Sunday, February 15, 2009

Panfried Pressed Poussins (Page 402)

RECIPE #938

  • Date: Monday, January 26, 2009 -- 8pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: A

This recipe was on the randomly generated list. I started by cutting the backbones out of 2 poussins. The directions then said to "Cut a 1/2 inch slit in each side of each bird in center of triangle of skin between thighs and breasts, then tuck bottom knob of drumstick through slit." I read that at least 4 times, then did what I thought it was telling me to do. Much later I realized that there was a picture in The Book (nine pages before this recipe!) indicating what I was supposed to do. And I did it totally wrong! It's hard to appreciate from the picture above, but my poor little birds were bent in ways that legs are not meant to bend. I don't think it much made a difference though -- the birds were still quite flat the way I did it. Once I had contorted the birds to tuck in the legs, I tucked the wing tips under the breasts and seasoned the birds with salt and papper. I heated butter in a big skillet, then put the birds in, skin side down. I covered them with parchment, then put a second skillet on top of them and topped that skillet with 6 pounds of weights (READ: canned goods). I cooked them for 15 minutes on the stovetop, then turned the birds over and replaced the parchment, second skillet, and weights, and cooked for another 15 minutes. Once the birds were cooked through I deglazed the skillet with chicken stock to form a quick sauce.

These poussins were excellent! My special gentleman declared this the best poultry he has ever had, which is certainly high praise. This recipe is definitely up there on my list too. The skin was wonderfully crisp and the meat was juicy and delicious. This was a wonderful example of just a few ingredients coming together to form something truly exceptional. I had never cooked poultry by flattening it in this way before, and I will definitely use this method again. Flattening the birds made them cook evenly, and also caused a lot of skin surface area to touch the skillet (and hence get crispy!). I highly recommend this recipe! Yum!

Here is the recipe.

Sunday evening is one of my favorite times of the week. On Saturday whenever possible I take a day off work. My special gentleman and I do something fun or I try to finish up errands... On Sunday I always go into work during the day to try to get ready for the week ahead. But on Sunday evening, I just relax and cook! Tonight I made some ten-grain bread, and a chicken dish with vegetables and lots of creme fraiche. And now, long after the dinner dishes were loaded into the dishwasher, I still have a big pot of veal stock simmering away on the stovetop. I like to start the week with plenty of leftovers in the fridge, and a good loaf of bread on the counter, so Sunday evening I make that happen. I, of course, also do a lot of cooking during the week. But Sunday cooking always feels the most relaxed to me. Now that the weekend is nearing its end, my lecture for tomorrow is all prepared, the fridge is stocked, and I am refreshed -- I am ready for the week ahead!

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