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Poussin Stuffed w/Orzo (Pargiyot) (M, TNT)
Source: Self
Serves: 8

8 poussin/pargiyot (baby chickens)
2 500g packages orzo (rice shaped pasta)
4 cups chicken stock, warmed to a boil
4 cups water, warmed to a boil
8 medium onions, cut into thin slices
1 lb. fresh mushrooms, roughly chopped
300g almond pieces (the peeled stuff which is ivory in color)
4 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh thyme
Fresh rosemary
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Air dry the hens on a rack in your refrigerator overnight. Toast the almond pieces on a baking sheet in your oven or by sautéing in a lightly oiled pan over a medium heat.

Quickly fry the orzo in about 4 tablespoons olive oil over a medium-high flame. Do this in 2 batches. Transfer to a large pot and add the boiling water and chicken stock. Add salt, pepper, 3 to 4 sprigs of thyme, and 3 to 4 of rosemary. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and leave covered for another 5 minutes. (I cover the pot with a dish towel at this point and then put the cover on. This absorbs some of the moisture.) Remove the thyme and rosemary stalks.

Caramelize the onions in a large fry pan. (This will probably take 2 or 3 batches.) During the last few minutes add the garlic. Remove to a bowl. Sauté the mushrooms and remove to a bowl.

Mix the orzo, onions, garlic, mushrooms, and almond pieces. Stuff each hen with this mixture and add a sprig of thyme and of rosemary, then close the opening of the hen with toothpicks. If you wish, gently lift the skin up at the neck and slip a sprig of thyme and/or rosemary between the skin and the breast meat. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

A tasty option is to spread the remaining orzo mixture in the bottom of the baking pan.

Put a rack in the baking pan and place the hens breast side down. Put in a pre-heated (375°F) oven for a half hour. Baste and turn the hens. Bake for about another half hour, until the skin is a deep golden brown. If you don't bake the remaining orzo under the hens, deglaze the baking pan with chicken stock and make a gravy.

Poster's Notes:
The following is what I'm serving second night of Rosh Hashana. In Israel we've been getting fresh "pargiot" which are young chickens. This recipe is a lot of patchkie, but I think it's worth it.

Posted by Scott Mann

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A