkle of sweet paprika
salt and pepper

spatchcock bones, sinews and trimmings from bacon
bacon bones
mirepoix (1 carrot, 2 sticks celery, 1/2 onion chopped)
1 tsp tomato paste
1 litre of brown stock (extra if needed)

Cranberry sauce
1/2 finely diced onion
20 g butter
5 g sugar
25 g cranberries (can use frozen)
50 ml white wine
25 ml sour cream
250 ml jus

For the Jus, brown the bones in a pan on top of the stove then and add the Mirepoix and place into a low to moderate oven for 30 minutes.  Add the brown stock and stir the sediment from the pan and cook for another 30-40 minutes, adding more stock if necessary.   When you have a strong dark coloured jus, remove bones and strain liquid out returning to the pan and add tomato past and thicken with arrowroot if necessary.  Set aside to reheat when required.

Preheat oven to 175c.
For the Spatchcocks, dry the spatchcocks inside and out with paper towel to reduce moisture.  Lay the Spatchocks opened out on a board with skin side down.  In a frypan saute with the onion and bacon with the butter until onion is transparent and place into a medium sized bowl.  Dice the bread rolls and add to the bowl of onion and bacon, add the egg and mix loosely by hand. Add  the pecan nuts, parsley, sage, nutmeg and good pinch of salt and pepper and mix again. Place half the bread mixture inside the spatchcock and re-mould back into proper shape. Fold the skin over to seal.  Sprinkle with paprika and extra salt and pepper. Place onto a greased baking tray and place into oven and cook at 45 minutes per kg.  I cooked my Spatchcocks for 45 minutes, as they weighed half a kilo each. 

For the Cranberry Sauce, in a medium frypan saute the onion in butter, add the sugar and caramelise a little. Deglaze with the wine and reduce by half.  Add the remaining ingredients and cook till sauce consistency and coats the back of a spoon.  If the sauce is thin, thicken slightly with cornflour.  

To plate this dish, slice the spatchock in half with a serrated knife, serve with roasted pumpkin and green beans, and serve the cranberry sauce and jus to the side.

The flavours in this dish match well served with a good bottle of Pinot Noir, or would go equally well with a Chardonnay.  Photo by Steve Shanahan

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