February 22, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — ros @ 5:04 pm

My favourite bit of cooking is trying out new ideas. Writing up my thesis tends to leave my creative urge a little unfulfilled so I end up overcompensating for it in the kitchen. I aim to try a couple of new things each week and on occasion, like last night, three new things happen at once.

The centerpiece of last night’s meal was something I adapted from an idea I got from Freya. After my last attempt at poultry (the chorizo stuffed guinea fowl) she mentioned that she’s stuffed the skin of a chicken with mushrooms and truffle paste.

I decided that I didn’t have the funds to justify buying truffle paste, but i loved the mushroom idea and thought it would be perfect with a nice, delicately flavoured poussin. So I took some chestnut mushrooms, sliced them and sauteed them in butter with garlic and parsley before using them to stuff the poussin skin.

half stuffed poussin

Poussin Stuffing in Progress

Then I slipped some serrano ham in between the mushrooms and the skin, hoping the flesh of the poussin would pick up the flavour of the garlic and mushroom and the skin would pick up some smokiness from the ham.

My carb accompaniment was a cross between a dauphinoise and a boulangere partially inspired by Trig’s latke’s. I saw these and suddenly got a craving for potatoes and sour cream and so this was born

potato and sour cream bake

This is potatoes layered (like a boulangere or dauphinoise) with onion and paprika. I poured over a mixture of  sour cream with a little chicken stock mixed in and baked the potatoes for about an hour and fifteen at gas mark 5.

Finally, my vegetable accompaniment was shredded brussel sprouts stir fried with butter and pancetta, which, once they’d cooked, I made into a little nest for the poussin

poussin and sprouts

So the verdict for my three experiments was this. The poussin was awesome. The mushroom  and garlic flavours were very noticeable in the meat, whch had stayed very moist. The skin was perfectly crisp and had gained a little flavour from the addition of the ham, although it wasn’t as much as I had hoped.

The potato dish was very good, like an exciting version of  dauphinoise. While it didn’t have the luxurious richness of dauphinoise, it was a pleasant and interesting change. The sprouts were fine. They were nothing to write home about, but still tasty, and I think they’d be a good way of converting a sprout hater.

Also, the three dishes complemented each other reasonably well and the combination of sprouts, paprika and cream gave the whole meal a slightly Eastern European feel.

I wish I felt this inspired more often!


  1. That poussin looks delicious, sounds like a really good idea for it.

    Comment by Julia — February 22, 2007 @ 7:26 pm

  2. I hope the cheque is in the post.

    What you need to do is to acquire yourself a decent camera that will not steam up and will do more justice to your cooking.

    Here are the details of mine. It’s the macro lens that makes all the difference.

    Comment by Trig — February 22, 2007 @ 10:08 pm

  3. Glad you were inspired by the chicken! I love the idea of the ham too, it looks delicious! To be honest thought, just give me the potatoes and I’m happy!

    Comment by Freya — February 23, 2007 @ 8:39 am

  4. Julia, the whole skin stuffing thing seems to do amazing thinsgs for all poultry - not just poussin. I tried it out on a duck on wednesday and the skin was the best i’ve ever had on a duck. I salted and scored it like usual but lifting the skin up makes all the difference!

    Trig, the cheque’ll be in the post as soon as yours arrives for the chorizo stuffed duck. ;) I have just been bought a new camera. It definitely has a better lens than the one I’m currently using but I’m not well versed enough to know if it is a macro lens. I’m sure I’ll find out when I read the documentation.

    Freya, is your healthy week leaving you with a potato craving? The first thing that happens to me on diet weeks is a huge craving for mounds of creamy pasta!

    Comment by ros — February 23, 2007 @ 3:11 pm

  5. What a great blog - that poussin looks awesome. Freya if youve got cravings for mashed potato then come check out my blog - its all about mash! www.makesomemash.blogspot.com

    In the meantime Im off to the supermarket

    Comment by Phil — March 16, 2007 @ 8:47 am

  6. Welcome to the site Phil. You’ve managed to dedicate your blog entirely to mash? I’ll be over to check it out soon!

    Comment by ros — March 18, 2007 @ 8:03 pm

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