Monday, May 24, 2010

Recipe: Roasted Poussins with Rhubarb-Apple Stuffing

Last Saturday, Charlie was in charge of choosing our protein purchases at the farmer's market. Along with an elk sirloin (watch for an upcoming post in which I try to figure out exactly how one cooks an elk sirloin!), he picked up two poussins from the Cleverly Farms stand. 

Poussins are baby chickens the size of Cornish Hens; they're very tender and much faster to roast than a whole chicken.  Cleverly Farms sells them deboned, so they're perfect for stuffing, and immensely enjoyable to cook - though Charlie repeatedly asks me to stop, I can't manage to prepare them without waltzing about the kitchen singing "Le Poissons" complete with ze terrible French accent. (OK, Little Mermaid fans, I'm aware that "poissons" are fish while "poussins" are baby chickens... I'm just saying, you try to roast one without bursting into song.)

I'd planned to make the poussins for dinner; looking for an accompaniment, I opened the refrigerator door to find three pounds of rhubarb and half a bag of spinach staring back at me. That means it's time to get creative. My solution to the overstuffed fridge conundrum is this thrown-together recipe.

Roasted Poussins with Rhubarb-Apple Stuffing

Two deboned poissins (you could substitute Cornish Hens, but then you don't get to sing the song)
A large handful spinach, washed and roughly chopped
1 red onion, diced
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 chopped toasted walnuts
1 lb rhubarb, washed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced (use a sweeter variety to counteract the sour rhubarb)
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger root
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 orange, juiced
1/4 c honey
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
Pinch salt

Preheat oven to 400.  Melt 2 tbsp butter to a skillet over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the walnuts and saute another 2 minutes.  Add 1/3 of the the rhubarb to the skillet along with apple, ginger, garlic, raisins, salt, pepper, and spices.

Cook another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add spinach and stir until just combined, then remove from heat and season again to taste. 

Sprinkle salt and pepper inside the cavity of each bird then spoon one cup of stuffing into poussins, closing up the cavities as you finish (the birds are small, so toothpicks will do the trick if you don't have a turkey lacer). 

Meanwhile, heat brown sugar, orange juice, a pinch of salt, and remaining 2/3 of rhubarb in a 2-quart skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until rhubarb breaks down, about 10 minutes. Strain out the solids, then return to mixture to pan and stir in honey and vinegar to make glaze.

Melt 1/4 tbsp butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat.  One at a time, sear both sides of the poissins, about 10 minutes total, until golden brown. 

Transfer both poussins to a baking dish and baste all over with rhubarb glaze, then place in the oven. Cook for 45 minutes, basting with glaze and pan drippings 2-3 times during cooking. 

Serves 2.

1 comment:

  1. One of the best things ever created: fried bird skin (chicken, duck, etc.)!