Tuesday, July 01, 2008


3 tablespoon olive oil or butter from guinea hen roast
2 slices smoked bacon, cut into 1/4-inch strips
2 heads frisée, trimmed, rinsed and patted dry
12 Bing cherries, stemmed and pitted
2 bunch small watercress, coarse stems removed, rinsed and patted dry
Juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Stuff guinea hen with the herbs. Truss with cotton butcher's string and season with salt and pepper. Melt butter in an oven-proof sauté pan large enough to hold the guinea hen over moderately high heat. When butter is golden brown and fragrant, about 3 minutes, add bird to the pan, reduce heat to medium, and brown bird on all sides. Set the bird breast-side up in the pan and roast in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes. To check for doneness, feel the upper part of the breast meat. If the meat springs back when pressed and feels firm, the bird is done. Allow bird to rest breast-side down for 12 minutes before carving.

(If using chicken breasts, season halves with salt and pepper and brown skin-side down in the brown butter for 5 minutes. Divide the fresh herbs into 2 bundles. Turn breasts over with kitchen tongs and set them directly on the herbs in the sauté pan. Roast breasts for 15 to 17 minutes, or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Remove breast meat from bones and slice thinly. Proceed with recipe as directed.)

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over moderate heat. (Or use 3 Tablespoons browned butter reserved from roasting guinea hen. Discard pan drippings if burned.) Add bacon and cook, stirring, until crisp but not tough. Add the frisee and lightly toss in to wilt the leaves in the hot fat. Add cherries and toss, then add watercress and lemon juice to taste. Remove pan from heat and season wilted salad with kosher salt. Divide salad among 4 plates.

Carve two breasts from the guinea hen. Slice breasts thinly and place on top of the salad. Drizzle meat with pan juices if desired. (Reserve guinea hen leg meat for another use, such as a cold "chicken" salad.)

courtesy of: AOL Food/Star Chefs.com

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