Russian Cuisine

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6 ounces 3-4-day-old French bread, crusts removed
2 cups milk
21/2 pounds chicken breasts, skinned, boned, and tendons removed
4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/3-1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt to taste
2 egg whites
Vegetable oil for frying
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 - 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill and parsley

Cut the bread into pieces 2 inches long and soak in the milk for 5 minutes. Squeeze out the excess liquid. Wipe the breasts with paper towels. Cut into 1-inch pieces, then grind twice, the second time adding the bread. If you use a food processor, take care not to puree the mixture. Place in a large bowl, add the egg yolks, cream, and salt to taste, and beat well with a wooden spoon or in an electric mixer. Whip the egg whites until soft peaks form and fold them into the chicken mixture. Pour oil into a heavy-bottomed skillet (it should be about 1/3 inch deep) and heat. Scoop up about 1/3 cup of the mixture and place in the skillet, flattening it lightly with a wet knife. The patty should be about 3 inches long, 2 inches wide, and 3/4 inch high. Continue to form patties, spacing them about 1 inch apart in the pan. Saute over moderate heat for about 3-5 minutes on each side, or until golden. When done, they should be tender and moist. Keep them warm while you cook the remainder.

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7 ounces pork fatback, cut into 1/8-inch slices
1 large grouse (capercaillie, 2-3 pounds)
Salt to taste
2 bay leaves
3 whole cloves
½ inch cinnamon stick
1 onion, sliced
1 bottle dry red wine

Cover the bottom of a glazed ceramic jar with several slices of pork fatback. Cut the grouse into serving pieces and add them to the jar, interspersed with the salt, spices, onion, and remaining fatback. Add the bottle of red wine. Tie a cloth over the opening and seal with dough. After you have baked your daily bread and taken it from the oven, place the grouse in the oven and leave it there overnight. (The large Russian wood-burning stoves retained the heat that had accumulated during the bread-baking, and the grouse would cook as the oven slowly cooled off. ) The next day, arrange the grouse on a platter, chill, and serve.

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