The Daily Dish

Chef McClelland's Pot-au-Feu of Poussin


5 shallots, minced
1/4 cup port
1 cup chicken broth
One 750-ml bottle Pinot Noir
1 bouquet garni (see below)
3 whole black peppercorns
3 Cornish game hens, washed and patted dry, legs trussed
2 leeks, washed and cut into thirds
12 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
12 turnips, peeled and cut into chunks
12 fingerling potatoes
3 celery stalks, cut into thirds
12 pearl onions
1 pound grade A foie gras
1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1.Prepare a bouillon by combining the shallots, port, chicken broth, Pinot Noir, bouquet garni, and peppercorns in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to low.
2.Submerge the game hens in the bouillon (it’s safer if you do this over low heat). Turn the heat back up to medium to bring the liquid back to a simmer, then turn the heat back down to low and cook for 15 minutes. 
3.Remove the game hens from bouillon and set aside. Immediately add the leeks, carrots, turnips, potatoes, celery, and onions  to the bouillon. Turn the heat up to medium-low to bring the liquid to a light simmer, then turn the heat back down to low and cook for 10 minutes. Add the foie gras to saucepan and cook for 8 more minutes.
4.While the vegetables are cooking, remove the game hen meat from the bones and divide it among 6 bowls.
5.When the vegetables are cooked, remove and discard the bouquet garni, lift the vegetables from the bouillon with a slotted spoon, and distribute them among the bowls. Remove the foie gras and cut it into 6 pieces. Add a piece to each bowl. Sprinkle the parsley, thyme, and sage over each portion. Taste the bouillon for seasoning and add salt and pepper if desired. Ladle the bouillon over the contents of each bowl, and serve.
A bouquet garni is a bunch of herbs tied together with butcher twine or string and used to flavor stocks and sauces, then discarded. Prepare a bouquet garni by using the outer layer of a trimmed leek to wrap up 2 bay leaves, 4 sprigs thyme, 1 sprig rosemary, 4 sprigs sage, and 5 parsley stems. Secure the bundle by tying butcher twine around the outer leek layer. Leave a long tail of twine so you can tie it to a pot handle for easy removal.


Chef Frank McClelland of L'espalier in Boston is participating in the Seond Annual WGBH Food and Wine Festival, coming back to Guest St. this September 19-21. 


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Simply Ming

About the Author

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Frank McClelland's Pot-au-Feu of Poussin
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