100 Ways to Give: Heritage lunches to benefit Kids’ Food Basket


The Secchia Institute for Culinary Education has developed a tasty 100 Ways to Give project: For four Fridays throughout the semester, The Heritage lunch menu will feature a special dish celebrating the different decades. These dishes will be prepared by Chef Campbell and his students, and proceeds from the sale of these special menu items will go to Kids’ Food Basket.

We celebrated 1914 and the “Teen Decade” with Saddle of Veal Prince Orloff on September 19. On October 3, the special dish is Roasted and Braised Pigeons with Raisins and Rosti Potatoes, in celebration of the 1920s.

The Heritage serves lunch from 11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. To learn about the other “decade dishes,” click here.

The SICE experts have shared some background and a recipe:

The term “Epigram” has been around for a centuries and one of the earliest recordings relates to a dish called “veal hocks à l’epigramme,” which appeared in La Varenne’s 17th-century cookbook, “Le Cuisinier François.” Over the years, the method of cooking has been applied to many meats, including lamb and pork, and the way it was prepared has also changed during the years.

The most popular modern dish is Epigram of lamb, which uses lamb belly, this alters people’s perception of the dense, fatty cut of lamb by transforming it into thin, breaded cutlets. “Epigram” is prepared from a lesser cut of the animal that is braised slowly in savory broth until very tender, it is then cooled and cut into an attractive shape. These circles or triangles of meat are then brush with mustard and seasoned, passed through a pane and pan fried golden brown. The result is a succulent tender piece of highly flavored meat with a very crisp and crunchy exterior. In our case for this dish, we have confit the meat instead of braising, which even adds more to the flavor and texture. Using the confit method does have its disadvantages, in that the meat tends to not stick together as well as with braised meats because of the absence of gelatin. A little glace with agar added to the pulled confit meat before setting overnight will help solve this issue.

The French word confit means “preserved,” and the process was created to preserve a variety of meats and poultry. The most traditionally ingredients associated with confit are goose, duck and pork. The process involves curing the meat in salt, then poaching it slowly in fat, and storing it covered with the fat until you are ready to eat it, or use it in further cooking. The technique evolved over thousands of years in cultures around the world and is easily recognized in many cuisines to this day. Curing the meat in salt makes the water in it unavailable to microorganisms which inhibit bacterial growth slowing down spoilage. Covering the meat with at least an inch of fat after it has been cooked keeps air from reaching it, further retarding the tendency to spoil. If the meat has been properly cured, a confit will keep in a cool, dark place (a cellar or refrigerator) for six months. You can also renew a confit after the first six months by re-cooking it, in which case, it will last for another four to six months. For best, flavor, however, the confit should be consumed within three to five months of the initial cooking.

For the confit

Pigeon legs

Kosher salt spun with parsley and sage in the robot coupe

Chicken fat

Duck fat


  1. Lightly dust the legs with the salt and sit a room temp for 1 hour
  2. Repeat the dusting and allow to sit for 30 minutes
  3. Wash thoroughly of all salt and cover with equal quantities of the fats
  4. Sprinkle with peppercorns and cover tightly with tine foil
  5. Cook slowly at 250 F for 2.5 hours until fork tender
  6. Allow the fat to cool until the meat is cool enough to handle
  7. Flake the meat of the bone
  8. Strain the fat and separate the liquid at the bottom
  9. Combine that liquid with the meat and press into a pan about 1 inch deep
  10. Cool overnight
  11. Cut into shapes and pane

For the pigeon breast marinade

1 T fine diced shallot

1 T fine diced garlic

4 bay leaves

½ C juniper berries

Zest of two lemons

Zest of one orange

½ C olive oil

2 C red wine

  1. Combine all the ingredients except the oil and bring to the boil
  2. Cool and add the olive oil
  3. Marinade the breasts overnight
  4. This marinade 20 breasts

 For cooking the breasts

  1. Drain the breasts and season well with salt and black pepper
  2. Sear the breasts in hot olive oil
  3. Roast medium rare to order and serve whole

 For the golden Raisin sauce

4 Q. pigeon stock

4 oz. brown roux

4 C. red wine boiled for 2 minutes

2 C. Port

1 ea. Jar redcurrant jelly

2 C. golden raisins

  1. Add the roux to the stock and the red wine and port
  2. Reduce by half
  3. Add the redcurrant jelly
  4. Add the raisins and allow to stand overnight

To serve the dish we will use:

 Raisin sauce

Roasted breast of pigeon

Pan fried Epigram of pigeon

Rosti potatoes


Rutabaga tourne

Carrot potato puree



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