Bul­gur-Stuffed Poussin with Pre­served Lemon– Honey Glaze


“Stuff­ing poul­try with a mix­ture of grains, dried fruit, and nuts is very com­mon in Mid­dle Eastern cui­sine. At the same time, I’m a sucker for a sticky-sweet bar­be­cue sauce on poul­try. That’s my jam! The com­bi­na­tion of honey and tart-salty pre­served lemon works re­ally well with the meaty poussin. It’s like Le­van­tine tra­di­tion meets Amer­i­can tra­di­tion.” AC­TIVE 35 MIN; TO­TAL 3 HR 10 MIN SERVES 4

Poussin turns ten­der, juicy, and fra­grant thanks to a Per­sian­in­spired, sweet spice mari­nade and pre­served lemon–honey glaze. The dried fruit–stud­ded bul­gur fill­ing gives you a built-in side dish. One poussin makes a per­fect sin­gle serv­ing; if us­ing plumper Cor­nish hens, split each in half to serve two. 1/4 cup olive oil 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons) 31/2 tsp. kosher salt, di­vided 1 tsp. ground co­rian­der 1 tsp. ground cumin 1 tsp. ground ginger 1/2 tsp. ground cin­na­mon 1/2 tsp. black pep­per 4 (1-lb.) poussins or 2 (11/2 -lb.) Cor­nish game hens 1/2 cup un­cooked coarse or medium bul­gur, rinsed in cool wa­ter and drained 1/4 cup dried apri­cots, chopped 1/4 cup unsweet­ened dried cran­ber­ries 11/4 cups lower-sodium chicken broth, di­vided 1/4 cup salted roasted pis­ta­chios, chopped 1/4 cup toasted wal­nuts, chopped 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf pars­ley 1/4 cup honey 1/4 tsp. saf­fron threads 1 1 / 2 Tbsp. thinly sliced pre­served lemon peel 2 Tbsp. fresh mint leaves, torn 2 Tbsp. fresh basil leaves, torn

1. Whisk to­gether olive oil, lemon juice, 11/2 tea­spoons salt, co­rian­der, cumin, ginger, cin­na­mon, and pep­per in a large bowl. Sprin­kle poussins evenly with 11/2 tea­spoons salt. Add poussins to mari­nade, turn­ing to coat and rub­bing mari­nade all over birds, in­side and out. Cover and chill 2 hours.

2. About 1 hour be­fore roast­ing the birds, make the stuff­ing: Stir to­gether bul­gur, apri­cots, cran­ber­ries, and re­main­ing 1/2 tea­spoon salt in a medium heat­proof bowl. Bring 3/4 cup broth to a sim­mer in a small saucepan over medium-high. Pour hot broth over bul­gur mix­ture. Let stand un­til liq­uid is ab­sorbed, about 1 hour. Fluff with a fork. (The bul­gur should still have a lit­tle tooth to it. It will fin­ish cook­ing in­side the poussins.) Add pis­ta­chios, wal­nuts, and pars­ley; stir to com­bine.

3. Pre­heat oven to 500°F. Re­move poussins from mari­nade, and pat dry with pa­per tow­els. Dis­card mari­nade. Stuff poussins evenly with bul­gur mix­ture (about 1/2 cup each). Loosely tie legs to­gether with kitchen twine, and tuck wing tips un­der. Place poussins on a wire rack set in­side a shal­low roast­ing pan or rimmed bak­ing sheet.

4. Roast in pre­heated oven un­til lightly browned, about 15 min­utes. De­crease oven tem­per­a­ture to 350°F with­out open­ing oven door, and roast un­til poussins are golden brown, juices run clear when poussin is pierced with a knife, and stuff­ing tem­per­a­ture reg­is­ters 160°F, 25 to 30 min­utes.

5. Trans­fer poussins to a plat­ter or tray; cover to keep warm. Re­move wire rack from pan. Pour re­main­ing 1/2 cup broth into pan with poussin drip­pings; stir and scrape bot­tom with a wooden spoon to loosen browned bits. Pour broth mix­ture into a small saucepan. Add honey and saf­fron, and bring to a sim­mer over medium-low, stir­ring of­ten. Add pre­served lemon peel, and sim­mer un­til syrupy, 5 to 8 min­utes.

6. To serve, di­vide poussins among 4 plates. If serv­ing Cor­nish hens, spoon about 1/2 cup stuff­ing onto each of 4 plates. Cut Cor­nish hens in half; di­vide among plates. Spoon lemon-honey glaze over birds, and gar­nish with mint and basil.

WINE Herby, pep­pery Le­banese red: 2015 Chateau Musar Musar Je­une

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