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Old 06-19-2009, 12:13 AM
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
17,823 posts, read 23,445,004 times
Reputation: 6541


4 Ptarmigan, boned (see note below)

3 ounces of wild rice
1-1/2 cups of chicken stock
1 tablespoon of butter
4 ounces of foie gras, cut into cubes
1/2 cup of dried Shiitake mushrooms (1 cup if fresh), finely chopped
1 shallot, minced
1/2 cup of fresh herbs (parsley, chervil, basil), chopped
1 tablespoon cognac
fresh parsley and rosemary to garnish
salt and pepper to taste

Simmer the rice and mushrooms in the stock for 30-40 minutes, until tender, then set aside. Season the foie gras with salt and pepper and saute in a hot frying pan with the butter, herb mixture, and shallots until all the cubes are sealed on all sides. Add the foie gras, herb, and shallot mixture and cognac to the rice. Check the seasoning and let cool to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 400°F

Season the inside of the ptarmigan with salt and pepper. Loosely fill with the rice stuffing and truss (they will expand in the oven). In a frying pan, add 2 tablespoons of butter and saute the trussed ptarmigan until they are brown on all sides.

Roast the stuffed ptarmigan at 400°F for 15-20 minutes, basting occasionally. Serve with port sauce.

Port Sauce
2 shallots, minced
2 tablespoons of butter
4 roasted ptarmigan carcasses
1/4 cup of sherry vinegar
1 cup of port (Madeira is a good substitute)
3 cups of chicken stock
1 sprig of fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a saute pan, and sweat the minced shallots until they become translucent, approximately 2 minutes. Add the ptarmigan carcasses and vinegar, then boil using moderate heat until almost evaporated. Stir in the port and reduce by half. Add the stock and thyme and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain through cheese cloth and season to taste.

Deboning Ptarmigan
Believe it or not, it is not that difficult to debone a ptarmigan whole, if you know how. First, remove the wishbone, cut off the wings, and loosen the legs so the leg bones are no longer in the hip socket. Second, insert a small pairing knife (ptarmigan are not that big ) between the rib cage and the flesh and scrape all around to free the flesh from the carcass. Finally, when the carcass is free, pull it out with your fingers.

Be sure you keep the wishbone, wings, and carcasses for the port sauce above. Roast all the ptarmigan carcasses at 400°F for 10 minutes before adding them to the port sauce.
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Old 06-19-2009, 12:32 AM
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
17,823 posts, read 23,445,004 times
Reputation: 6541
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The ptarmigan should be baked breast up and basted with melted butter every 5 minutes. Or, as an alternative, you could wrap the ptarmigan with a couple strips of hickory smoked bacon, held in place with toothpicks. As the bacon renders, the fat will keep the meat moist. You could also wrap each trussed ptarmigan in beef or pork suet, which will disappear completely as it renders into the ptarmigan.

Whichever means you choose is not important. The important thing to remember is that ptarmigan needs fat added if the meat is to remain juicy after it is cooked.
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