Truffle roasted guinea hen

January 22, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Truffle roasted guinea hen with vegetables grand mere. Impress your friends and family with this flavorful dish from Mark Sullivan, executive chef and partner with Spruce.

Truffle roasted guinea hen, vegetables grand mere and foie gras sauce
Serves 2

Required tools: Truffle shaver


  • 1 Guinea Hen or Chicken, approximately 2 ½ pounds
  • 1oz. black winter truffles, French Perigord Truffles are best
  • 2 tablespoons shallots, finely minced
  • 2 oz. butter, set at room temperature
  • 1/2 orange
  • 3 sprigs savory
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 6 oz. French round carrots, peeled and cut in half
  • 6 oz. baby turnips, peeled and cut in half
  • 6 oz. pearl onions, peeled
  • 6 oz. new potatoes, peeled and cut in half
  • 3 oz. Foie Gras, diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 1/2 cup sweet wine, Muscat or Riesling
  • 1 tablespoon banyuls vinegar
  • 2 cups poultry stock
  • 1 bouquet garnis
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil


Prepping and Roasting the Guinea Hen

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Using a truffle shaver or (Japanese mandolin) shave ½ oz. black truffles into paper thin slices. Place the shavings into a neat pile and cut very finely across the pile so that you have very fine strips. Place the truffle strips into a mixing bowl with the 2oz. of softened butter, and 2oz. of minced shallots. Mix together with a wooden spoon, place onto parchment paper, roll into a uniform log about one inch in diameter, and refrigerate until chilled.

Once chilled, slice truffle butter into ¼ inch coins, and place the coins under the skin of the hen, under the breast and around the thigh and leg of the bird. Place 3 sprigs of savory, 3 garlic cloves, and ½ of an orange in the cavity of the bird. Liberally season the bird with salt and truss with kitchen twine.

Place the trussed bird breast side up on a roasting rack and place in the 400 degree oven for forty minutes, or until the bird reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees.

Vegetables grand mere (grand mother's vegetables)

While the hen is roasting place two large skillets over medium-high heat and coat with a liberal amount of olive oil. Add the pearl onions to one skillet and the potatoes to another one. Shake the pans vigorously for the first minute of cooking. Lower the heat to medium and sauté for about 10-15 minutes, or until the onions and potatoes are caramelized and three-quarters of the way cooked. Repeat this method with the carrots and turnips, caramelizing them until they are three-quarters of the way cooked. Mix the caramelized vegetables in a large casserole, season with salt and reserve until the hen has been pulled from the oven. Draw off several tablespoons of pan drippings from the bird's roasting rack, mix into the vegetables and place in the oven for twenty minutes or until the vegetables are cooked through.

Resting the bird and making the foie gras sauce

Let the hen rest in a warm environment (80-90 degrees) for 15 minutes. Once rested cut the bird into 8 parts and keep warm (2 drum sticks, 2 thighs, 2 breasts cut in half). Take the wings, back bone and pan drippings and place in a large sauce pot over high heat. Add the ½ cup sweet wine, 1 tablespoon banyuls vinegar and reduce to a glaze. Add the 2 cups poultry stock, ½ orange, savory sprigs, 3 cloves garlic (leftover from the cavity) and reduce to 2/3 cup. Strain through a fine strainer. Place the natural jus into a pot, and add the diced foie gras. Bring to a simmer, and immediately strain and reserve.

Finishing touches and final presentation

Arrange the mixed vegetables on a large serving platter. Place the pieces of hen around the vegetables. Thinly shave (with a truffle shaver) the remaining half ounce of truffles over the hen. Drizzle the foie gras sauce over the dish. Enjoy immediately.

About Chef Mark Sullivan:
Mark Sullivan's harmonious connection to his craft is evident in his role as Executive Chef/Partner of Spruce in San Francisco and Partner of The Village Pub in Woodside, California. With no formal culinary education, Sullivan has always relied on his intuition and innate pleasure for cooking when creating his soulful food with clean, bright flavors. Sullivan's intellectual approach to being a chef involves a deep respect for his ingredients and challenging methods in an ongoing exploration of old world and modern cooking. His elegant yet approachable food has made his restaurants both a local's favorite and a destination restaurant for out-of-towners. It's also what landed him on the cover of Food & Wine Magazine as one of "America's Best New Chefs" of 2002 and most recently led to his recognition as chef at Spruce in Esquire magazine's 2008 "Best New Restaurants" issue.

Sullivan graduated from St. Johns University in Minnesota in 1990 with a degree in Philosophy. Recognizing that debating the merits of Nietzche didn't pay the bills, he returned to the kitchen, this time at Sol Y Luna in San Francisco, a restaurant that virtually pioneered the tapas trend in the Bay Area.

Looking to further develop his culinary talents, Sullivan left Sol Y Luna for Europe, cooking his way through Southern France and Northern Spain, acquiring an arsenal of authentic techniques. Inspired by his culinary adventures, Sullivan returned to San Francisco to join Slow Club, where the daily rotating menu provided the greatest creative challenge he had yet faced. Slow Club owner Jim Moffat watched as Sullivan thrived in the focused and innovative environment, and offered him the opportunity to be chef after 6 months of working together. Moffat later invited Sullivan to be the opening chef for a new venture, 42 Degrees. During his tenure there, San Francisco Magazine awarded the restaurant "Best Bay Area Mediterranean Restaurant" and Sullivan received a glowing review in Gourmet Magazine.

3640 Sacramento St
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 931-5100
Awarded an Esquire "Best New Restaurant" award