Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Roasted Poussin with Braised Romaine

The lovely guy at the farmers market who sells me my amazing eggs also sells these little poussins. A quick search of poussin recipes lead me to this one featured in the New York Times as adapted from the Bar Room at Modern. As I said last week, during these tough economic times, going out to restaurants is becoming less of a reality so finding easy meals to recreate at home for far less is becoming more of a necessity. This is a really good dish. It was my first time preparing a poussin (which, naturally, I did incorrectly...I mean, the day I actually prepare a dish correctly is the day I win a thousand bucks!). This is a delicious recipe and it's fairly straightforward, but in all honesty, I think this is something I would rather go to the restaurant and order. I think something kind of got lost in translation in the home version. I can't quite put my finger on what was missing, but I don't think it was as good as it could have been. This was my first time eating braised romaine, and I really enjoyed it. The dressing is kind of like a warm Cesar salad dressing and really flavorful. In laziness, I left out the shaved Parmesan, but I didn't miss it. Again, this is a really good dish, but it takes some time (I had to cook my poussin longer because I didn't de-bone it), so this could just be something I would order for lunch next time.

Roasted Poussin with Braised Romaine
(Adapted from The Bar Room at Modern as found in the New York Times)

Makes 2 servings

Extra-virgin olive oil
1 poussin, 1 pound (or substitute one-pound Cornish hens), halved and boned except for the wing
1 romaine hearts, split lengthwise
1 teaspoon salted cured anchovy, rinsed, filleted and diced
1/2 - 1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup rich chicken stock
Fleur de sel and freshly ground and cracked black pepper (I used Kosher salt)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
6 seedless, skinless segments of lemon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 ounce shaved Parmesan, for serving (optional)
Lemon wedges for garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place a large ovenproof skillet over high heat and add 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil. Add poussin halves skin side down and sear until well browned. Transfer pan to oven and roast until skin is crispy, 5 to 7 minutes.

While poussin roasts, place a large heavy skillet over high heat until very hot. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. When oil is hot, add romaine hearts cut side down and press with a spatula until well browned. Turn hearts over and add anchovies and garlic. Add chicken stock and stir, scraping pan bottom, until stock is reduced by half. Remove pan from heat and use tongs to transfer romaine to a platter lined with paper towels. Season to taste with fleur de sel and ground pepper; reserve pan.

Preheat broiler. Leaving poussins skin side down, brush them with mustard and broil until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm. Return skillet to medium heat. Add lemon segments and allow sauce to reduce to a glaze. Remove from heat and whisk in olive oil.

To serve, spread romaine across a large serving platter. Place a couple of shavings of Parmesan over each piece of romaine, and arrange poussin over top. Drizzle sauce around platter and over poussin. Sprinkle with cracked black pepper to taste, and, if desired, garnish with lemon wedges. Serve hot.

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Donna-FFW said...

The poussin looks wonderful, but I must say, I LOVE the idea of the braised romaine, how very unique!

vanillasugarblog said...

I simply adore poultry dishes with djion. What a gorgeous photo. Those lemons are so vibrant looking; I wish we could get lemons like that!

Esi said...

Dawn, I have been obsessed with Meyer lemons lately...they are so much more yellow too!

Ben, haha, you're right, poussins are so cute, but also delicious.

Diana said...

How beautiful! I'm so impressed that you endeavored to make this -- I think I'd be a little scared!

Love braised romaine though -- one of my favorite caesar salads is made with grilled romaine. Delish!

Reeni said...

What a lovely meal, your presentation is beautiful! I have been wanting to try braised romaine, it sounds delicious!

Heather said...

ohhh. braised romaine! how interesting, i definitely want to try it! the pics are gorgeous!

Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

Esi, I don't care if you don't think you did a good job, I think your dish looks fantastic. I would eat it in a heartbeat. Your dishes have always looked very elegant. Do you think I could make it with regular chicken? I don't know if I can find spring chickens.

Esi said...

Diana, I was a little scared at first, but it was fun!

Reeni, the romaine is so good that way.

Teresa, I think this would be good with chicken, but you may have to adjust the cooking times. If you could find cornish game hens, that may be better.

Anonymous said...

Way to spatchcock, Esi! My new favorite poultry cooking method (and favorite cooking word!). The warm Caesar-like dressing sounds divine.

Angela said...

Just did the braised romaine and served it with fried egg on top. The egg came fresh from a friend's hen house. Yum!