This is probably the first “great” dish I ever learned, and I’m constantly tinkering with it. It’s comfort food, if I’m willing to do a little work for it. Now the basic recipe calls for little birds (starlings, quail, game hens) but you can easily do this for chicken breasts you’ve pounded flat or even pieces of dark meated fowl like turkey. I’m also including in this recipe one of my sauce recipes, because the original recipe calls for a lame and bland mix of butter and booze, and that sort of eliminates all the fun flavors of the rainbow.
What You’ll Need
2 to 6 tiny little birds of choice, or chicken breasts, or some kind of fowl or poultry
1 piece of aluminum foil per bird, large enough to wrap them like a baked potato, sort of
Sage leaves (I get these in a glass jar, and you’ll need like 4 leaves per bird)
John’s Awesome Sauce #8
John’s Awesome Sauce #8
1 can Coca Cola (NOT DIET)
2 shots rum
1 1/2 cup sherry
1 package butter (1/2 pound) room temperature
To the cooking!
In a large mixing bowl, mix cola, rum, sherry, butter. No, it’s not really going to thicken. If you for some reason want it thicker, use HALF a can of cola and 1/2 cup of maple syrup. Really though, you’re not going to need to thicken this.
Once you’ve mixed the Awesome Sauce, you need to get the birds drunk. This is easily accomplished by treating each bird like it’s a Salem witch. Hold the bird by an end (Use tongs or wear gloves) and dunk them a few times while looking very serious about ergot poisoning or religious intolerance for witches or persecution or the fact that witches aren’t wood. Place each dunked bird onto a square of foil.
Once the bird hits the foil, sprinkle each with basil, salt and thyme. No, it’s not an exact science. You’re basically going to sprinkle herbs on wet bird.
Lay 3 or 4 sage leaves on top of each bird, like a really crappy blanket. No, it’s likely not going to cover every bit of bird, but that’s okay. That’s why you have foil!
Wrap the birds pretty tightly in foil, but don’t squish, you’re going to want to give them a little space in the pouch. You know how in movies the hero or heroine wakes up in a coffin? Like that. Give them a coffin’s worth of airspace.
OPTIONAL: You can put the pouches of bird on a cookie sheet or dish to make everything easier.
Place the now entombed birds in a 400 degree oven for 18 minutes.
Serve over polenta, pilaf, or a puree of your choice.