Chicken, vanilla parsnip purée, confit leek, lemon gel with Madeira reduction

This wintery recipe, which uses seasonal parsnips and leeks, is courtesy of Henrico Grobbelaar, formerly the executive chef of Azure at the 12 Apostles Hotel.



For the stuffed chicken breast 
6 chicken breasts
20 ml virgin olive oil
1 chicken breast fillet, no fat
1 egg white
5ml wholegrain mustard
10ml brandy
5ml cream
5g thyme

In an ice-cold blender, blitz the single chicken breast fillet with salt, pepper, mustard, brandy, cream and egg white. Pass through a sieve. Add the picked thyme and correct seasoning. Envelope cut each of the six chicken breasts and pipe this meat filling into the incision. Vacuum the breast and sous vide for 15 minutes at 67C. Rest for 10 minutes once cooked. Remove from plastic, season with salt and pepper and sear presentation side first in a hot pan lined with olive oil and butter. Turn over and sear the bottom side for 1 minute. Leave to rest for 1 minute and cut to serve. Serve cold.

For the vanilla parsnip purée
100g butter
1 onion, finely chopped
500g parsnip, peeled and sliced thinly
500ml cream
2 vanilla pods, deseeded
5g salt
3g fine white pepper

Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat. Add the onion and sweat for 5 minutes without colouring. Add the sliced parsnips and sweat a further 5 minutes without colouring. Pour in the cream, vanilla beans and the pods. Season with salt and white pepper. Bring slowly to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes until the parsnips are tender. Remove the vanilla pods. Transfer the parsnips to the thermo mix and blend to an ultra-smooth purée. Pass the purée through a drum sieve into a clean saucepan. (If too thick, thin it down with a little bit of milk and correct the seasoning.)

Confit leeks
8 leeks, washed and trimmed into 4cm cylinders
5g salt
5 sprigs thyme 1
bay leaf
3 garlic cloves
3 green peppercorns
30ml chicken fat

Put the leeks in a saucepan with a little seasoning. Cover with melted chicken fat and place over a very low heat. Slowly cook the leeks for 8 minutes until they are tender when pierced with a skewer. Remove from the fat and drain well. Slowly reheat in a pan with salt and pepper.

Madeira jus 
Add together 50ml Old Brown Sherry and 300ml stock and reduce to 80ml.

Cooked lentils
500g puy lentils
1 onion, white whole peeled
1 carrot, peeled
1 bay leaf
8 sprigs thyme
2 garlic cloves, bashed
5 green peppercorns

Soak the lentils over night in cold water. Rinse and add them to a pot, cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, remove from the heat and strain the lentils. Place in another pot, cover with fresh water and add the peeled carrot, peeled onion, bay leave, thyme, green peppercorn and crushed garlic. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but not split. Drain immediately and spread the lentils on a tray to cool down quickly to room temperature. Pick out the herbs and vegetables. Cover and refrigerate for 2 days.

Lemon gel (yields 100ml)
200g whole lemon, blanched 3 times
60g caster sugar
2 gelatine sheets

Cut the blanched lemons into large chunks. Place the lemons and sugar in a heatproof bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place over a saucepan of simmering water and cook for 40 minutes. Soak the gelatine in cold water for 5 minutes or until softened. Strain the lemon through a fine sieve, discarding the solids. Place the liquid in a saucepan over medium heat, squeeze out the excess water from the gelatine and add to the pan, stirring to dissolve. Remove from the heat and spread evenly over a 30 x 20 cm tray lined with freezer film. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set. Transfer to a blender and blend to a smooth velvet consistency. Transfer to a sanitised squeeze bottle.

Parmesan crumbs (yields 15)
40g butter, unsalted
40g flour, all purpose
40g Parmesan, finely grated
2g Maldon salt

Preheat the oven to 160˚C. Rub the butter and flour together to form crumbs. Add the Parmesan and knead together to form a dough. Roll out between baking paper to 5mm thick. Place on a baking tray, remove the top sheet of paper and bake for 16 minutes or until crisp. Allow to cool and break to form crumbs. Keep dry at all time. Can refresh the crumbs to pop it in the oven for 1 minute.

Basic brown stock (yields 1000ml)
2000g meaty beef bones
1500ml water
3 onions, peeled and chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 celery, washed and chopped
2 leeks, washed and chopped
1 sprig rosemary
8 whole peppercorns
3 garlic cloves
1 bay leaf

Chop the beef bones and brown well on all sides in a roasting tray in the oven. Drain off any fat and place the bones in the stockpot. Brown any sediment that may be in the bottom of the tray, deglaze with half litre of cold water, simmer for a few minutes and add to the bones. Add the remainder of the cold water to the stock pot, bring slowly to the boil and skim every 30 minutes. Simmer for 2 hours. Wash, peel and roughly cut the vegetables, fry in a little fat until brown, strain and add to the beef pieces. Add the bay leaf, rosemary, crushed garlic and the peppercorns. Simmer for 6 – 8 hours. Skim and strain. Prepare a day in advance.

This recipe was designed for Eat Out by Henrico Grobbelaar, Executive Chef of Azure

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