Gastronomixs

Chicken in a jar

This month’s guest chef is Paul Pairet. Paul was born and trained in France and runs three different types of restaurants in Shanghai: a popular French modern eatery ‘Mr & Mrs Bund’, a cafe ’Polux', and the avant-garde and experimental ‘Ultraviolet’ which received three Michelin stars in September 2017 and which has been ranked among ‘The World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ since 2015. 

Paul first came to notice at Paris’s Cafe Mosaic. Critics talked of Mosaic and of Alain Ducasse’s Spoon in equal terms. In fact, Pairet’s cooking at Mosaic made such an impression on Ducasse that it was the master chef himself who plucked Pairet out and arranged his next move to Istanbul. Pairet then took his talents to the Ritz-Carlton’s Cam, where he turned the hotel outfit into the city’s first cutting-edge restaurant. He was to repeat the task in Shanghai where he ultimately opened his three restaurants, including Ultraviolet***.

Paul approaches cooking, ingredients, techniques, textures, and flavours with a lack of prejudice and an unbiased opinion without regard for national boundaries or ‘class’ devoid of context and reputation.
‘Above all, flavours should taste divine, assertive, sending taste buds into raptures and the mind travelling on a bite through countries or found memories’. Besides flavours, Pairet plays with texture and smell, he tricks the eye, cracks jokes in dishes, challenges pre-conceived ideas, and expectations, and makes you think for a second, making you wonder how and why.

Creation by Paul Pairet, Ultraviolet***, Shanghai.
Photography by Scott Wright Limelight Studio.

Chicken in a jar

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Ingredients

4

l

mineral water

250

g

fine salt

125

g

sugar

40

g

pink salt

700

g

bone-in chicken breast

1.5

l

brine mix

500

g

duck foie gras, whole lobe

As needed:

 

salt

100

g

Xerez vinegar

1

g

Xantana Texturas

10

g

kaffir lime zest

100

g

Maldon salt

300

g

half shallots

As needed:

 

Xerez vinegar

As needed:

 

olive oil

As needed:

 

kaffir lime salt

As needed:

 

chicken breast, cooked sous vide

As needed:

 

seared duck foie gras

As needed:

 

peanut oil

As needed:

 

kaffir lime salt

As needed:

 

kaffir lime leaves

As needed:

 

vineyard wood

100

g

spring onion

As needed:

 

olive oil

As needed:

 

kaffir lime salt

Preparation method: brine mix
  • Dissolve sugar and salt in one litre of warm mineral water.
  • Combine with the remaining three litres of mineral water. 
Preparation method: chicken breast
  • Submerge the chicken breast in the brine for six hours.
  • Remove the chicken breast, pat dry with absorbent paper.
  • Reshape the chicken breast, wrap with cling film to form a natural shape.
  • Transfer the breast to a vacuum bag, vacuum at 100%.
  • Submerge vacuumed chicken in a water bath at 65°C, remove when internal core temp. reaches 70°C. (Approx. three hours of cooking).
  • Cool over ice water and refrigerate.
Preparation method: seared duck foie gras
  • Using a hot knife, slice the duck foie gras into 2.5cm thick slices.
  • Season portions with salt, on presentation side only.
  • Sear seasoned side of foie gras in a non-stick pan at a medium-high heat until evenly caramelised.
  • Transfer the seared foie gras to a flat tray lined with paper.
  • Cover and refrigerate.
Preparation method: Xerez coulis
  • Combine the vinegar with the Texturas.
  • Hand blend in a narrow container at low speed.
  • Sieve.
  • Store in a small tipped squeeze bottle.
Preparation method: kaffir lime salt
  • Combine the zest and salt.
Preparation method: shallot Xerez
  • Select the best shallots and slice them in half vertically, from top to bottom. 
  • Separate the layers.
  • Marinade the centre layers of the shallots in Xerez vinegar for one hour.
  • Remove and store covered at room temperature. 
Preparation method: chicken foie gras skewer
  • Remove the cooked chicken breast from the bone using a sharp knife (taking care not to detach the chicken tender from the breast) and remove any veins if necessary.
  • Torch the chicken skin, until well caramelised and crispy.
  • Portion the chicken breast, slicing horizontally straight through the breast, to create 30g portions, approximately 2.5-3cm thick.  
  • Lay the chicken slices on the flat side.
  • Portion the seared foie gras into 25g portions, using a sharp knife and keeping the natural shape of the foie gras lobe.
  • Lightly season the top side of the chicken portions with peanut oil and kaffir lime salt.
  • Top the seasoned chicken breast with portioned foie gras, seared side up.
  • Centre the chicken foie gras montage on one kaffir lime leaf.
  • Skewer the montage at a 30° angle, starting at the centre of the foie gras and finishing with the lime leaf.
  • Select a second lime leaf and roll tightly (will be used to hold the montage skewer).
  • Carefully centre the rolled lime leaf underneath the flat lime leaf for the chicken foie gras montage.
  • Gently slide the montage until the rolled lime leaf is 5cm above the skewer tip.
  • Stand skewers on an ovenproof surface and transfer to ovenproof trays.
Finishing and presentation
  • Preheat the oven to 65°C with 30% steam.
  • Prepare ovenproof containers with empty glass jars. 
  • Insert prepared chicken foie gras skewer containers and empty jar containers into prepared oven.
  • Heat for ten minutes and then remove.
  • Transfer chicken foie gras skewers to warm jars.
  • Burn smashed edge of vineyard wood with a torch until smoking.
  • Transfer smoking vineyard wood to glass jar and close immediately.
  • Return to prepared oven and heat for one minute.
  • Portion spring onion heads with a bias cut, 7cm long.
  • Season shallot Xerez and spring onion heads with olive oil and kaffir lime salt.
  • Arrange one seared cep, a pinch of kaffir lime salt, one seasoned spring onion head, three portions of seasoned shallot Xerez, and a 3cm drop of Xerez coulis neatly on a plate.
  • Serve smoked chicken jars together with prepared plates.

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