Gourmet (July 2008)
The July 2008 issue of Gourmet has the distinction of having an actual sexy (!) photo spread, called "Rollin' on the River," by Quentin Bacon.
It's hilariously unlike anything we've seen in a food magazine to date: six uber-attractive twenty-somethings, frolicking in swimsuits while eating some truly beautiful food.
When's the last time you saw abs in a food mag?
In these waning days of summer, we suggest you try these Grilled Herbed Poussins. They may not give you abs, but they definitely won't leave you feeling guilty.
"What's a poussin?" you ask.
As we learned, it's a French word for a young, small chicken. The recipe gives you the option of using a cornish hens, which is what we purchased.
This recipe happens to have one of the most graphic food descriptions we've seen lately listed in the ingredients: "4 poussins . . . or small Cornish hens, backbones cut out and birds split in half."
It turns out this isn't that difficult to accomplish. The small birds come apart fairly easily with a sharp knife, and once you've handled the first one, it becomes apparent how to easily remove the backbone.
Once the chicken/hens have been cut up, you apply a paste of herbs, oil and garlic, and then grill the meat until done. Because it is cut into smaller pieces, the meat cooks quickly. Start to finish, we easily accomplished this dish in 45 minutes, including the cutting up of the meat.
The best part? The results are lovely. The melange of herbs is a fragrant accompaniment to the grilled chicken, making for a great, flavor-packed dish.
Best give it a try while the grilling weather's good.
What are you dying to make before the warm weather ends?
Active time: 15 min
Start to finish: 35 min
An herb paste smeared onto these birds adds a concentrated taste of summer; this works nicely with the poussins, since they’re small enough to cook through before the herbs can threaten to burn.
* 1/4 cup chopped basil
* 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
* 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
* 2 fresh bay leaves, finely chopped
* 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 small garlic cloves, chopped
* 4 poussins (1 to 1 1/4 lb each) or small Cornish hens, backbones cut out and birds split in half
Blend together herbs, oil, garlic, 1 Tbsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper in a blender until finely chopped, then rub all over poussins.
Prepare grill for indirect-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal (medium-high heat for gas); see “Grilling Procedure.”
Oil grill rack, then grill poussins, skin sides down first, directly over coals, turning once, until well browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Move poussins to area with no coals underneath and grill, covered, until just cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes more. Transfer poussins to a platter and let stand 10 minutes.
Poussins can be rubbed with herb paste 1 day ahead and chilled.
To cook poussins indoors, brown them as above in a hot large ridged grill pan over medium-high heat, then cover with an inverted roasting pan. Reduce heat to medium and cook about 18 minutes.