The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #59418   Message #3290664
Posted By: Rapparee
14-Jan-12 - 03:35 PM
Thread Name: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
Substitute bluebird for ortolan in this recipe.

Ortolans are solitary birds: they fly in pairs, rarely three together, and never in flocks. They are taken in traps, from March or April to September, when they are often poor and thin; but, if fed with plenty of millet-seed and other grain, they become sheer lumps of fat, and delicious morsels. They are fattened thus in large establishments in the south of Europe; and Mr. Gould states this to be effected in Italy and the south of France in a dark room.

The Ortolan is considered sufficiently fat when it is a handful; and is judged by feeling it, and not by appearance. They should not be killed with violence, like other birds; this might crush and bruise the delicate flesh, and spoil the coup d'ceil - to avoid which, the best mode is to plunge the head of the Ortolan into a glass of brandy.

Having picked the bird of its feathers, singe it with the flame of paper or spirit of wine; cat off the beak, and ends of the feet; do not draw it; put it into a paper case soaked in olive oil, and broil it over a slow fire. It will not require such afire as would do a steak; slack cinders, like those for a pigeon a la cravaudine, being sufficient; in a few minutes the Ortolan will swim in its own fat and will be cooked. Some gourmands wrap each bird in a vine-leaf.