This is the antipasto I prepared for our Christmas dinner. It was inspired by a dish we had at Devero** in Italy in June.
This was what the dish at Devero looked like and what I wrote about it in my review: “Scallops with yuzu and chicken may sound like a weird combination, but it is very tasty indeed and one of the best of the evening thanks to the outstanding wine pairing. The chicken is present as very crispy chicken as well as very concentrated chicken stock. The scallops are raw. The yuzu brings it all together. Unctuous scallops, crispy chicken skin, fresh yuzu and umami of the chicken stock.”
My dish is more simple than what was served at Devero. I couldn’t find yuzu, so I decided to use the most exotic citrus I could find instead, a bergamot orange. I wanted to garnish with green shiso leaves for color, but those were sold out. I decided to allow the chicken stock to firm up so I could use it as a base for the crispy chicken skin to stand up. Of the bergamot orange I simply used the juice and zest. The dish ended up quite different from what we had at Devero, but very nice indeed with a good combination of flavors and contrast between textures. It’s nice that the dish is only made from three ingredients! (Not counting a bit of salt.) Here’s what I did…
4 large fresh sea scallops
skin and carcass from a chicken (reserve the legs and breast for another use)
1 bergamot orange
4 shiso leaves for garnish (optional)
Take the roasted carcass out of the roasting tray and put it in a stock pot or pressure cooker. Add a litre (a quart) of water to the roasting tray and use a wooden spatula to release all the browned bits from the roasting tray so they will be included.
Season the chicken skin with salt and break it into four pieces. Put a piece of jelled chicken on top of each scallop, and insert a piece of chicken skin into the jelled chicken such that it stands up. Serve.
The dish at Devero was amazing with a Timorasso, a white wine from Piemonte. This wine may be difficult to find, but many dry, full bodied, complex, but unoaked whites will do for this.
The combination of first briefly hot smoking and then cooking sous-vide gives amazing results with many cuts of meat, as the smoky flavors can penetrate into meat while it cooks low and slow, and the meat will be wonderfully tender and succulent. It was also amazing with leg of lamb, turning it into a wonderfully smoked ham of lamb with very little effort.