11 September 2010

Chicken & Game

Brillat-Savarin once said, "A chicken is a canvas on which the cook can paint." In Chicken & Game by Ninette Lyon, she certainly does paint a nifty chicken. She also manages to to include guinea, squab, turkey and even a rabbit or two in her canvas. Lyon was a French cook who wrote a little book about cooking meat. Meat At Any Price became a huge hit in France. The book won several culinary prizes and the butchers of Les Halles offered Lyon's her weight in meat. Not a bad prize.

Chicken & Game was published in the early 1960's so there is no illustration for the recipes. They are quite straight forward and easy to assemble. Well, the chicken recipes are easy as anyone can find a chicken -- the pheasant and wild boar might be a tad more difficult if you live off the beaten track.

Chicken in the Sunday staple at Doe Run Farm (though we try to keep that a secret from the girls who lay our eggs!). I am a huge fan of giblets. Some of my favorite recipes involve chicken gizzards. Thumbing through Lyon's book, I found several recipes for chicken giblets, but this one included not only gizzards but an often overlooked veggie, salsify. Salsify looks like a big old hairy carrot and tastes mildly of oyster.

Giblets with Salsify

1 tablespoon fat
2 lb giblets
1 onion
1 lb salsify
1 clove garlic 2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 glasses bouillon or water
salt and pepper
1/2 clove garlic

Heat the fat in a flameproof casserole and brown the giblets, the onions sliced in rings, and the salsify cut in even pieces. Add crushed garlic and flour and brown these too. Season, and stir in the hot liquid. Close the lid, and simmer for 3 hours. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and a trace of garlic.

This is excellent. Trust me on this one. You can feel free to bring this to a potluck and you can rest assured that you will be the only one to bring it to the table.

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