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Star Canyon Restaurant
Tamale Tart with Red Pepper Custard,
Wild Mushrooms and Chicken Confit



  • 4 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled and pureed, divided
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon roasted garlic puree
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 3 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons vegetable shortening, at room temperature
  • 12 tablespoons ancho pepper puree
  • 2 cups water, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 pound assorted wild mushrooms, julienned
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 pound Chicken Confit, julienned

Chicken Confit

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 4 cups olive oil
  • 2 cups chicken fat

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  1. Tart: In small saucepan over high heat, warm 3 of the warm peppers, pureed, stirring constantly until very thick, about 5 minutes.
  2. In another small saucepan over medium heat, warm cream, reducing in volume to about 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons. Whisk garlic puree into cream.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks lightly; drizzle into cream mixture. Stir slightly. Add reduced bell pepper puree mixture to cream. Cover and set aside to cool.
  4. In medium bowl, combine Masa Harina, cornmeal, cayenne pepper, cumin and salt.
  5. In bowl of electric mixer, whip shortening until light and fluffy. Beat in dry ingredients until mixture is smooth. Beat in ancho puree and remaining red bell pepper puree.
  6. Form dough mixture into a disk and pat evenly over bottom and sides of a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. (Or, use 6-8 individual tart pans.) Fill tart dough with reserved pepper custard and cover with plastic wrap.
  7. Place a round metal cooking rack inside of a wok. Fill with 2 cups water, with rack positioned about 3 inches above water level. Bring water to a boil over high heat; reduce to simmer. Place wrapped tart on rack and cover wok. Steam until custard is set, about 30 minutes.
  8. Using two potholders, carefully lift tart off rack; remove plastic wrap and sides of tart ring. Place on serving platter.
  9. In large skillet, heat oil until slightly smoking. Add onion, stirring continuously. Add mushrooms and sauté 3 more minutes, until the mushrooms are fully cooked and tender. Add Chicken Confit, oregano and lime juice. Heat for 2 minutes longer.
  10. Chicken Confit: Cut chicken into pieces, trimming neck and wings and removing backbone; reserve bones for stock. Rub each piece of chicken with salt; place in baking dish just large enough to hold the chicken pieces in one layer. Sprinkle with pepper; add thyme and bay leaves. Cover and refrigerate 6 to 12 hours, turning pieces occasionally.
  11. Heat oven to 300 degrees F.
  12. Wipe excess salt from chicken pieces. Place chicken skin side down in skillet and cook on top of stove over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add chicken fat and olive oil to cover browned chicken. Cover skillet and cook in oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, allowing chicken to become very tender.
  13. Cool to room temperature. Pull meat from bones. Cut chicken into small julienne strips and refrigerate.

Source: Chef Stephan Pyles, Star Canyon Restaurant, Dallas, Texas