dimanche, décembre 07, 2008

Thank you Jeebus for spit-roasting and poultry fat

So, one of the other things I had picked up during my trip to market last Friday was a whole pintade—that is, a guinea fowl. Although rarely eaten in North America, these things show up quite a bit here in France and for good reason. They have slightly pinkish flesh that is a nice balance between the mildness of chicken and the pungency of wild game fowl. They can bit a bit of trouble to cook, since the flesh is naturally pinkish, even when cooked. Nonetheless, you can still test doneness by inserting a small knife into the thigh, right to the bone, and check the juices that come out. If the juice is clear, the meat is ready; if it’s pinkish or red, cook it longer.

Aaaanyway, I digress. I bought a pintade on Friday and I decided to roast it. You see, the gas oven in my apartment has a top-broiler AND a rotisserie attachment. What more could you want, right? I also had a fair bit of winter vegetables sitting around (carrots, onions, turnips, potatoes), so I decided to mimic the poultry shops in Paris and roast the pintade with a pan of thick-cut vegetables underneath to catch the drippings.

There was one small complication: presumably to avoid turning broiling into baking, the rotisserie attachment is actually a bit bigger than the actual oven, and it comes with an extra bit of metal that you attach to the oven door to keep it open 1 inch or so. I suppose this makes sense (although not very energy-conscious), but this also meant that the temperature at the bottom of the oven didn’t get high enough to really roast the vegetables underneath. So, once the pintade was clearly ready, I transferred it to a serving dish and let it sit, while I closed the oven and turned on the regular burners. This seemed to do the trick, and I even re-set the broiler at the end to brown the tops of the veggies a little bit before serving.

As a last step, I took the roasting pan out, placed it on the stove over high heat and deglazed the pan with leftover oyster liquor from Friday. Delicious! Now, if only I had a ton of crème fraîche to finish the job…

Oh, and also: I took a bunch of turnips and glazed them in a butter-syrup. Very tasty. Drank the whole thing with a lot of wine.

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