August 2008

Fish Wrapped in Chicken Skin
Chef Josh Emett of Gordon Ramsay at the London – New York, NY
Adapted by StarChefs

This technique makes it possible to have tender fish with crisp chicken skin without the use of weird genetic science (or Activa meat glue). Salting the chicken skin overnight draws out the moisture, making for a wrapping that readily becomes a crispy exterior when stuffed with fish and roasted in hot oil. To achieve the perfect contrasting textures of crispy skin and tender, moist interior, be sure to repeatedly turn the roulade in the hot oil while simultaneously basting it with a light batter.

Photos: Antoinette Bruno
+ click images to enlarge

Step 1: Carefully remove the entire skin from chicken legs.

Step 2: Cover skin in salt and reserve 12-24 hours.

Step 3: Stuff fish portions into chicken skin. 

Step 4: Tightly wrap fish with skin in cling film and tighten to form a round shape.

Step 5: Blanch two minutes in boiling water and shock in an ice water bath. 

Step 6: Remove plastic and roast in hot oil, turning constantly while brushing the chicken skin with a light batter. Repeat baste-and-turn motion until skin is crispy.

Roasted Monkfish with Chicken Skin, Fennel Hearts, Baby Root Vegetables, Lemon Thyme, and Chicken Consommé
Chef Josh Emett of Gordon Ramsay at the London – New York, NY
Adapted by

Yield: 4 Servings


  • 4 pieces chicken skins, removed whole from the leg
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 pounds monkfish tail, cut into ½-pound portions
  • Salt and pepper

    Chicken Consommé:
  • 4 chicken carcasses
  • 2 liters chicken stock
  • ½ cup diced carrots
  • ½ cup diced onions
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • Bay leaf
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 chicken breast, cooked
  • 5 egg whites
  • Lemon thyme
  • Salt and pepper

  • 4 golden beets
  • 4 purple potatoes         
  • 4 fingerling potatoes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Olive oil
  • ½ cup honshimeji mushrooms
  • ½ cup English peas
  • 8 yellow baby carrots
  • 4 fennel hearts, sliced into 1 cm-thick pieces

    Tempura Batter:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder

    To Assemble and Serve:
  • Lemon thyme, finely chopped


For the Monkfish:
Carefully remove the chicken skins from the legs and cover in salt for 12 hours.
Wash off any excess salt, drain and dry. Push the monkfish portions inside each skin and wrap tightly in cling film. Poach for 3 minutes in boiling water and shock in ice water. Remove cling film, season, and dry any excess moisture.

For the Chicken Consommé:
Roast the chicken carcass until golden brown and cover with chicken stock. Add the mirepoix, bay leaf, garlic, and cook for 1½ hours.

Strain broth and chill. Blend the chicken breast with the egg whites and add to broth to clarify. Strain broth through a coffee filter, add thyme and season.

For the Vegetables:
Confit the beets, potatoes, and garlic in olive oil over low heat until soft. Sauté the mushrooms and peas in olive oil. Blanch carrots in boiling salted water. Roast the fennel hearts in oil and butter until golden brown.

For the Tempura Mix:
Whisk together flour, water, and curry powder to form a batter.

To Assemble and Serve:
Warm the vegetables and consommé. Pan-roast the monkfish in hot oil while turning often and brushing the skin with tempura batter until very crispy. Let rest for two minutes and slice into 4-5 slices. Arrange vegetables around plate and top with monkfish. Serve consommé tableside garnished with lemon thyme leaves.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch says overfished populations of monkfish are recovering, but concerns regarding sustainability remain due to the types of fishing methods used to catch this fish.

  Published: August 2008