Russian Cuisine

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Don't pluck, just draw the birds. Put some butter and salt in the cavities and sew up. Cover the grouse with clay and put into the fire. When the clay dries up and cracks, the grouse are ready. Remove the clay by tapping sharply with a hammer. All the feathers will come off with the clay. Other small game birds can be baked in the same manner.

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3-6 partridges (1-1 1/2 pounds each)
Salt to taste
20 juniper berries, crushed
344 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
6 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

Wipe the plucked and cleaned birds with a damp cloth both inside and out; rub the cavities and skin with salt. Insert the juniper berries in the cavities. In a heavy skillet, melt the butter, add l or 2 partridges, and saute until brown on all sides, about 10-15 minutes altogether. You may have to brown the birds in 2 or 3 batches. Preheat the oven to 450F. Arrange the partridges on the rack of a Dutch oven, dribble the butter in the skillet over the birds, cover, and place in the oven. Baste with the pan juices once during the next 20-25 minutes, at which time the birds should be almost ready. Generously brush the birds with Sour cream and continue to cook, covered, for about 5 minutes. Then remove the lid and roast for 3-5 minutes more, or until the birds are an appetizing brown. Place on a heated platter, sprinkle with the parsley, and serve with Russian Fries and lettuce salad, or with marinated fruits

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