A few weeks ago, JG Black Book was invited to indulge in a succulent scallop recipe from Michelin star Chef Michel Luows of Huka Lodge, sister property to Grande Provence. This week, we turned to Darren Badenhorst, Executive Chef at Grande Provence, with hopes of paralleling the culinary magic we experienced from his Franschhoek restaurant's New Zealand counterpart. What we've recieved proves a set standard of creative brilliance between the chefs, and a uniform desire to completely captivate the senses of guests with a fabulous fusion of flavor. In other words: Oh. My. Yum-ness.To preview what a meal at Grande Provence might smell, taste, and look like, follow Chef Badenhorst's directions to achieve culinary couture below:
2 free range elgin chicken breasts
4 beef marrow bones
50g Chopped fresh thyme
2 large carrots
2 large potatoes
2 cardamom seeds
5g Japanese truffles/2mls truffle essence if unavailable
200ml Beef stock
1 clove of garlic
8 Fresh or dried morel mushrooms
Slice the chicken breast down the centre about 2cm deep, working outwards flatten the breast till flat and even. Season the breast and sprinkle thyme over the entire surface, then place on top of a buttered piece of heavy duty tinfoil (30cm by 30cm). Next push the raw marrow out of the bones and lie 2 pieces (dependant on length) along the centre of the breast. Roll the breast over the marrow then fold the foil around the breast and roll tightly to form a sausage like shape. Twist the foil opposite directions on either end and fold tips in to secure. Set aside
Reduce the port by half then add the stock and reduce again till a good “spooning” consistency is achieved. Set aside.
Make a basic mash with the potatoes then grate in truffles or add truffle essence. Season accordingly, then place in a piping bag with a large star nozzle. Pipe the mixture onto a buttered baking tray in small round “hive like” shapes then lightly egg wash. Grill these just before serving till golden brown. 4-8 minutes depending on grill temperature.
Peel and chop up the carrots. Dice the onion and lightly sweat in a small pot along with the cardamom pods. Add the carrots and garlic. Then just cover in cold water (chicken stock would be ideal here but water is fine). Cook till soft, remove the pods, add the cream then blend using a stick blender or kitchen processor till a smooth fine puree is achieved. Keep aside, then reheat to serve.
Now place the foil wrapped breasts in simmering water and cook for 8-10 minutes , depending on size. Remove from the water and foil, then pan fry till golden. Put the dried morels in the same water for 45 seconds, then lightly pan fry in butter and thyme.
To serve, slice the ballotine into 3 equal pieces. Plate the duchesse potato alternating with the chicken then spoon or pipe the puree on either side of the plate. Garnish with morel mushrooms and chervil.
To do: Add a dinner at Grande Provence to the bucket list.
Thank you for this savory sensation, Chef Darren Badenhorst!
-the JG Black Book team