THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, our menu offers chicken, guinea hen, squab, pheasant, or other fowl recipes, ranging from a simply roasted bird stuffed with loads of garlic to spicy and refreshing summer preparations. During black truffle season, celebratory winter dishes like this roasted poularde really stand out. A poularde is a fat, meaty young hen with very tender meat. Since they aren’t widely available in the United States, a large chicken is a perfect substitution.
Truffle is the highlight of the dish, and to give it even more strength, we have paired chestnut and cabbage, earthy elements that bring sweetness, rusticity, and refinement at the same time. The nutty flavor of the crispy skin mixes with the breast coated with truffle, elevating the simple roast to an haute dish.
Remove and reserve the liver and heart from the cavity of the poularde. Carve the breasts and legs from the poularde. Separate the thighs and drumsticks and debone without cutting through the meat and skin. If desired, chop the leg bones and remaining carcass and wings into 1-inch pieces, rinse with cold water, and pat dry; reserve, chilled, for chicken stock .
Cut the truffles with a ring cutter slightly smaller than their circumference to make cylinders. Using a truffle slicer or mandoline, cut 24 very thin discs from the cylinders, transfer 8 to a plate, and wrap very tightly with plastic wrap; reserve, chilled. Lightly season the remaining 16 slices with olive oil, salt, and pepper and divide them under the skin of the breasts, arranging them in a single layer. Finely chop all the remaining truffle and trim, transfer to a covered container, and reserve, chilled (for chestnut-stuffed cabbage, stuffed thigh, truffle coulis [here], glazed salsify, sauce périgueux [here], and finishing the poularde).
With an immersion circulator, preheat a water bath to 144°F. Season the breasts on all sides with salt and pepper. Wrap the breasts in plastic wrap to tighten their form, place in a sous-vide bag, and vacuum-seal. Submerge the breasts in the water and cook until the internal temperature reaches 140°F, about 65 minutes. Remove from the water bath and chill in ice water.
Increase the water temperature to 150°F. Remove the skin from the drumsticks and finely dice the meat; transfer to a bowl and combine with 1 tablespoon of the chopped black truffle, the liver, heart, Cognac, and salt and pepper. Lay the thighs skin side down on a square of plastic wrap, season with salt and pepper, and divide the meat mixture on top of them. Use plastic wrap to roll them into cylinders and tie off the ends. Place in a sous-vide bag and vacuum-seal. Submerge in the prepared water bath and cook for 3 hours. Remove from the water bath and chill in ice water.
Reserve the breasts and thighs overnight in the refrigerator.
For the Chestnut-Stuffed Cabbage and Stuffed Garganelli Pasta
Using a mandoline, cut 1 baby carrot lengthwise into thin slices. Pick the celery leaves and cut eight ¼-inch cubes from the stalk. Reserve the shaved carrot, celery leaves, and cubed celery, wrapped and chilled. Finely chop the remaining carrots and celery.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and place a bowl of ice water on the side. Peel the 4 largest leaves from the exterior of the cabbage. Boil them for 2 minutes, or until tender, and chill in the ice water. Boil the pasta until tender and chill in the ice water. Drain and pat dry the cabbage leaves and pasta. Transfer the truffle coulis to a squeeze bottle or piping bag and fill the garganelli; reserve, covered and chilled.
Thinly slice the remaining cabbage. In a large sauté pan over medium-low heat, melt the butter and add the onion and carrot. Cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent. Add the sliced cabbage, chestnuts, and 1 tablespoon chopped black truffle. Cook, stirring, until the cabbage is tender, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Lay the boiled cabbage leaves on a flat surface and divide the mixture onto them. Roll the cabbage up, tucking in the sides to form long packets. Reserve, chilled.
For the Glazed Salsify
Peel the salsify, rinse with cold water, and cut on a bias into 2-inch lengths. In a small sauté pan over medium heat, bring the chicken stock and butter to a simmer. Add the salsify and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the salsify is tender and the liquid reduces to a glaze, about 20 minutes. Add spoonfuls of water as necessary if the liquid reduces before the salsify is cooked. Stir in 1 teaspoon chopped truffle, check the seasoning, and keep warm.
Season the cabbage roulades on all sides with salt and pepper and transfer to a medium sauté pan in a single layer. Add the chicken stock and 2½ tablespoons of the butter and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer, basting occasionally, until warm, about 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved chopped truffle and swirl to coat.
Place the sauce périgueux in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
Unwrap the poularde breasts and thighs and pat dry. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Add the breasts and thighs and sear until golden brown on all sides, about 3 minutes total. Reduce the heat to medium, add 1½ tablespoons of the butter, and continue cooking, turning the chicken and basting with the butter on all sides, about another 4 minutes. Slice each breast and thigh in half crosswise and return to the pan. Toss in 1 tablespoon reserved chopped black truffle trim to coat. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.
In a separate sauté pan, melt the remaining tablespoon butter over medium heat and add the reserved celery cubes. Cook, stirring, until tender and add the pasta; toss to heat through. Season with salt and pepper and stir in 1 tablespoon reserved chopped truffle. If you have any remaining chopped truffle, use it to coat the sliced ends of the thighs.
For each serving, trim the ends from a cabbage roulade and set 2 truffle slices against them. Set on one side of a warm dinner plate and place a thigh half in the center and a breast half on the other side. Set 2 celery cubes on top of similar-size cubes of truffle in between the cabbage and the meat; top them with a celery leaf. Place a garganelli noodle and a glazed salsify baton on the plate and drizzle a few spoonfuls of sauce around. Top the thigh with a salsify spiral and place a carrot shaving on the cabbage.