Sot-l’y-laisse Confits, Like The Print Of A Trip To Senegal by Chef Eric Guérin, H&S Chef Of The Month
H&S Chef Of The Month
Chef Eric Guérin
La Mare aux Oiseaux
Interview With H&S Magazine
Who Is Eric Guérin?
After making debuts at the famed Parisian restaurants: La Tour d’Argent, Jules Verne, and Taillevent, Eric Guérin decided to open his own warm and charming hotel-restaurant La Mare aux Oiseaux in Saint Joachim.
Eric’s key strengths are undoubtedly his creativeness and forcefulness, nurtured from his daily life. He has been able to impose his style throughout the years, in 2000 was awarded his first Michelin star, and the National Order of Merit presented in person by President Nicolas Sarkozy the following year.
A fascinating chef with a “rock-star” look has an intimate knowledge of working with produce to bring out the finest in his dishes, has recently opened a new establishment in Giverny: Le Jardin des Plumes.
His cooking inspiration is really large, it comes from his travels, encounters, but also from events from around the world. The chef wants it “alive”, all in relief, with seasonal product, textures, and temperatures… to tell stories, to convey emotions. For him, it is decidedly contemporary and enriched every day. His signature is sour and the texture. He creates today never knowing in advance of tomorrow, he creates more than 300 recipes a year.
His cooking is an islander cuisine (he lives on an island in the Brière Marshland, the Island of Fédrun), as everyone who lives on the islands, he had always wanted to travel, to cross the sea, but like all those people attached to their land, once he is away, their only desire is to go back home.
His kitchen tells the story of these trips, shared between the idea of going away and returning to its roots. It is based on local products to which he adds numerous touches to make it travel far away, however, the product stays essential and reminds us to go back to where it comes from; in his imagination or in the plates, he always uses the birds as support of migration trough the world.
Type Of Cuisine?
Reinvented French cuisine, strongly bonded with my territory. I live on an island in a soft water swamp, surrounded by the sea. My cuisine is constructed around nature and is wildly emotional. Based on very simple or current/daily ingredients I aim at sculpting my dishes like jewels to give them nobles high gastronomy values. I imagine my dishes like seasonal pictures in which my favorite touches are local food, respect, human, harmony, and beauty.
What Inspired You To Become A Chef?
The desire to build a house constructed around an Art de Vivre, a strong lifestyle where nature and arts reunited, and a sharing and transmission spirit. My hotel and restaurant is a living window right open on the passion I have for my adoption area.
What Is The Biggest Challenge You Have Faced In The Culinary Industry?
To start from zero with a little cottage/chaumiere in the middle of nowhere and to be able to transform it with my teams to a beautiful and radiant Michelin Starred restaurant and four stars hotel that attracts people from all around France and Europe.
What’s Your Biggest Achievement In The Culinary Industry?
To be able to keep the human (my team) in the center of my inspiration and to build a blooming team in a very hard industry.
When It Comes To Cooking What Is More Important To You The Technique, The Ingredients, Or The Creativity?
For me, ingredients inspire creativity and I finally need techniques to achieve my dreams.
Recipe Of The Week: Sot-l’y-laisse Confits, Like The Print Of A Trip To Senegal
Serves: 4 Peopleby Chef Eric Guérin
• 20 free-range chicken oyster (fowl)
• 200g of coarse gray salt from Guérande
• 500g goose fat
• 1 sprig of thyme
• 1 free-range chicken skin
Onion Juice Ingredients:
• 8 onions
• 2l of spring water
• 4 cloves
• 1 C. cumin seeds
• 2 cinnamon sticks
• 1 black cardamom
Mustard Seed Pickles Ingredients:
• 30g of blond mustard seeds 30cl of poultry broth
• 10cl of rice vinegar
• 0.5l of spring water
• 15g of honey from our beehives
White Onion Petals Ingredients:
• 1 bunch of small new white onions
Onion Gel Ingredients:
• 2 onions
• 1 l of spring water
• 1 dehydrated bird’s eye chili
• 4g of iota carrageenan (natural gelling agent)
• 1 lime
• 1 lemon
• Arugula leaves
• Black pepper from Madagascar from the mill
• Guérande sea salt
• Olive oil
• Oyster sauce
• Espelette pepper
• Onion juice
Onion Juice (The Eve)
Preheat the oven to 250 °C. Place 10 onions in a deep baking dish, cover them with aluminum foil, then bake for an hour. Remove the foil, then fill the pan with 2 liters of spring water to cover the onions. Add the spices, 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce, and bake again at 90 °C and cook for 7 hours. Take the tray out of the oven and let it cool to room temperature, then pass the juice through a chinois and keep the onions. Reserve two for the gel.
If necessary, add the juice to reduce to obtain a dark juice concentrated in flavors, otherwise, adjust the seasoning, and store it in a cool place.
Mustard Seed Pickles (The Eve)
Soak the mustard seeds overnight in the broth so that they rehydrate. The next day, drain them and cook them over low heat in water, vinegar, and honey to obtain a beautiful seed swollen and golden to perfection. Keep cool in the cooking liquid.
Clean the oyster (fowls), then put them in salt for 10 minutes at room temperature. Rinse and dry them carefully, then put them to confine in goose fat with the thyme branch for 30minutes at 60 °C (we carry out this operation under vacuum and in an immersion heater). Then let it cool in the fat.
Collect the inside of the onions that were used to make the juice, put them in the Thermomix® with half a tablespoon of oyster sauce, a pinch of Espelette pepper. Mix to obtain a fine muslin. Adjust seasoning and keep cool.
White Onion Petals
Clean the small onions and remove the tops. Cook the onions sous vide with a little salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil for 45 minutes at 90 °C. Let them cool then cut the onions in half, burn the flat surface with a torch, and remove the leaves to obtain regular petals. Keep refrigerated.
Crispy Chicken Skin
Spread the chicken skin on a baking sheet covered with baking paper, season well, insisting a little on the Guérande fleur de sel, cover with another baking paper, then with a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 210 °C. Let it cool between the baking sheets but outside the oven.
Cut small triangles and store them in a dry place, adding fleur de sel if necessary to achieve the crispy effect.
Take the two burnt onions set aside for the juice, cut them in half, then add the bird’s eye pepper and 1 liter of spring water. Bring to a boil for 15 minutes. Leave to infuse until completely cooled. Pass through a chinois then return to temperature until simmering, add the iota, bring to a boil, then keep in the fridge.
Dressing The Plate
Add the oysters (fowls) quickly on the plancha grill to add colour as well as reheat them. In a deep plate, place a quenelle of onion puree, pour in a stock of stock at room temperature. Garnish with the roasted sot-y-leaves, garnished with chicken skin crisps, and a few leaves of arugula or mustard shoots, and a few flowers to flavor the dish. Grate the zest of the two lemons, give a final turn of the pepper mill, and place the white onion petals garnished with a few mustard seeds covered with onion gel.