6-8pickled morelsdepending on size, plus some of their pickling liquid for seasoning the sauce
One pinchfresh chopped Italian parsley
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepperto taste
All purpose flour seasoned lightly with cayenne and paprikafor dredging the shad roe (cornmeal would also be great here)
1tablespoonsunsalted butterplus an additional 1 tablespoon for thickening the sauce
Trim the shad roe, removing any excess connective tissue, and separate into two lobes.
Render the bacon in a pan on medium heat until crisp, remove the bacon and keep warm. Add 1 one tablespoon of the butter to the bacon fat, and melt on medium heat. Season the shad roes with salt and pepper, then dredge in the flour. Tap off any excess flour, then place the roe sacs in the pan.
Brown the roe sacs gently on each side for about two minutes, just enough to take the raw taste away from the flour and brown them gently. Do not overcook the shad roe. Cook the shad roe to medium, it should still be pink in the middle. Remove the roe from the pan to prevent overcooking and keep warm while you prepare the sauce.
De-glaze the pan with the wine and reduce by half. Add the chicken stock, pickled morels, and some of their pickling liquid to taste. Reduce the sauce by half again, then whisk in the remaining butter, increasing the heat to medium high and whisking to thicken the sauce. Double check the seasoning of the sauce for salt, pepper, and acid and adjust if needed. At the last minute before serving, stir in the parsley.
On two preheated plates, put down a fried piece of shad. spoon some of the sauce and morels over each shad roe, top with the bacon, and serve immediately.
The flavor of shad is almost more like something you might get from a land animal, that being said, if shad roe is out of season, some mild liver like chicken, duck, veal, or bison would be a great substitute for the roe.The sauce has plenty of room for variation. It's a great example of using pickled mushrooms in a warm method-a technique that seems to surprise people when I mention it. Just because pickled mushrooms are cold doesn't mean they have to stay that way. Obviously substitute other pickled mushrooms if you like.Last but not least, you need to know that if you overcook the shad roe, it will suck. Overcooked shad will tastes like some funky meatloaf, and the eggs tend to get a little crunchy. You can under-cook the shad and reheat in the sauce gently if it gets cool after you remove it from the pan.See my recipe for pickled morel mushrooms here.