Stuffed Guinea Hen, served on a Bed of Pastina with Morels and Fresh Peas
- Pastina with Morels and Fresh Peas:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup minced shallots
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 4 ounces fresh morels, trimmed
- 1 cup pastina
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock, heated
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup fresh peas
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- Salt and pepper
- Stuffed Guinea Hen:
- 1 guinea hen, split in half
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced black truffles
- Salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 2 sprigs tarragon
- 1/2 cup vermouth
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 4 tablespoons butter
Prepare the pastina with morels and fresh peas. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil and 4 tablespoons of butter. Add the shallots and garlic, and saute until soft and glossy. Do not brown.
Add the morels and saute for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the pastina and stir until well coated with the oil. Deglaze with the hot stock and continue to cook and stir until most of the liquid has been absorbed and pastina is al dente. Stir in the thyme and bay leaf.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare the Sauteed Stuffed Guinea Hen. Halve and bone the guinea hen, leaving the first wing joint attached to the breast.
In a small bowl, combine together the goat cheese and truffles.
Gently slip your fingers under the skin of each chicken breast and thigh, lifting it slightly. Divide the cheese-truffle mixture and stuff under the skin, patting down to distribute evenly.
Season with salt and pepper both sides. In a large skillet, add the olive oil. Over high heat, saute the chicken halves, skin side down, until golden and crisp, about 3 minutes. Turn the chicken skin side up and continue to cook another 2 minutes. Add the thyme and tarragon. Transfer to the oven and bake until done, about 6 to 8 minutes. Arrange the chicken on top of the platter of Pastina with Morels and Fresh Peas.