Paella is traditionally served on Sunday in most of the parts of Spain*. That's why my mum, following the traditional custom, would cook paella every Sunday no matter what. One Sunday it would be rabbit paella, the next Sunday seafood paella, then the following week a mixed paella. And so on.
Eventually after 24 years I had enough paella, and I had moved out, as this was the only way I would avoid a Sunday lunch with my family at home.
Since then I refuse to follow any traditional meal days.
When I moved to England, I had heard a little about Sunday roast dinner: roasted meat, roast potatoes, vegetables and a brown-colour sauce that you pour over the meal. This brown sauce that, at that time, I had no idea what it was, is now known to me gravy, and is an absolutely necessity with a roast. So much so, S would drive a hundred miles to buy gravy if we run out just before starting to cook a roast dinner.
It was actually S who introduced me to this dish. As if he knew my dislike of traditional meal days, he didn't tell me his deep love for the roast dinner, let alone he had to roast religiously every Sunday - no matter what.
For you to get an idea of his love for the Sunday roast, S without eating at least one roast dinner on a Sunday, (his record is four, by the way), is like a vase of flowers without water, a fish tank without fish or going to the cinema and not getting popcorn.
But my dislike for the same meal every weekend and S's relentless cooking of a roast, no matter what, was bound to come to a head, and the time came for me to take a decision... I thought of moving out but he was such a cute guy that we finally negotiated how often we would have roast dinner. In the end we settled on every so often I would make my own alternative version, like these bacon and sage poussins.
Yes folks, there's life beyond Sunday roast dinner, or at least every second Sunday in the month, excluding Christmas and Bank Holiday weekends.
This recipe is easy, tasty and a very attractive dish. A wow-dish as I'd say. A guaranteed meal to success because... who doesn't like chicken and bacon?
S loves it, although he failed to accompany it with a bit of gravy, which means I'm saved from having roast at least a Sunday!
Bacon and sage poussins with roasted onions and garlic
2 x 500g free range poussin
Salt and pepper
10 rashers of streaky bacon
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup chicken stock
10-12 sprigs sage
1 large onion, chopped into fine rings
1 bulb of garlic, halved horizontally
Rosemary, finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 220º C / 425º F.
Dry the poussins with paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
Drape 3 or 4 rashers of streaky bacon over the breast of each bird, tucking between the wings and legs.
Tie the base of the legs together with kitchen twine, tuck in the sage sprigs and drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil each poussin.
In a iron cast saucepan or oven tray, arrange the onion and garlic and pour in the chicken stock and 1/2 cup olive oil. Nestle the bacon wrapped poussins on amongst the onion and sprinkle with rosemary. Roast in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until the poussins are cooked through and the bacon and sage are crispy.