Images and recipes from Organum by Peter Gilmore (Murdoch Books) $59.99
Fragrant poached chicken, salted daikon, smoked eggplant cream, sashimi sea scallops, ginger-scented milk curd, virgin black sesame.
SERVES / 8
“This is one of my most sensual and pure plays on texture. The yielding, fragrant masterstock chicken against the smoky, silky eggplant cream, contrasted with salted daikon and slippery sashimi sea scallops, has great interplay. For me, the perfume of this dish is what makes it so elegant: the ginger-infused milk curd and the intoxicating aroma of the Korean cold-pressed virgin black sesame oil.” (p.248)
Fragrant poached chicken
3 litres (105 fl oz) chicken stock
(see Basic Recipes)
300 ml (10½ fl oz) dark soy sauce
300 ml (10½ fl oz) shaoxing rice wine (Chinese rice wine)
300 g (10½ oz) yellow rock sugar
7 star anise
4 pieces cassia bark, 10 cm (4 inches) long
1 bunch Asian spring onions
(white part only)
50 g (1¾ oz) ginger, thinly sliced
30 g (1 oz) garlic, sliced
1 orange, peel zested
1.6 kg (3 lb 8 oz) free-range chicken
Put all of the ingredients except the chicken into a 7 litre (245 fl oz) stockpot with a tight-fitting lid, bring to the boil and simmer on high for 10 minutes without the lid. Strain the liquid into another stockpot, discarding the solids. Bring the liquid back to a full boil then put the whole chicken—breast side down—into the pot. Immediately put the lid on the pot and turn off the heat. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for exactly 1 hour. Remove the chicken from the liquid and place on a draining tray. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes or until required.
Note: with this cooking method the chicken flesh will appear slightly pink, but it will be cooked through. The flesh should give between your fingers: if it doesn’t, you will need to cook it a little longer.
500 ml (17 fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove
100 g (3½ oz) whole smoked eel, cut into 1 cm (3/8 inch) thick pieces
25 g (1 oz) flaked bonito
Put all ingredients into a cryovac bag and seal. Cook in a water circulator at 50°C (120°F) for 30 minutes. Allow the oil to cool for 10 minutes. Open the bag and strain the ingredients through an oil filter bag or layered muslin (cheesecloth). Discard the solids and reserve the oil.
Smoked eggplant cream
500 ml (17 fl oz) smoked oil
1/4 lemon, juice
1 garlic clove, finely sliced
2 small, firm, super-fresh eggplants (aubergines)
Put the smoked oil, lemon juice and garlic into a large cryovac bag. Sit the bag inside a container with the ends folded over to allow easy access to the oil. Peel the eggplants one at a time and immediately dice into 2 cm (3/4 inch) square cubes. Put the eggplant cubes straight into the oil before they have a chance to oxidise. Repeat until all the eggplant has been used. When choosing the eggplant, freshness is imperative so that the seeds are very small and have not turned black inside the eggplant. If you cannot find super-fresh eggplants avoid using the more seeded parts of the eggplants. In this case you may need three or more eggplants. All these steps are important to keep the eggplant white.
When the eggplant is submerged in the oil, seal the bag then steam in a water circulator at 95°C (195°F) for 40 minutes until the eggplant is soft. Strain the eggplant away from the oil and process the eggplant in a blender. You may need to add a little of the cooking oil to obtain a smooth consistency. Pass through a fine drum sieve. Season and allow to cool.
Egg white pearls
4 egg whites
1 litre (35 fl oz) grapeseed oil
Strain the egg whites through a medium sieve and discard any material that does not come through the sieve with gentle pressure. Heat the grapeseed oil in a large heavy-based saucepan to 50°C (120°F). Put the strained egg white into a medium-size hypodermic syringe with a 0.5 mm (25 gauge) needle. In one slow but direct motion squeeze the egg white through the syringe into the hot oil. The eggwhite will form very small pearls. Allow to set for 1 minute then, using a rubber spatula, release the pearls from the bottom of the pan in a smooth motion. Allow another 30 seconds of setting, then strain the oil and the egg whites through a fine sieve. Place the egg white pearls on a tray lined with silicone paper. Reserve the oil and repeat the process until you have about 1 tablespoon of pearls (enough for 8 flowers).
