Baked Woodcock Canapé

Credit: Didier Loire
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Step 1: Baked Woodcock Canapés

Pluck and singe the woodcocks. Do not empty them—simply remove each one’s gizzard by puncturing the lower part of the abdomen with a trussing needle.

Remove the eyes and the tongues. Fold the beak between the leg and the fatty part of the thigh.

Roast in butter and olive oil on a sheet pan with a clove of crushed garlic.

Slide the tray into the oven and bake at 300°F (150°C). Baste the woodcocks well while they are baking. Once cooked, remove the insides of the birds and chop the giblets with a knife.

Fold the foie gras, the anchovies, and some cognac into the chopped giblets and season with salt and pepper.

Reserve the woodcocks in a warm place. Bone the thighs, shred the meat, and add to the chopped giblets.

Grill the country bread over a wooden fire. Coat the birds with the cooking fat, and set aside.

Crush the woodcock bones. Brown in the cooked butter with 1 clove of crushed garlic, and deglaze with the light stock. Strain through a fine-meshed chinois, and add 1 teaspoon of the chopped woodcock giblets. Let this mixture infuse and add some cognac.

Step 2: Plating

Spread the woodcock mixture on the slices of bread, and brown for 2 minutes in a 355°F (180°C) oven.

Cut the heads in half, and season with fleur de sel and freshly ground pepper, along with the breasts.

Overlap the breasts to reconstitute the birds’ “bodies.”

On each serving plate, place a hot woodcock on one slice of grilled farmhouse bread. Moisten with a ribbon of sauce and serve the rest in a sauceboat.

This recipe was originally published in "Culinary Encyclopedia by Alain Ducasse" (Éditions Alain Ducasse). See all credits

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