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Poultry and game recipes you need to try this winter

3 min read

Poultry and game recipes you need to try this winter
From the Reader's Digest archives, Anne Ager shares these delicious recipes for winter months, from turkey pot au feu to bacon-wrapped poussins
Birds of a feather, get together, for this month's Food Digest—chicken, turkey, duck, quail and guinea fowl.
Many of the recipes use portions, for quick cooking and easy serving, teamed with tasty sauces and unusual ingredients, such as mango, cream cheese, almonds and coconut.

Turkey Pot au Feu

Serves: 4
Preparation: Approx 45 minutes
  • generous litre chicken stock 
  • bouquet garni
  • 60g haricot beans, soaked overnight
  • 675g turkey breast fillet
  • 115g minced turkey fillet
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh sage
  • 30g fresh breadcrumbs
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 button onions, peeled
  • 8 baby carrots, trimmed and scraped
  • 8 baby turnips, trimmed and peeled
  • 85g tiny French beans
Put the stock into a pan with the bouquet garni and drained haricot beans. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the turkey breast into fine medallions. Mix the minced turkey with the chopped onion, sage, breadcrumbs and seasoning; shape into small balls. Add the button onions, carrots and turnips to the stock and simmer five minutes. Add the French beans, medallions of turkey and forcemeat balls to the hot stock. Simmer for a further five minutes. Serve in warmed shallow soup bowls with side dishes of cooked pasta.

Duck Breast Fillets on Savoury Rice

Serves: 4
Preparation: Approx 45 minutes
  • 4 large duck breast fillets 
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • 2tbs duck dripping, or other poultry fat 
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped 
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed 
  • 2 stems celery, finely chopped 
  • 115g button mushrooms, thinly sliced 
  • 175g long grain or brown rice, cooked and drained 
  • finely grated rind 1 lemon 
  • bunch watercress, washed, trimmed and finely chopped
To serve:
  • twists of lemon 
  • oyster or hoisin sauce
Season duck fillets and arrange skin side uppermost in a roasting dish. Roast at 200°C, 400°F, Gas Mark 6, for 30 to 35 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the rice: Heat the dripping in a wok or large frying pan. Add onion and fry 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cooked rice, lemon rind and seasoning, and stir over a brisk heat until very hot. Stir in watercress. Spoon rice into two rows on a hot serving dish. Cut duck fillets diagonally across the grain, and arrange on top of the rice. Garnish with lemon, and serve the sauce separately.
chicken stock

Bacon-wrapped Poussins

Serves: 2
Preparation: Approx 55 minutes
  • 375g Jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed but not peeled 
  • 8 small pickling onions, peeled 
  • 2tbs oil 
  • 30g butter 
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • 2 oven-ready poussins (not too large) 
  • 4 rashers smoked streaky bacon 
  • 30g flaked almonds, toasted 
  • finely chopped parsley
Cut artichokes in half; place in a roasting dish with onions, oil, butter and seasoning to taste. Roast at 220°C, 425°F, Gas Mark 7, for 10 minutes. Season poussins inside and out, and cover breasts with bacon rashers. Place poussins on top of par-roasted vegetables. Roast the poussins for 30 to 35 minutes, until the juices run clear when the legs are pierced. (Baste the birds and vegetables during cooking.) Sprinkle the toasted almonds and parsley over the poussins and vegetables before serving.
Tip: Olive oil mashed potato makes a wonderful accompaniment to this dish. Cook potatoes in the usual way until tender. Mash with salt and pepper to taste and some good olive oil—approx 4 to 5 tbs to each 450g potatoes.

Turkey Bolognese

Serves: 4
Preparation: Approx 35 minutes
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped 
  • 2tbs olive oil 
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed 
  • 450g minced turkey 
  • 1 green pepper, halved, seeded and diced 
  • 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes 
  • 150ml chicken stock 
  • 2tbs tomato purée 
  • 1tsp dried oregano 
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • 2tsp cornflour 
  • 4tbs dry white wine
Fry the onion gently in the oil until it starts to soften. Add the garlic and turkey, and cook until the turkey loses its pinkness. Add the remaining ingredients, apart from the cornflour and wine, and simmer 20 minutes. Blend cornflour and wine and stir into the sauce. Stir over the heat for a minute or two until it thickens. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Serve with cooked spaghetti.

A good basic poultry or game stock

Put the carcass of a chicken, duck, turkey, pheasant, etc, into a large pan with a peeled onion stuck with 4 cloves, 2 bay leaves, 1 thinly sliced leek, a piece of blade mace, a few sprigs of fresh herbs, and 1/2 tsp peppercorns. Add sufficient water to cover the carcass well. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 1 hour. Remove any scum that rises to the surface. Strain the prepared stock and cool quickly. Either store in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days, or freeze the stock in manageable portions.
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