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Buttermilk Brined Game Hen, Herb Gravy
& Spicy Cabbage Salad
Executive Chef Joseph Humphrey
Murray Circle at Cavallo Point

[Serves 6]


12 oz all purpose flour

19 oz levain (sourdough starter)

16 oz whole milk

2 Tbsp sugar

2 Tbsp salt

1/2 lb unsalted butter, melted

2 Tbsp baking soda

4 eggs


Combine all ingredients except the eggs, cover loosely, and let rest overnight. The next day, whisk in the eggs.

[Buttermilk-Brined Game Hen]

3 game hens, about 14 oz each, divided into breasts, legs, and thighs

1/2 gallon buttermilk

4 Tbsp cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper


Combine the buttermilk, cayenne, salt and pepper in a large, shallow container. Add the chicken pieces and mix to ensure all of the chicken is well coated. Cover and let marinate overnight.


1/4 cup yellow onion, finely minced

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

2 Tbsp flour

2 cups good quality chicken stock

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup mixed herbs (parsley, tarragon, chives), chopped


In a medium-sized saucepot, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is lightly caramelized, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the flour and continue to cook, again stirring frequently, until toasted and fragrant. Add the chicken stock, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 to 20 minutes. Just before serving, add the buttermilk and the herbs and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

[Spicy Cabbage Salad]

1 small head Napa cabbage, cleaned and roughly chopped

2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced into rounds

12 leaves Lacinato kale, washed and roughly chopped

1 small watermelon radish, cut in half and then thinly sliced


1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup sugar cane syrup

1 small dried ancho
pepper, lightly toasted, seeds and stem removed

2 Tbsp Thai chili paste, or sambal

Juice and zest of 2 limes

1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar

2 Tbsp olive oil


Combine the sugar, water, and syrup in a medium pot. Heat over medium high heat until the sugar is dissolved. Add the ancho pepper, remove from the heat, cover, and let steep for 20 minutes. Transfer the syrup mixture to a blender, and puree until smooth. Transfer to a clean mixing bowl and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, add the remaining ingredients and keep cool.

[Chicken Crust]

4 cup flour

2 Tbsp cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper to taste


Combine all ingredients, reserve


Prepare the waffles according to the manufacturer’s instructions for the waffle iron. Heat frying oil to 325°F. Remove the chicken pieces from the buttermilk and coat them well in the flour mixture. Fry the chicken pieces, in small batches, until golden and crispy, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the chicken well on paper towels. Place the cabbage mix in a large mixing bowl and combine with the spicy dressing. Serve a piece of chicken breast, leg, and thigh for each person on top of a waffle, with some of the cabbage salad on the side and some of the herb gravy to pour over the chicken.

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