Warm grilled Bresse pigeon liver mousse with legumes, seeds, berries and sprouts

Cremosa Tibieza de hígados de pichón de Bresse a las brasas con legumbres, semil
Quique Dacosta Restaurante
Chef: Quique Dacosta
Country: España
City: 03700 Dénia (Alicante)
Address: Las Marinas, km. 3
(+34) 965784179

After winning Chef of the Year in 2001, Quique Dacosta has reached, on his thirtieth birthday, two milestones in his professional career: the award and the fact that two of his creations merit inclusion in Dishes of the Year. His evolution, the constant progress that has been evident in his work for a long time, has culminated in a qualitative leap that places him among the very great. Once again—and to make it very clear—he is now a member of the culinary elite.

At the suggestion of the Lo Mejor de la Gastronomía Congress, which proposed the idea to all of the chefs featured in the guide, his investigative capacity has inspired him to think up and produce one of the few great existing sprout recipes in the world. Without referring elsewhere, he has come up with a thoughtful and exciting ensemble, a show of sensibility, temperance, control… that is at the same time ambitious, idealistic and triumphant with the presence of organic quinoa real, Puy green lentils, black lentils, green soy beans, fenugreek seeds and wild radish and white asparagus seeds; all except the last two are perfumed with dill smoke. These vegetal sensations are arranged on the plate over a coagulated smoked pancetta consomé. Within the sprouts appear a few bleeding escalopes of Bresse pigeon liver and bitter chocolate flakes. It is all topped and enveloped in a veil of smoked pancetta, a gelatin that acts as a fusing element to the recipe and as a refined translucent stew that enhances the flavor of the vegetables and contrasts their freshness, also producing a variety of consistencies. It is served warm with a few final garnishes: asparagus sprouts, chives and salt flakes.

The Recipe


  • 250g Puy green lentils
  • 250g black lentils (Lens culinaris)
  • 250g green soybeans (Glycine max.)
  • 100g wild radish seeds (Rahpunus satvivus)
  • 250g fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum)
  • 50g flax seeds (Linum usitatissimum)
  • 15g white mustard seeds (Sinapis alba)


The preparation of these ingredients can be done in various ways that make our work easier—the important thing is to assure that they have contact with moisture for 48 hours in a cool dark place: only then will they be in ideal condition.
Then, depending on the particular germ, more or less moisture may be needed: the green soybeans, for example, are soaked for 12 hours, then drained before being subjected to the same germination process as the rest of the plants.
It is good practice to find and use organic germs—they are much healthier and have a guarantee of quality.
Just before serving, place the sprouts in a steel colander over juniper coals and warm them while moistening them with the extra coagulated pancetta broth and 1g of mild olive oil.
We will need 30g of the sprout mix per serving.
The proportions per serving correspond to the proportions of the seeds we have germinated. We are seeking harmony here rather than the dominant flavor that any one germ can have because of greater potency of taste or aroma. We therefore measure quantities for balance rather than dominance.


For the quinoa:

  • 100g leeks, only the white sections
  • 20g mild-flavor olive oil
  • 150g organic quinoa real (Chenopodium quinoa Willd)
  • 500g duck stock


Quinoa has a distinct germination process—the germs sprout when cooked. Taking this into account, we decided to enrich it with the leek poached in olive oil, then simmer with the mild duck stock for 15 minutes. Once finished, strain and set aside until serving, and lightly salt to taste.
You will need 25g of quinoa per serving. Sprinkle with very finely chopped black truffles and Guerande sea salt just before serving.


For the white asparagus seeds:

  • 100g white asparagus seeds


I did not have great experience with germination when I started creating this dish, so the first thing that came to mind when I had these seeds in my hands was the asparagus I used to see picked on the banks of the Tiétar river where I was born. There were nothing more than large furrows of sand where the asparagus would hide from the sun. Drawing inspiration from this memory, we elected to create a plantation of white asparagus germs that, rather than in dirt, would be in cotton, something much more delicate.
The procedure is identical to that used for the rest of the germs: 48 hours in moist cotton, in a cool dark place.
These germs are served raw, without heating or seasoning (4 or 5 per serving).


For the smoked pancetta broth:

  • 100g spring onions (Allium cepa)
  • 100g leeks, only the white section (Allium porrum)
  • 25g carrots (Daucus carota)
  • 3 mushrooms
  • 700g Joselito smoked pancetta
  • 3l water


Sweat the pancetta and vegetables over low heat until lightly golden, then cover with the water and cook, almost without boiling, for 45 minutes. Strain, allow to settle, then clarify. Salt to taste and set aside for the veil and the base of the dish.

For the veil and gelatinized base:


  • 250g previously made pancetta broth
  • 1g agar-agar


  • 600g previously made pancetta broth
  • 2.5g agar-agar
  • 1 2g gelatin sheet


Mix while cold, then bring to a boil. Strain and set aside 30g of broth per serving in slightly concave dishes. Wait for the broth to coagulate and set aside; just before serving, warm in the oven for 1 minute.

Mix the agar-agar and the broth while cold, then bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add the previously soaked gelatin sheet. Strain and pour into large sheets about 2mm thick (thickness will depend on the size of the tray). Set aside and allow to coagulate; cut into circles with a pastry cutter and keep between sheets of paper to make working with them easier. Just before serving, cover the ensemble and warm in the salamander.

For the pigeon livers:

  • 12 very fresh bloody Bresse pigeon livers (during hunting season we use doves)
  • 1l milk
  • Salt


In order to remove some of the blood that makes these livers a bit too gory (and at the same time gives them a certain degree of charm), soak them for 6 hours in cold milk with 10g of salt. Drain and dry over juniper coals at about 3cm. This yields about 70g of liver. With regard to temperature, heat the livers to a temperature of 40ºC in the center; allow to cool naturally, then slice just before serving and arrange the thin slices in the dish over the quinoa.


  • Maldon sea salt
  • Finely chopped scallions
  • Bitter chocolate flakes



The presentation of this dish requires a series of distinct steps:

First, warm the dish in the oven to 120ºC while heating the quinoa and warming the sprouts over the juniper coals. Place the sprouts and the quinoa in the base of the dish with the coagulated smoked pancetta consomé, previously prepared. Arrange the pigeon liver slices over the quinoa and the chocolate flakes over the sprouts; cover it all with the veil. Warm under the salamander and place the asparagus sprouts over the veil with a few salt flakes.
This is a warm dish and should not exceed 40ºC when served.