Christopher Kostow




Chef Christopher Kostow
The Restaurant at Meadowood | Napa

Poached and Roasted Poussin with Chestnut, Parsnip, and Apples

Chef Christopher Kostow of The Restaurant at Meadowood – St. Helena, CA
Adapted by
May 2009

Yield: 10 Servings


    Chicken Mousse:
  • 1,000 grams chicken breast, diced
  • 150 grams egg whites
  • 50 grams kosher salt
  • 10 grams polyphosphate
  • 400 grams cream
  • 5 grams black truffle oil
  • 20g salt
  • 25 grams parsley, blanched and minced

    Breast Roulade:

  • 5 whole poussin
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 grams Activa RM
  • ½ recipe Chicken Mousse
  • Wondra flour
  • Duck fat
  • Brown Butter
  • Fleur de sel

    Poussin Leg Roulade:

  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced large
  • 2 yellow onions, diced large
  • 1 celery root, peeled and diced large
  • 10 grams salt
  • 100 grams white wine
  • 10 reserved poussin legs
  • 2 liters chicken stock
  • 350 grams granny smith apple, diced small
  • 300 grams black trumpet mushroom, diced small
  • 250 grams braised chestnut, diced small
  • Reserved chicken mousse
  • 20 leaves Napa cabbage, blanched until soft

    Spiced Poussin Broth:
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced large
  • 2 yellow onions, diced large
  • 1 celery root, peeled and diced large
  • 1,500 grams poussin carcass
  • Duck fat
  • 2 granny smith apples, diced large
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 30 grams maple syrup
  • 200 grams apple cider vinegar
  • Salt

    Chestnut Puree:
  • 30 grams sugar
  • 20 grams butter
  • 35 grams sherry vinegar
  • 250 grams blanched chestnuts
  • 1 liter milk

    Parsnip Puree:
  • 500 grams parsnips, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 liter milk

    To Assemble and Serve:

  • 1 parsnip, diced medium
  • Brussels sprout leaves
  • Black trumpet mushrooms
  • Chestnut shavings


For the Chicken Mousse:
Place the chicken, egg whites, salt, and polyphosphate in a container and chill for 30 minutes in the freezer, along with the bowl of a Robot Coup food processor. Once chilled, place the chicken in the Robot Coup bowl and blend in the food processor for 1 minute. With the blade running, slowly add the cream, truffle oil and salt to the chicken and pass the mixture through a tamis. Divide the mousse mixture in half, reserving one half for the Leg Roulade. Add parsley to the other half, placing the mouse in a piping bag with a ⅓-inch tip. Pipe the mousse into 165°F water and allow to simmer for 1 minute. Place the mousse in an ice bath until chilled. 

For the Breast Roulade:
Carefully peel the skin off the birds, making sure to avoid creating any tears. Place the skin between 2 multifold towels to dry.

Remove the legs and reserve for the Leg Roulade. Remove the breasts. Reserve the carcass for the Poussin Broth. Place the breasts between two pieces of kitchen plastic. With a meat mallet, gently pound the breasts until all achieve the same thickness. Trim the breasts slightly to give them a rectangular shape.

Whisk the egg whites and Activa RM in a bowl until combined. Remove the skin from the paper towels and lay flat, trimming it to a 4-inch x 6-inch rectangle. Cover a cutting board with plastic wrap and lay the chicken skin on top, with the narrow end of the skin facing you. Place 1 breast on the bottom edge of the skin and brush with the egg white slurry. Place 1 portion of the Chicken Mousse along the breast and cover with a second breast. Carefully roulade the breasts with the skin and roll in plastic wrap, securing the ends of the plastic. Poach the roulade in a 155°F-water bath for at least 10 minutes. Remove the plastic and dust the roulade with Wondra flour. Roast the skin in hot duck fat until crispy and blot on a multifold towel. Slice the roulade and brush it with brown butter, finishing with fleur de sel to taste.

For the Poussin Leg Roulade:
Sweat the carrots, onions and celery root in a medium sauce pot and add 10 grams salt. Once the vegetables are soft, deglaze them with the white wine. Reduce the wine to dry and add the poussin legs and chicken stock, bringing the mixture to a simmer. Gently cook for 45 minutes, or until you can pull the thigh bones out of the meat. Allow the poussin to cool in the liquid. Once cold, pick the leg meat and discard all of the bones.

Heat a large cast iron sauté pan on high heat and cover the bottom with a thin film of oil. When the oil begins to smoke, add the diced apples and cook until caramelized. Remove the apples from the pan and add the mushrooms and chestnuts, sautéing until soft. Add the mixture to the apples and cool. Combine the mushroom/apple mixture with the braised leg meat; use the reserved Chicken Mousse to bind the mixture.

Cover a cutting board with plastic wrap and place 1 leaf of Napa cabbage on top, stem-end facing you. Cut the leaf in half, discarding the thicker stem-end. Place 1 teaspoon of the mixture on the bottom end of the cabbage and roll into a little parcel. Tightly wrap the parcel in plastic wrap, securing the ends. Poach at 165°F for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the plastic and slice.

For the Spiced Poussin Broth:
Sweat the carrots, onions and celery root in a medium sauce pot. In a large pot, brown the poussin carcass in duck fat. Remove the carcass from the pot and all but 3 tablespoons duck fat, adding the sweated vegetables, apples and spices to the pot. Add the maple syrup and caramelize well; deglaze the mixture with the apple cider vinegar and reduce au sec. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer, allowing the mixture to cook for approximately 5 hours. Strain the broth through a cheesecloth and reduce until flavorful. Finish with apple cider vinegar and salt to taste.

For the Chestnut Puree:
Add the sugar to a medium sauce pot and slowly caramelize until medium brown. Add the butter and, once melted, deglaze the mixture with the sherry vinaigrette, later adding the chestnuts. Incorporate the milk and allow to simmer until the chestnuts are soft. Blend the mixture and reserve enough liquid to form a thick puree; pass the puree through a chinois.  

For the Parsnip Puree:
Cook the parsnips in the milk until soft. Separate the 2 ingredients and place the parsnip in a Vita-Prep blender. Add enough milk for the parsnips to blend, creating a pudding-like consistency. Pass the puree through a chinois.

To Assemble and Serve:
Dice the parsnips and braise in butter. Blanch the Brussels sprout leaves and fry in oil until crisp. Cook the black trumpet mushrooms in butter.

Plate all of the components and top with the chestnut shavings (shaved on truffle shaver).


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   Published: May 2009