Scallop pearl flowers
1 sea scallop
1 tablespoon white soy sauce
1 tablespoon crème fraîche
Finely dice the sea scallops to 3 mm (1/8 inch). Dress the scallops in the white soy sauce and place on paper towel to dry.
Whip the crème fraîche to firm peaks.
Lay some plastic wrap on the bench and cut it into 10 cm (4 inch) squares. Place a plastic wrap square over a shot glass then put a small dot (1/8 teaspoon) of crème fraîche in the centre. Next put 1/8 teaspoon of diced scallop on top. Gathering the plastic wrap corners together, squeeze the scallops and crème fraîche to form a tight ball. Twist the plastic tightly and place each ball in the refrigerator to set for 30 minutes (or 5 minutes in a blast freezer). Repeat the process until you have 8 balls. Using the same method with plastic wrap and shot glasses, place 1/2 teaspoon of egg white pearls in the centre of each piece
of plastic. Spread out the egg white pearls to form a single layer roughly the size of an Australian 50-cent piece (about 3 cm or 1¼ inch diameter). Carefully unwrap the scallop and crème fraîche balls and place a ball in the middle of the egg white pearls. Gather up the corners of the plastic to form a pearl. Allow these pearls to set in the refrigerator until required.
Fold some sturdy aluminium foil into a long, V-shaped rest and sit it fold down in some rice to keep it steady, with the wider
part of the V upright. This will act as a rack
to hold your scallop pearl flowers in shape. Use a 2 cm (3/4 inch) diameter round cutter to stamp out a cylinder from the daikon. Use a Japanese mandolin to slice the cylinders into 1 mm (1/32 inch) thin discs. You need 56 discs
(7 discs for each of 8 flowers). Blanch these discs in boiling water for 10 seconds and refresh in iced water. Drain and pat the discs dry. Overlap 7 discs in a circular pattern—they will gradually form a point—making a small cone shape. Place these cones in the foil rest and set aside in the refrigerator until required.
100 ml (3½ fl oz) extra virgin Korean black sesame oil
50 ml (1¾ fl oz) extra virgin Korean white sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon jasmine tea
15 g (1/2 oz) ginger, thinly sliced
15 g (1/2 oz) long green spring onions,
white part only, thinly sliced
Put all of the ingredients into a cryovac bag. Heat in a water circulator to 40°C (105°F) for 30 minutes. Allow to cool. Strain and discard the solids.
Ginger milk curds
45 g (1½ oz) ginger, thinly sliced
500 ml (17 fl oz) milk
25 ml (1 fl oz) vegetable rennet
25 ml (1 fl oz) still mineral water
Put the ginger and milk in a saucepan and bring to 70°C (160°F) then remove from the heat. Allow to infuse for 30 minutes then strain and discard the solids. Season with salt.
Just before serving, make the ginger curds two at a time in eight ramekins with a capacity of 50 ml (1¾ fl oz) each. Warm 100 ml (3½ fl oz) of the ginger-infused milk to 35°C (95°F). Mix the vegetable rennet and mineral water together. Put 2 ml (1/16 fl oz) of the rennet mixture into a syringe, swirl the milk around in the saucepan and shoot the rennet into the warm milk. Working very quickly, fill two ramekins. Repeat this process three more times until all eight ramekins are filled.
Allow to set, which will take about 2 minutes.
10 large sea scallops, finely sliced into 1 mm (1/32 inch) thin discs
50 ml (1¾ fl oz) white soy sauce
12 salted daikon twists
(see basic recipes)
Remove the chicken breast meat from the frame and shred the meat with your fingers. In a bowl, dress the chicken liberally with the fragrant oil and season with salt.
Dress the sliced scallops with the white soy sauce and a little of the fragrant oil.
Dress the daikon twists with the fragrant oil.
30 pea flowers
48 wasabi flowers
Place a generous spoonful of smoked eggplant cream in the centre of each plate. Spread out with the back of the spoon. Start layering the chicken breast, sea scallops and daikon twists. Make a space for the scallop pearl flower. Place the flower petal cone in first, then unwrap the scallop pearl and place the pearl in the centre of the cone the right way up. Using a dessertspoon, scoop half of the ginger milk curd carefully onto the salad. Dress with a little more fragrant oil then scatter the pea flower petals and wasabi flowers over the top. Serve.