Guinea Hen “Souva Roff” Modern with Foie Gras, Truffles, and Morels
Brandy, Madeira, and truffle aroma awaits diners when they break the flaky crust covering the baking dishes for this updated Souvaroff. As with the classic, the birds are stuffed with foie gras. The pastry cover, however, is made from stacks of buttered phyllo dough.
- Guinea Hens
- Guinea Hens - 2, 2-pound
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Clarified Butter - 1⁄4 cup (see Basics)
- Foie Gras
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Foie gras - 2-ounce pieces
- Butter - 2 tablespoons
- Olive Oil - 1⁄4 cup
- Shallots - 2, peeled and finely chopped
- Morels - 16, medium
- Salt and freshly ground pepper - 1⁄2 cup
- White Wine - 1⁄2 cup
- Guinea Stock or Chicken Stock - 2 cups, brown
- Madeira - 1⁄4 cup
- Brandy - 1⁄4 cup
- Black Truffles - 2 large, diced into small cubes
- Unsalted Butter - 2 tablespoons, cut into 1-inch cubes, at room temperature
- “Souva Roff” Cover
- Frozen Phyllo Dough - 16, 12-inch sheets, thawed
- Eggs - 2, mixed with 2 teaspoons water (egg wash)
- Salted Butter - 2 tablespoons,lightly, melted
To prepare the guinea hens: Remove the backbones and wings from the guinea hens and reserve to make a brown stock as described in “Basics.” Cut each hen into breast and thigh quarters, reserving any trimmings for the stock. Salt and pepper the breasts and thighs. In a large sauté pan or skillet set over high heat melt the butter and add the breast and thigh pieces skin side down. Sauté quickly, about 2 to 3 minutes per side or until the skin has browned. Divide the meat between two 2-inch deep round ovenproof dishes.
To prepare the foie gras: Salt and pepper the foie gras. Preheat a dry skillet over high heat. Melt the butter. Cook the foie gras for about 15 seconds on each side or until lightly browned. Immediately remove the foie gras to a cutting board, and slice into 1⁄2-inch thick pieces. Divide the sliced foie gras into 2 equal portions, and add to the dishes containing the guinea hens.
To make the sauce: Return the pan in which the foie gras was cooked to the heat and reduce the heat to medium-high. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and saute the shallots about 2 to 3 minutes until softened. Add the fresh morels and cook the morels 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the white wine and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring another 1 to 2 minutes or until the alcohol has cooked off and the flavors are combined. Remove the morels to a plate.
Strain the liquid remaining in the pan through a fine mesh strainer into a medium saucepan. Return the morels to the saucepan containing the strained liquid. Pour the guinea hen stock, Madeira, and brandy into the pan containing the morels. Add the diced black truffles and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Cook to reduce by half, stirring occasionally. The sauce should achieve a rich dark glaze. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste and remove from the heat. Add the butter one piece at a time, stirring after each addition. Let the sauce cool to room temperature and pour over the hens.
To cover and bake the “souva roff”: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place 1 sheet of phyllo dough on a large cutting board. Keep the remaining dough covered with a towel to keep it moist. Lightly brush the phyllo sheet with melted butter, and top with another sheet. Brush again with the melted butter. Repeat again with a third and fourth sheet. You now have 4 sheets of phyllo stacked. Cut the dough into a circle 1-1⁄2 inches larger than the dish in which the hens will cook. Brush the rim of the pastry circle with the egg wash, and cover the baking dish with the pastry. Press the dough firmly onto the dish to seal tightly. Repeat this process one more time to make the pastry cover for the second baking dish. Cut the remaining sheets of puff pastry into 3-inch circles, and cut the circles into decorative half moon and crescent shapes. Brush the shapes with egg wash and affix to the pastry cover, brushing the tops and sealing with egg wash. Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and browned.
To serve: Open each “souva roff” at the table so guests can enjoy the wonderful brandy, truffle, and Madeira aromas