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Grilled Coriander-Pepper Poussins with Leeks and Fennel

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Poussins, which are young chickens, can be purchased from most butchers, but you may need to order them in advance. You can substitute Cornish game hens.

  • Servings: 8

Source: Martha Stewart Living, September 2007

Ingredients

For the Poussins

  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black peppercorns, plus more to taste
  • 10 sprigs fresh cilantro, stems only, finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon, plus 2 lemons, halved, for garnish
  • 3 fresh bay leaves, torn, plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more to taste
  • 4 poussins, halved

For the Vegetables

  • 4 artichokes, trimmed, halved lengthwise, fuzzy chokes removed
  • 2 fresh bay leaves, torn
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 leeks, white and pale-green parts only, cut into matchsticks and rinsed well (about 4 cups)
  • 1 fennel bulb, cut into matchsticks (about 3 cups), fronds reserved for garnish

Directions

  1. For the Poussins: Toast coriander seeds in a dry skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes, shaking skillet occasionally. Crush coriander seeds, and combine with peppercorns and cilantro.

  2. Whisk together oil, citrus zests and juices, bay leaves, salt, and 2 teaspoons coriander mixture in a nonreactive bowl. Rub over poussins. Cover, and refrigerate overnight. (Reserve remaining coriander mixture, refrigerated, for another use.)

  3. Make the Vegetables: Place a steamer basket in a large pot filled with 2 inches water. Bring to a boil. Add artichokes and bay leaves; cover, and steam until just tender, about 20 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, heat butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks and fennel, and cook until just softened, about 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover, and cook until completely tender but not caramelized, about 30 minutes.

  5. Preheat grill to medium-high. (If you are using a charcoal grill, coals are ready when you can hold your hand 5 inches above grill for just 3 to 4 seconds.) Remove poussins from marinade, and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper. Grill poussins, flipping once, until skin is golden brown and a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part (avoiding the bone) registers 165 degrees, about 12 minutes per side. Grill the artichokes until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Grill the lemon halves, cut sides down, until marked, about 5 minutes.

  6. Arrange poussins and artichokes on top of leeks and fennel. Garnish with fennel fronds, lemons, and bay leaves.

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