Menu of the Month – April by Head Chef Kuba Winkowski

Kuba Winkowski, Head Chef at The Feathered Nest Inn, combines the best seasonal produce with foraged treasures and a dash of his Polish heritage to create award-winning dishes.

His menu for April features seasonal highlights such as pheasant eggs, roe deer, wild garlic and mushrooms and the first strawberries of the year, the gariguette.

He says, “The star ingredient on this starter is a pheasant egg. In April, they are in the peak of their season. I am using egg yolk, which is rich, thick and full of flavour. It is perfect combined with the sweet and tender meat of roe deer buck, which also comes into season in April. Adding a spicy dressing with juniper berry makes this a perfect starter. The main dish is all about morel mushrooms and wild garlic. In essence, this is chicken with a creamy mushroom sauce, which must be everyone’s favourite. Morels, foie gras and white port make this dish rich and luxurious. My April dessert is a celebration of first of the season’s strawberries. Gariguette strawberries are sweet and full of lovely perfume in April, which makes me think about the summer and sun to come. Cornflakes add texture and a satisfying, comforting flavour.”

Starter – Roe deer tartare, pheasant egg yolk, shimeji and juniper rye

Ingredients
Roe deer haunch or loin
Pheasant eggs
For the dressing:
10g garlic
8g tarragon vinegar
8g Tabasco
30g Dijon mustard
60g ketchup
20g Boquerones anchovy fillets
5g salt
1.5g juniper berries, ground
6g Worcestershire sauce
150g Pomace olive oil
For the rye croutons:
Rye bread
For the pickled shimeji mushrooms:
500g water
50g white wine vinegar
40g Chardonnay vinegar
30g shallots
2 garlic cloves, sliced
15g thyme, fresh
9g salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
3 punnets of shimeiji mushrooms
For the parsley oil:
200g flat leaf parsley, picked
400g Pommes olive oil

Method
For the tartare:
1. Portion the roe deer haunch into individual muscles.
2. Trim off all sinews and silver skin – you need pure meat only.
3. Roll in cling film and freeze.
4. Slice on a slice no.6.
5. Keep them frozen at all time (slice on a tray and put straight back in the freezer).
6. Divide into 70g portions and sous vide. Keep in the freezer.
7. When needed, remove from the freezer, defrost slightly and dice it up.
8. Season with salt, black pepper, chopped shallots, parsley, and diced cornichons.
9. Mix with parsley oil and extra virgin olive oil.
10. Separate out yolk from pheasant egg and place on top of the tartare before serving.For the dressing:
1. Place all ingredients except olive oil in a blender and blend to a smooth puree (do not overheat).
2. With motor running emulsify pomace olive oil (just like making mayonnaise).
For the rye croutons:
1. Slice rye bread on no. 1.5.
2. Place on a tray (dry).
3. Bake at 180C – no fan – for 10 minutes.
For the pickled shimeiji mushrooms:
1. Place all ingredients for the pickling liquid in a pan and bring to the boil.
2. Take off the heat and infuse for 20 minutes. Pass.
3. Bring pickling liquid back to the boil, add the mushrooms and take off the heat.
4. Leave the mushrooms to cool down in the liquid and check the seasoning.
For the parsley oil:
1. Put all ingredients in the blender.
2. Blitz slowly until spinning freely.
3. Put on the high heat and blitz for about 3 minutes, until smoking.
4. Pass through a j-cloth and chill.

