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Chef Zak Pelaccio,
Ninth, New York City

* * *

Yield: 2 servings.

2 poussin (baby chickens)*
1/2 lb. chanterelles or other flavorful wild mushrooms
clove garlic, minced
shallot, minced
Tbsp. butter
1/4 lb. seasonal vegetables such as shell peas or snap peas

4 bird's eye chiles (may substitute serrano chiles)
3 cloves garlic
2” pieces of peeled ginger
1 Tbsp. coriander seed
1/2 tsp. cumin seed
1/2 tsp. fennel
1 tsp. turmeric powder
1 can coconut milk
1 stalk lemongrass

Chop lemongrass and let it sit in coconut milk for 2-3 hours.

In a food processor or blender, blend chiles, 3 garlic cloves and peeled ginger until smooth.

Grind coriander seed, cumin seed, fennel and turmeric powder using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Combine chiles/garlic/ginger mixture with ground coriander, cumin, fennel and turmeric. Rub mixture over poussin (inside and out). For best flavor, let seasoned poussin marinated in refrigerator overnight.

Turn oven to 400°F. Season poussin with salt. In a roasting pan in the oven, roast bird on its side for 10 minutes, then turn over to the other side for an additional 10 minutes. Finish upright for final 10-15 minutes. When it's upright, baste with the coconut milk/ lemongrass mixture. Use basting juice as a natural sauce when poussin is cooked.

Sautè mushrooms in olive oil. Add 1 clove of minced garlic, 1 minced shallot and 1 Tbsp. butter when mushrooms are almost cooked through. Cook for 2 minutes more.

Serve the dish with vegetables and mushrooms on the plate, and the poussin placed on top. Pour the sauce over it.

*Note: May use Cornish hens in place of baby chickens.

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