Springtime Poultry Panache

In honor of Poultry Day.
Poultry  as defined as domestic “fowl” meaning chickens, hens, ducks, turkeys–even quail and pheasant–versus the latter being considered as “game”.
But get your game on and get ready for springtime bests.
The Menu Shoppe has it covered…great tips for great menus.
A delightful springtime braise
Chicken and Artichoke Fricassee 
1 1/2 lemons
12 baby artichokes
6 cups water
2 tablespoons all purpose flour plus additional for dredging
2 teaspoons salt
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 chicken thighs
4 chicken drumsticks
4 ounces fresh morel mushrooms
2 medium carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
1/4 cup crème fraîche
Fill large bowl with water. Squeeze juice from 1 lemon into water; add lemon halves. Tear outer leaves from 1 artichoke until only pale green leaves remain. Cut top 3/4 inch from top–trim end of stem. Cut in half lengthwise. Rub cut sides of artichoke with lemon half– transfer to bowl with lemon water. Repeat with remaining artichokes. Bring 6 cups water, 2 tablespoons flour, 2 teaspoons salt, and bay leaf to boil in large saucepan. Add artichoke halves and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain.
Melt butter with oil in heavy large deep skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour, shaking off excess. Cook chicken until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to plate. Add mushrooms, carrots, and shallots to skillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon thyme and garlic– sauté 1 minute. Add wine– bring to boil. Add broth and artichokes– bring to boil. Return chicken to skillet, reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes. Turn chicken, cover, and simmer until cooked through, about 15 minutes longer. Transfer chicken and vegetables to platter. Whisk crème fraîche into sauce in skillet–bring to boil. Season with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken, sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon thyme, and serve.
Cornish Hen Spring Stew
3 Cornish hens, about 5 pounds total
1/2 lbs asparagus, peeled and cut into 1-inch lengths
1 cup fresh or frozen petite peas
4 shallots, chopped
3 tablespoons cooking oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 cups Chicken Stock, or canned low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
Cut away the backs from the Cornish hens.
Cut each hen into quarters. In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat. Add the backs and cook until very brown, about 8 minutes.  Discard all but a teaspoon of fat. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook 3 minutes longer. Add the wine and simmer 2 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan to dislodge any brown bits. Add the stock. Bring to a boil and simmer until the stock has reduced to 2 cups. Strain the stock. Press the vegetables and bones firmly to get all the liquid. Set the stock aside. Combine 1/2 cup of the flour, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Dredge each hen quarter in the seasoned flour.
In a frying pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over moderately high heat. Add some of the Cornish hen quarters and cook until brown, about 4 minutes per side. Remove. Brown the remaining quarters. In a large pot, heat the butter over moderate heat. Add the shallots and cook until beginning to turn golden, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the hens with any juice that has accumulated, the reserved stock and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Reduce the heat and cook, covered, at a bare simmer for 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and fresh peas, if using. Simmer until the hens are just done and the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes longer. Add the frozen peas, if using, the cream, lemon zest, tarragon and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring back to a simmer and serve.
If it’s on the menu…the Menu Shoppe has it covered.
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