Foodie Joust~Champagne, Mushrooms, Orange

31 12 2009

The January 2010 (whether you pronounce it 2 thousand-ten, or twenty-ten) Foodie Joust has us ringing in the new year/decade with champagne, mushrooms and oranges as ingredients.  Although these ingredients sound easy to work with…it got a little tricky when I started trying to come up with a combination.  I had to laugh with one of the other reader-chef-participants…all she could think of were mushroom mimosas…I understood that intensely.  I’d considered candying mushrooms for a similar reason. My spouse told me that was a bit farther out of the box than he expected even me to go.

Although it took awhile, and a freezer malfunction caused me to change my meat of choice at the last possible minute, I finally came up with, and present to you now…

Orange Lacquered Game Hen and Orange Mushroom pilaf sauced with a Lacquered Champagne reduction.

First off, I was planning to do this with duck, over a 5 hour period.  And I may still, but there was a freezer problem, and game hen had to be used as a quick substitute.   I marinated the game hen for a few hours in a marinade I created just for this joust.

Marinade and basting sauce~

1/4 cup sake (preferably sparkling sake if you can find it)
3 Tb. soy sauce (I use light soy)
2 Tb. hoisin sauce
1 Tb. orange juice
2 Tb. orange marmalade
4  thick ginger coins, bruised
1 lg. garlic cloves, crushed
4 allspice berries, toasted
1/4 tsp. coriander seed, toasted
1 star anise (or equivalent pieces), toasted
1 Tb. mirin
2 Tb. rice wine vinegar
Season to taste adjusting as needed with soy and hoisin sauce.
Toasted sesame oil-garnish drops

Mix all wet ingredients, toasted spices until fragrant and add whole to marinade.  Allow to steep 1 hour, then adjust seasonings to taste.  Marinate desired meat at least 30 minutes, to several hours.  I marinated the game hens about 2 hours.  I roasted the game hen halves at 325° for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Start breast down, baste underside of bird well for first 30 minutes of cooking time.  Turn over and baste every 10 minutes to achieve lacquered appearance.  Meanwhile, prepare rice in rice cooker.  When you get to the final couple of bastings, drizzle a few drops of toasted sesame seed oil into the marinade.

1/2 oz.  wild mushrooms, rehydrated, with strained soaking liquid.
1 Tb. orange zest
1/4 cup marinade from game hen (it’s safe to use, it will be fully cooked)
Aromatics from marinade-ginger and garlic

Add the ingredients and use the marinade as part of your cooking liquid in a rice steamer.  Run the cycle.  Check for doneness.  I had to add more liquid and run it a little longer as the mushrooms took on more liquid than I anticipated.

Lacquered Champagne Reduction
When meat is done, remove to plate and keep warm.   Have a small pan ready to prepare sauce.   Deglaze cooking pan with some of the sparkling sake, or champagne.  I used champagne.  Some of the lacquer may have blackened in the roasting pan, take care not to dissolve that into your sauce.  Add remainder of marinade to saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce by at least half.  Mount sauce with 2-3 pats of butter and a few drops of toasted sesame oil.

Tasting Notes ~
“This is certainly different, and not in a bad way!” said my cohort in foodie shenanigans, also known as my beloved spouse.  He’s used to surprises coming out of the kitchen, and may draw the line at candied mushrooms, but he was quite pleased with this dish.  He just wasn’t sure what to expect as I explained what I wanted to do!  This didn’t come out at all sweet, and the orange was an underlying essence, not at all overwhelming. I garnished the plates with Satsuma mandarin segments for a little additional orange flavor and color.  I would make this again.  I think it would be wonderful done with duck.  Note to self…make sure we have plenty of mandarin pancakes first!



5 responses

3 01 2010

Glennis, your dish is just awesome and love the presentation, very colorful and neat. It’s just fun to participate in this joust, an opportunity to try something interesting:)

3 01 2010

Beautiful dish and handling of ingredients! Good luck at the joust!

3 01 2010

Ok. This is gorgeous and looks scrumptious. Has all the ingredients I love and will definitely try this.
Sorry about your freezer problem. But, that’s how new things are born! And, the proof is in your wonderful entry. Good luck.

2 01 2010

Wow, as I read through this I kept thinking it sounded better and better. I was already convinced by the first photo, however. Looks really wonderful. Am always amazed by these jousts and the cooking skills that go into their preparation. Someday…

1 01 2010

Love these marinade ingredients! Best of luck in the joust. I too have an entry. May the best win.


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