12.28.2009

Rabbit and Poussin for Christmas Eve

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This post is really not for the vegetarians. There's a lot of cute, little animals that were butchered to make this delicious meal. And I had to do some of the butchering. If you're wondering what is a Poussin, let me tell you. A young chicken, usually under 28 days old. You can't typically find them around town, unless you go to specialty stores. Same goes for the rabbit. We took a trip to Harmony Farms to purchase our meats.
In the morning, my husband baked some beautiful breads for our our dinner that night, and Christmas dinner. As you can see, they were impressive looking.

I got to work on my cold bean appetizer, previously mentioned here. This time I did start with dry beans, and made sure not to forget the tomato sauce and herb stems.

I also tried a fennel recipe. I haven't done much cooking with fennel, and was a little unsure about what cooked fennel tasted like, but since the recipe involved cream and cheese, I didn't think I could go wrong. This was one of those recipes that actually looked interesting in my Rachel Ray Magazine, so I went for it. And everyone liked it. Here it is.


The real star of the meal for me was the rabbit. I really enjoy rabbit. And if it's available, I will usually order it at fancy restaurants. But I've never cooked rabbit. Or cut one up. At the market, my husband insisted we buy the whole rabbit, but as I started preparing the meal, he took off for a few hours and I was left alone. Alone with a whole rabbit. It scared me. But after watching a few tutorials online, I was able to get my eight pieces, and I only cut myself once!

The rabbit is cooked stove top with mustard and wine, then topped off with a creamy blue cheese sauce.

There were also the three little chickens. Which I washed and stuffed with herbs and lemon, added butter and cognac, and baked for about 45 minutes.



On the side we also had wild rice, and salad with butter lettuce, beets, and blue cheese.

Rabbit in Blue Cheese and Mustard Sauce
(I found this recipe online, but made several adjustments. It called for a lot more dry herbs, which looked like way too much for me, and cooking the rabbit in the slow cooker, which didn't appeal to me.)

1 rabbit (2 1/2 - 3 lbs), cut up
1 tsp dry thyme
1 tsp dry savory
salt and pepper
3 tbsp of white wine
1/4 cup of dijon mustard
1 tsp of cornstarch
1/3 cup of whipping cream
1/2 cup of crumbled blue cheese
olive oil
butter

1) Rinse and dry rabbit. Season with salt, pepper and the dry herbs. Heat butter and olive oil in pan and brown rabbit for seveal minutes on each side.
2) Combine mustard and wine, and pour over rabbit. Cover and cook for about 1 hour or so, turning rabbit over half way through.
3) Remove rabbit from pan, and keep warm. Add cornstarch and whipping cream to the pan's juices. Cook for about 5 minutes. Turn off heat, and add crumbled blue cheese. Stir and pour sauce over rabbit.

Thyme-Roasted Poussin
I basically copied this recipe from here, without any adjustments. And they were tasty.

Four 12- to 14-ounce poussins
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, quartered
12 large sprigs of thyme
12 sprigs of marjoram
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons Cognac

1) Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
2) Rinse the poussins and season the cavities with salt and pepper. Rub each with 1/4 teaspoon olive oil. Fill each cavity with a lemon wedge, 2 sprigs each of thyme and marjoram, and 1 crushed garlic clove.
3) Loosen the skin from the breast of each poussin. Slide a sprig each of thyme and marjoram between the skin and the breast. Spoon the Cognac (1/2 tablespoon per bird) into the breast pockets of each poussin. Truss with kitchen string.
4) On a roasting rack set in a roasting pan, roast for 30 minutes, or until the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a fork.

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