A Moroccan style recipe of stuffed poussin served with a quick stir-fry of chillies and snow peas.
Preheat the oven to 150C
Prepare the pilaff. Chop all the vegetables into very tiny dice. Melt the butter in a roasting tin and coat the vegetables, just warming them through. Add the rice and continue stirring over a low heat for a couple of minutes. Pour in the hot stock and cover the top with greaseproof paper, letting it rest lightly on the surface of the pilaff. Bake for 35 minutes approx (check after 25 mins) until the rice is tender but still slightly nutty, topping up with stock if it is drying out. When the pilaff is ready, take it out of the oven and allow it to cool. Increase the oven heat to 190C.
Meanwhile bone the poussin. Turn each bird upside down and make an incision along its length. Cut around the bony central part of the bird and remove it, then carefully remove the longer leg-bones, always taking care not to damage any more of the skin.
Spread the flattened poussin skin-down onto the board. Lift the breasts up, spoon the pilaff onto the skin, put the breasts back on the pilaff. Pull the skin up around the sides and secure it by weaving a skewer through. Turn each bird on its side and tie the legs together with string, so that it looks like a miniscule turkey. This can be done well in advance.
Make the tomato sauce. In a large frying pan soften the garlic, onion, ginger and chilli, add the cumin and cardamoms, mix well and cook for a few minutes then add the chopped tomatoes and stock, Hoisin sauce and continue stirring for a further 20 minutes or until it thickens. Put through a fine sieve. If it is too thick add a little stock. Put to one side until required.
To make the potato fritters cook the potatoes in boiling water, drain well and put them back in the pan to dry off over the heat. Now put them through a fine sieve. Add the butter and mix well, separate the eggs and add the yolks to the potato mixture. Add the chopped parsley, whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold into the potato with some seasoning. Heat the oil to 190C. Make small balls out of the potato into a dessert spoon and put them into the oil until golden-brown (approx 1 min). Drain well. These can be done in advance and heated up in hot oil just before serving.
To make the stir fry, finally slice all the veg except the pak choi which should be quartered. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying-pan or wok and add the garlic, ginger, chilli, 5 spice then the vegetables. Make sure the heat is turned right up.
Roast the poussins for 35 minutes, then take them out pour a spoonful of red currant jelly over each bird. Put them back in the oven for 10 minutes. Keep warm while you heat the fritters and finish the stir fry. To serve put a small pile of stir fry in the middle of the plate, top with half a poussin, put 3 fritters on the side and add a little tomato sauce. Garnish with chervil.
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