Terrine of Summer Vegetables and Guinea Fowl
Layers of colorful vegetables and ivory guinea fowl meat give a jeweled look to slices of cold terrine. Extra flavor is added by oven-drying the tomatoes, grilling the vegetable slices, and cooking the guinea fowl in an herbed poaching liquid. The poaching liquid is also used to add flavor to the gelatin which binds the terrine. Used here as a garnish, the fried vegetable chips could show up on the table in baskets for an informal meal.
- Dried Tomatoes
- Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon, cold-pressed
- Plum (Roma) Tomatoes - 4, peeled, halved, and seeded
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper
- Guinea Fowl
- Whole guinea fowl (about 4 pounds) - 1, cleaned
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Basil leaf - 1
- Rosemary - 3 sprigs
- Thyme Sprigs - 2
- Bay Leaves - 2
- Onion - 1, quartered
- Carrot - 1, roughly chopped
- Celery - 1 stalk, roughly chopped
- White peppercorns - 8 to 10
- Head garlic - 1, cut in two
- Parsley stems - 12
- Guinea fowl stock (from above) or chicken stock - 1-1/2 cups
- Gelatin Powder - 1 packet
- Cold Water - 1/4 cup
- Vegetable Marinade
- Olive oil - 1/4 cup, cold-pressed
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Garlic Clove - 1, crushed
- Olive Oil - 3 to 4 tablespoons, cold-pressed
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper
- Zucchini - 2, sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
- Eggplant - 2, sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
- Red Bell Pepper - 2, roasted, peeled, and seeded
- Yellow Bell Pepper - 2, roasted, peeled, and seeded
- Tomato Vinaigrette
- Tomatoes - 2, peeled and seeded
- Basil leaves - 4, cut in very thin strips (chiffonade)
- Garlic clove - 1, minced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Red Wine Vinegar - 1 tablespoon
- Olive Oil - 1/2 cup, cold-pressed
- Crisp-fried Garnishes
- Potato - 1
- Zucchini - 1 small
- Eggplant - 1 small
- Canola oil for deep-fat frying
- Basil leaves - 8
- Purple Basil Sprigs - 8
To prepare the tomatoes: Preheat the oven to 250°F. Rub the tomatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet, cut-side up, and bake until almost dry, 45 to 60 minutes. Remove and let cool on the baking sheet.
To prepare the guinea fowl: Clean the guinea hen, then season the cavity with salt and pepper. Pack the basil leaf, one sprig of rosemary, and one sprig of thyme into the cavity. Truss the bird with white kitchen string. Place in a cooking pot and cover with water. Add the bay leaves, onion, carrot, celery, a few grindings of allspice, peppercorns, garlic, and parsley stems. Bring to a boil over high heat; skim any foam which rises. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook 45 to 50 minutes, until the meat is falling off the bones. Remove the bird from the pot and drain. Strain and reserve the poaching liquid and refrigerate. Put the bird into cold water to chill quickly. Drain. Remove the skin and cut or pull the breast, thigh, and leg meat from the bones. Spread out the meat to cool; if it will be more than 15 minutes before you use the meat, place it in the refrigerator.
To prepare the vegetables: Lightly salt the zucchini slices. Sprinkle the eggplant slices with salt and let stand for 10 minutes; rinse and pat dry. Put half of the olive oil in a medium saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the eggplant and zucchini strips, thyme, and garlic. Saute until lightly browned on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Add more olive oil to the pan and heat until it shimmers. Put the pepper strips into the hot olive oil and saute just until slightly softened. Remove and drain on paper towels. Let cool.
To assemble: Season the cooled, strained poaching liquid with salt and pepper and bring back to a boil. Dissolve the gelatin in the water. Remove the poaching liquid from the heat and let cool slightly; stir in the gelatin until completely dissolved. Line a terrine or loaf pan with plastic wrap, letting it hang out over the sides.
Soak the vegetable strips in the poaching liquid. Lay zucchini strips across the bottom of the prepared pan, overlapping them. Working in layers, add a layer of eggplant slices, guinea fowl meat, then eggplant slices again. Add a layer of yellow peppers, then a layer of red peppers. Top with a layer of zucchini, then the dried tomatoes, then more eggplant. Press down gently as you build; occasionally tilt the pan and drain off accumulating juice. When all layers are finished, press gently again and fold in the plastic wrap to cover. Refrigerate at least 6 hours.
To prepare the garnishes: Using a mandolin or V-slicer, cut the potato, zucchini, and eggplant into wafer-thin discs. In a deep fryer or deep heavy saucepan, heat the oil to 360 F, or until a breadcrumb immediately sizzles and comes to the top when dropped in. Dust the vegetable pieces lightly with flour, shaking off all but the thinnest coating. Fry a handful at a time for 30 seconds, until they have floated to the surface and crisped. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Do not crowd the pan. If necessary, fry in batches, letting the oil return to temperature between each batch. Repeat until all pieces have been fried. Set the vegetable chips aside in a dry place until ready to serve.
To prepare the vinaigrette: Press the tomatoes through a fine-meshed sieve and add the basil and garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper; stir in the vinegar. Whisk in the olive oil, a little at a time, until the mixture is emulsified.
To serve: Turn the terrine out onto a platter or cutting board, using the plastic wrap to help remove the terrine in one piece. Remove the plastic wrap. Cut the terrine into 8 slices with a serrated knife and place one on each chilled serving plate. Drizzle tomato vinaigrette on the plates and garnish each with basil sprigs and fried vegetable chips.