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Grilled Coriander Poussin with Farro Verde, Roasted Carrots and Chioggia Beets

Chef Billy Allin loves to cook poussin in the spring as its delicate flavor works well with the season’s first vegetables like tiny carrots and beets. Farro verde is a delicious grain that is available from Anson Mills. Its slightly smoky taste is delicious with this grilled poussin. If you can’t find farro verde, substitute regular farro.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more, to taste
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
  • 1 1/2 tsp. coriander seed, toasted and ground
  • 2 poussin, split in half down the backbone and breast
  • 1 lb. small Chioggia beets, well washed, tops removed and reserved for another use, if desired
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 to 7 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. minced shallot
  • 1 lb. baby carrots, peeled, tops trimmed to 1 inch
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup farro verde
  • 2 king trumpet mushrooms, cut in halve lengthwise
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 spring onions, green portions cut into 1-inch pieces and white portions halved lengthwise
  • 2 Tbs. crème fraîche
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

In a small bowl, stir together the 2 tsp. salt, the 1/8 tsp. pepper and the coriander. Place the poussin halves in a baking dish and season each half with 1/2 tsp. of the spice mixture (you will have some left over). Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours.

Preheat an oven to 350ºF.

Place the beets in a single layer in a small casserole or baking dish. Pour in the vinegar and enough hot water to come two-thirds of the way up the beets. Season generously with salt and pepper and add the bay leaf. Drizzle with 1 Tbs. of the olive oil and cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Roast until the beets are tender, about 1 hour. Remove the beets from the cooking liquid. When the beets are cool enough to handle but are still warm, peel them and cut in half, if desired. Transfer to a small bowl, add the shallot and 2 Tbs. of the olive oil and stir to combine. Set aside.

Increase the oven temperature to 400ºF.

In a bowl, toss the carrots with the melted butter and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast until the carrots are tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the stock to a boil. Add the farro and season with salt. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the farro is just tender, about 20 minutes; it will still have some resistance to the tooth. Drain and let cool if not using immediately.

Prepare a grill for indirect grilling over medium-high heat.

Remove the poussin from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes. Drizzle the poussin halves with 1 to 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Place the poussin, skin side down, on the grill over the direct-heat area and cook until well browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Turn the poussin over, move them to the indirect-heat area, cover the grill and cook until they are cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes more. Transfer to a platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil.

In a small bowl, toss the mushrooms with 1 Tbs. of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the mushrooms on the grill over the direct-heat area and cook, turning occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes.

While the poussin rest, reheat the beets and carrots in a 350ºF oven until warmed through.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, warm the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute. Add the farro and toss well to combine. Add the spring onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the farro and onions are warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together the crème fraiche, lemon juice and 2 Tbs. of the cilantro.

To serve, place the farro in the center of each of 4 warmed plates. Top with the carrots, beets and a poussin half. Place the mushrooms on the plates and sprinkle with the remaining 2 Tbs. cilantro. Serve immediately and pass the cilantro crème fraiche alongside. Serves 4.

Recipe by Billy Allin, Chef/Owner of Cakes & Ale Restaurant/Bar and The Bakery at Cakes & Ale.