21 February, 2007

Pintade aux choux

This may not sound promising. You may not even like cabbage. But whether you do or not, this recipe is worth trying.

1 guinea fowl, or a pheasant, or two
50 g butter
200 g bacon
1 Savoy cabbage (the dark green crinkly sort — white cabbage will not do)
1 onion
1 carrot
bouquet garni
1 spicy sausage (cervelas/chorizo)
1 glass stock

If using pheasant, you may wish to wrap a rasher of bacon round the breasts to stop them drying out. Otherwise, chop the bacon into small pieces. Brown the bird(s) in the butter in a casserole large enough to take them with room to spare for the cabbage. Cut the cabbage into quarters, remove the hard stem, and blanch the pieces in boiling water for 10 minutes. Add the chopped onion, sliced carrot, bouquet garni, bacon (if not added earlier), and the sliced sausage to the casserole. Dispose the pieces of cabbage around and over the bird(s) — the casserole should end up fairly full. Season and pour over the stock (you don’t need a vast amount), cover with a well-fitting lid, and cook either on a very low heat, or in the oven until the birds are done (say an hour, but longer won’t hurt). To serve, joint the birds, put on a large serving dish, and arrange the cabbage (roughly chopped) etc. around it. This is nice with a puree of potatoes on their own, or mixed with celeriac. Or if you happen to have gathered lots of chestnuts, you could have chestnut puree.

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