Main – Cotswold white chicken, foie gras, morels, raviolo, wild garlic, white port sauce

Ingredients
Cotswold white chicken (serves four)
For the raviolo pasta:
8g salt
375g pasta flour
100g egg whites
80g egg yolk
10g olive oil
5g water
For the raviolo mousse:
100g chicken breast, clean and without sinews
100g cream
8g salt
200g confit drumstick meat
40g caramelised onion
5g parsley, chopped
1 pinch pepper
For the wild garlic mix:
50g spinach
100g wild garlic leaf
50g butter
10g mixed herbs (with shallots and garlic)
For the morel mushroom sauce
20g vegetable oil
125g shallots, peeled and sliced
25g soaked, dried morel mushrooms, drained and finely chopped (keep liquor)
Morel trimmings, finely chopped, if you have any
250g mushroom buttons, sliced
15ml lemon juice
350g white wine
200g white port
Morel mushroom soaking liquid
350g cream whipping
4g salt
125g butter, diced
0.2g xantana
Salt, to taste
Lemon juice, to taste
To serve
4 x 30g portions of foie gras
Carrots
Celery
Potatoes
Smoked butter

Method
For the Cotswold white chicken:
Breast:
1. Prepare chicken to the crowns no wish bones, wings or legs.
2. Sous vide the crowns and cook in the bath at 64C for 55 minutes.
3. When cold, remove the breasts, trim nicely and cut in half across.
4. Place pieces of breast on a cooling rack and cold smoke lightly (I use Douglas fir shavings).
5. Chill.
Thigh:
1. Cut thighs apart from the drumstick, bone out and skin.
2. Season with salt.
3. Roll into a cylinder.
4. Wrap in smoked streaky bacon, sliced on no 1. Wrap tight in cling film.
5. Cook at 72C for 2 hours. Chill.
6. When cold, top and tail and cut in half.
Drumstick:
1. Season drumsticks with salt, pepper and sous vide with duck fat and herbs.
2. Steam 100C for 1.5 hours.
3. Pick meat only, discard bones and skin, chop small.
For the raviolo:
1. Make the pasta by mixing whole eggs, egg yolk, water and olive oil together.
2. Put flour and salt in thermo mixer.
3. Run motor and pour in the egg mix.
4. Mix for about 1 minute.
5. Take out and knead into a ball.
6. Sous vide and rest for at least 30 minutes.
7. Make the chicken mousse filling in a cold Thermo mixer combining chicken, cream and salt.
8.. Make sure it’s well mixed; pass through a drum sieve.
9. Fold in rest of the mousse ingredients.
10. To make the wild garlic mix, sweat spinach and wild garlic in butter until wilted.
11. Add mixed herbs, cook for 10 seconds and chill. Chop finely when cold.
12. To make the raviolo, roll out pasta.
13. Divide mousse into 35g portions and roll into a ball – keep chilled
14. Make a quail-egg sized ball of wild garlic mix and wrap mousse around it.
15. Roll balls into a nice shape, top with a piece of morel and wrap in pasta.
16. Cook in boiling water for about 4 minutes
For the morel mushroom sauce:
1. Slowly sweat shallots and salt without colouring for 10 minutes.
2. Add sliced button mushrooms, lemon juice, drained ceps, and morel trimmings. Sweat without colouring until mushrooms give their juices. Cover with the lid.
3. Add white port and wine and reduce by half.
4. Add cream and mushroom soaking liquid and reduce again by half.
5. Pass through a fine chinois and squeeze all the liquid out.
6. Place liquid back into a clean pan and bring to the boil.
7. With bamix, emulsify the chopped, cold butter.
8. Finish with xantana.
9. Blitz thoroughly and correct seasoning. Pass.
To serve:
Celery: peel thick slices of celery and season. Sous vide with chicken stock, thyme and garlic. Steam for about 10 minutes.
Carrots: peel large bunched carrots and smooth round with a sponge. Cook slowly in light, foamy butter and lemon thyme – without colouring – for about 10 minutes.
Foie Gras: Season well and pan fry. De-glaze with sherry vinegar and rest.
Smoked mash potato: Make mash potato using Wellocks smoked butter (or smoke your own).

