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Hazel Grouse in a Salt Crust

From Loire Valley, France

2 kg to 2.2 kg (4 lbs to 5 lbs) hazel grouse
A large quantity of coarse sea salt


Take a young hazel grouse place. Place the washed giblets - heart, liver, gizzard - inside. Trust the bird.

Cut the truffles into thin slices. With a sharp knife, cut into the skin on the wings and thighs. Slip the truffle slice flat between the flesh and the skin.

Pour 3 kg (6 lbs 10 oz) of coarse salt into a large wrought iron casserole dish. Place the hazel grouse on top. Fill the casserole dish to the top with salt.

Place in a very hot oven, without a lid, for 1 hour and 45 minutes.

To serve, tip over and break the salt that has formed a compact block.

Present the hazel grouse with your choice of vegetable, as you would serve a roast.

There is no need to insert truffles in the hazel grouse if it is served with a herb vinaigrette (which is quite excellent).

Courtesy of Mr Alain Couturier <La Roche le Roy in Tours>The Loire Valley, France


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