Mini chicken goes big on taste and likes salt cooked onions

I think that the ‘galletto vallespluga’ is the closest thing there is to a cornish game hen here in Italy.  I am talking about mini chicken that are always a delight to roast.  One of these mini chickens is plenty for two people, and will stretch to three if carved by an expert hand.  This is my recipe for a wintry galletto stuffed with rice … Start by preheating the oven at 220°C.

Here is the galletto or cornish game hen … it comes like this from the butcher’s.

I weighed 5 spoons of rice and that came to 70g … to which I added a handful of chopped guanciale … You can use any kind of rice and if you don’t have pancetta or guanciale, a little bit of bacon will do.

And then I added a handful of raisins, a little bit of olive oil and some salt and pepper.  I mixed it all well.

I proceeded to stuff the galletto.  The galletto is ready to cook but before roasting it in the oven … I have a little ‘trick’ that I picked up many years ago which consists in steaming chicken, duck or other fowl before finishing them off in a hot oven.

First, the steamer cooks the flesh so that it stays succulent and tender and second, the roasting in the oven confers a crispy, crackely consistency to the skin of the bird.  Nothing fouler, if you’ll pardon the pun, than the dry rubbery flesh of a chicken that has been overcooked.  This way we get the best of both worlds.

Use some greaseproof or parchment paper to lower the galletto into the steamer.  This will also make it easier for you to remove it later on.

Steam the galletto for about 15 minutes.

Here is the galletto looking very pale after a steam … I cut an orange into slices for the galletto to lie on, breast side up …  Please notice how ‘glossy’ the skin is … that is the effect of the steam.  I drizzled only a tiny amount of olive oil on the bird!

Cook the galletto in the oven for 30 minutes, turning the heat down to 200°C after 5-8 minutes.

After cooking the galletto after 40 minutes, I turned it over and cooked it for a further 10 minutes.  Here it is just out of the oven – total cooking time in the oven 40 minutes.  The scent of the cooked orange was quite something!

Looking lovely ….

Cooked to perfection: moist within, crisp on the outside.

Served on the plate … with raisins and rice and guanciale having fun and games with the taste of roasted galletto and the background of orange.

And now for the onions.  Since I had the oven on, I thought I would take advantage and bake some onions to accompany the galletto.

Aren’t they pretty?  I just buried a few onions in loads of salt.

Here they are, baking in the oven with the galletto.

I removed them from the oven after 40 minutes.

I waited for them to cool down a bit before digging them out with a spoon and peeling them.

Doesn’t this look like something an artist would like to paint?

I poured a little olive oil over them … some might want to add a drop of balsamic vinegar.

And what can I say … the galletto and the salt-cooked onions were just the business that night for supper.


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About myhomefoodthatsamore

Community celebration via food, wine and all beautiful things.
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