Desert – Gariguette strawberry, cornflakes, essence and red vein sorrel

Ingredients
For strawberry rocks:
125g sugar
50g water
25g Fizzy,Texturas
15g freeze-dried strawberry powder
For the strawberry essence:
400g gariguette strawberries
1 lemon juice and zest
250g sparkling wine
50g sugar
10g basil
10g mint
For strawberry and balsamic jelly:
115g strawberry essence
10g balsamic
1g agar agar
For the gariguette strawberry sorbet:
Sorbet syrup:
175g caster sugar
5g stabilizer
250g water
50g glucose
Sorbet:
1000g Gariguette strawberries, hulled
Juice of 1 lemon
Sorbet syrup from above
For gariguette strawberry puree:
150g Gariguette strawberries, hulled
20g caster sugar
5g lemon juice
6g Ultratex
For the cornflake clusters:
50g white chocolate
20g cornflakes
For the cornflake panna cott:
175g cornflakes
430g milk
135g whipping cream
40g caster sugar
2 bronze gelatine leaves, soaked
1 vanilla seed pod

Method
For the strawberry rocks:
1. Place freeze dry strawberry powder and Fizzy in the Vita prep blender and process to powder.
2. Mix the water and the sugar in a saucepan and cook to 125°C.
3. Take off the heat and leave until it reaches steady 135°C with itsown heat.
5. Add powdered Fizzy and freeze-dried strawberry powder, stir until powder dissolves completely.
6. Throw the mix into ¼ gastro gray, lined with greaseproof paper, and leave to cool.
7. Break the rocks as needed.
For the strawberry essence
1. Cut strawberries in quarters. Mix with all ingredients.
2. Put in a bowl, cover with cling film.
3. Put under the pass lights for 2 hours.
4. Pass through the fine sieve and muslin. Chill.
For strawberry and balsamic jelly
1. Bring 50g of strawberry essence and agar agar to the boil. Simmer on low heat for 1 minute.
2. Mix rest of strawberry essence with balsamic vinegar.
3. When agar agar is cooked out, mix all together and set in a small tray.
4. When set, dice into 0.5 cm cubes.
For the gariguette strawberry sorbet
Sorbet syrup:
1. Mix stabilizer with 10g of sugar.
2. Bring water, glucose and rest of the sugar to the boil.
3. Make sure everything has dissolved, then whisk in the sugar with stabilizer.
4. Cook for 2 minutes and pass.
Sorbet:
1. Liquidise strawberries.
2. Mix with sorbet syrup and lemon juice.
3. Freeze in Paco Jet beakers. Churn to order.
For gariguette strawberry puree:
1. Liquidise strawberries with sugar and lemon juice.
2. Add Ultratex and blitz till thickened.
For the cornflake clusters:
1. Melt chocolate and mix in the cornflakes.
2. Spread on non stick mat, quite compact.
3. Freeze. When frozen, break into small pieces.
For the cornflake panna cotta:1. Toast cornflakes at 180C for 15 minutes.
2. Put 125g of toasted cornflakes in milk and cream mixture for 10 minutes.
3. Pass and add second lot 50g of cornflakes. Infuse for 10 minutes. Pass
4. Spray moulds with greasing spray.
5. Bring 375g of infused milk and cream, caster sugar and vanilla seeds to the boil.
6. Take of the heat and add soaked gelatine. Pass.
7. Pour into sprayed moulds and set in the freezer.

 

Bio: Kuba Winkowski, Head Chef, The Feathered Nest Inn

Growing up in Poland, Kuba was originally steered towards business and finance as a career, despite an enduring love of cooking. In 2004, he came to the UK to learn to cook professionally, getting his first first full time job as a Commis Chef at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons under Raymond Blanc and Gary Jones in 2007.

In 2010, Kuba met Tony and Amanda Timmer at The Feathered Nest. Realising that they all shared the same vision he joined the Timmers as Sous Chef. In early 2012, Kuba took over as Head Chef and in his first year the restaurant was awarded 3 AA Rosettes.

Since then, The Feathered Nest has won various awards and Kuba has put his unique stamp on the culinary scene of the Cotswolds, creating a destination restaurant with many regular customers. His food is based on seasonal game, wild fish, foraged ingredients and the best local produce, paying homage to his Polish heritage with lots of techniques such as curing, air drying, smoking and preserving.

The Feathered Nest has been a customer of Wellocks since August 2011.