Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Roast Poussin Dinner

Roast Poussin Dinner Posted by Hello

Poussins are young chickens sold as a whole bird, no more than about 500g - typically enough for one adult meal. They are generally more flavourful and tender than adult birds. Poussins are sometimes known as Spring Chicken, Coquelet, and occaisionally (erroneously) as spatchcoks.

The word spatchcock is more corectly used as a verb meaning to prepare a bird by splitting open, butterfly style, for grilling or roasting, or as an adjective describing a bird that has been so prepared.

This is a simple and hearty recipe, using 3 of my favourite cooking shortcuts:
  1. Glad bake - non-sticking baking paper. I rarely bake or roast without it - it stops the appetizingly browned skin of chickens and potatoes from tearing off and sticking to the pan. Also a great timesaver for those of us who loath washing up.
  2. Olive Oil Spray - A quick, and way to apply a light, even coat of olive oil with out making a mess.
  3. Kitchen Blow Torch - A power tool for the kitchen! In this recipe the poussins, being so small, may be fully cooked before they have had time to develop a crispy golden-brown skin. A quick once over with the blow torch soon solves this problem. The blow torch is essential for setting the top of a creme brulee, and useful for charring the skin of capsicums (bell peppers).

Roast Poussin Dinner Posted by Hello

Roast Poussin Dinner - Recipe:

  • pumkin
  • carrot
  • parsnips
  • potatoes
-scrubbed and cut into bite size chunks.

Tossed with
  • unpeeled garlic cloves
  • finely chopped marjoram & rosemary
  • salt and cracked black pepper
Line a roasting pan with glad bake and toss vegetables in the pan with a generous slurp of olive oil.
Roast in hot oven for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally, adding
  • butter beans (topped and tailed)
about 15mins before cooked.

  • poussins (one per serve)
Each is stuffed with
  • fresh thyme
  • lime quarter,
  • whole, peeled garlic clove,
  • bay leaf,
  • 3 sage leaves
Spray the outside of the poussins with
  • olive oil
then sprinkle with
  • maldon salt
  • paprika
  • cracked black pepper.
Roast on rack in hot oven for 45 mins approx, sat w breast down for first 20 mins, then turn breast side up. Poussins (like full sized chooks) are cooked when skewer poked into thickest part of the flesh (where the thigh joins the body) and juices run clear not pink.
If they still look a little pallid when they are cooked, give them a quick once over with the blowtorch.

Cut the birds into quarters lengthways, discard the stuffing, and serve on a large platter surounded by the roasted vegetables.


Sunday, June 05, 2005

Fish Soup with Mussels and Potatoes

This is a favourite of mine - somehow both light and hearty at the same time. The recipe is loosely based on a soup served to me by my friend Sarah, which in turn was loosely based on a Jamie Oliver recipe. I have included quantities in this recipe as a guide, but they are really very flexible, so don't worry about measuring or counting too closely.

Fish and Mussel Soup

  • 3 largish Kipfler potatoes (or similar variety of potato that will hold shape when boiled)

Cut into slices approx 1/2 cm. Put in a large saucepan and cover with water. Boil until tender, and then add...

  • 2 medium tomatoes, cut into thin wedges. These are nicer if you peel them before slicing, but I can never be bothered.
  • 2 firm white fish fillets, cut across the grain into 1 inch pieces. John Dory works very well.
  • 1/2 glass dry white wine.
  • More water to cover if necessary.
  • Pinch of saffron (optional).

Simmer gently until fish is just cooked.

  • Add about 12 mussels, cleaned and de-bearded.

Put the lid on and simmer gently a further 5 mins.

Meanwhile mix:

  • one clove garlic (finely minced)
  • the juice and zest of one lime or 1/2 a lemon
  • 3 tablespoons of best quality mayonnaise (home made if you have the energy).

Spoon the soup into bowls, arranging mussels attractively on the top. Sprinkle with torn coriander and basil leaves. Serve the mayonnaise separately so your guests can drizzle it over their soup to taste.