Rich chicken hearts, savory snails, and buttery croutons; oh my! What's not to lovage? See what we did there?
(With thanks to St. John’s in London for the idea)
6 Peconic Escargot snails in the shell
6 ¾ inch cubes of bread
6 chicken hearts
3 Tablespoon crème fraiche
½ cup picked lovage leaves
2 cups court bouillon
Prep the dish:
Salt the chicken hearts and leave in the fridge for 3 hours. Poach them in 160 degree olive oil for 10-12 minutes. Cool immediately and reserve.
Blanche the snails in less than simmering court bouillon for 4-5 minutes. Cool immediately and reserve.
Saute the bread cubes in a little butter, season with salt. Reserve when the croutons are crisp and golden on the outside but still a little soft on the inside.
Blanche the lovage leaves in boiling water for 30 seconds and remove to an ice bath. Puree the leaves in a blender with enough water to get the leaves to spin in the blender. Don’t over-process or the beautiful green will turn drab. Whisk together 2 tablespoons lovage puree with 3 tablespoons crème fraiche. Reserve.
Putting it all together:
Ever so gently warm the chicken hearts and snails in court bouillon. They needn’t be served hot so the liquid should never boil. Aim for around 150 degrees and don’t stay there for long. Warm the croutons in the oven. In a separate pot warm the lovage cream hewing to the same strategy as you used with the snails. Just 150 degrees, little more. Lay a thin puddle of lovage cream on the right sized plate and set the warmed hearts, croutons and snails on top in no particular order. Scatter chervil around, not too much, not too little and finish with a generous squeeze of lemon over everything. Serve immediately.
Chef Ned Baldwin - Houseman - New York, New York - www.housemanrestaurant.com