Monday, 31 December 2007

Assembling the Three Bird Roast

As you can see this was quite a long and drawn out excercise - the kind which is perfect for Christmas Eve, with lots of things to nibble at hand, big glass of champagne and of course something silly on the telly to watch. When it comes to boning, I am fairly self taught - but I have figured a way to carve out the carcass before moving on to removing the wing bones and the thigh and leg bones. My method is simple; I cut down through the breastbone, cutting away the breasts to expose the ribcage, then running my knife under the backbone to remove it all. I admit it is a rather fiddly business, which took me the best part of two hours to complete all of the birds. I started on the quails first, which despite being small - were the easiest to do. I then built up confidence to tackle the chicken, leaving in the wings and legs intact to maintain a bird-like shape. Once all the birds were boned it was a case of layering; the chicken was laid flat and seasoned, with a generous layer of the sausagemeat stuffing applied. Next I laid the guinea fowl, this time with a layer of the fennel and date stuffing. Lastly I laid two quails and placed a small bundle of chives in the centre (purely for decorative purposes and to see where the middle of the bird would be when cooked). The whole thing was then drawn together, and tied tightly with twine to maintain the shape throughout cooking, then put back into the fridge to rest overnight and let the flavours in the stuffing permeate through the birds.

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