Grouse with fried corn polenta and Scottish girolles
You can serve this dish as a light main course or as a starter, and the legs can be served with it, or used for the soup or the grouse snacks below. I've added some corn to the polenta as it gives a nice sweet-tasting crunch.
2 oven-ready grouse
200-250g girolle mushrooms, cleaned but not washed
1tbsp chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
For the polenta
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 bay leaf
Pinch of nutmeg
100g quick-cooking polenta
100ml double cream
1 corn on the cob, cooked and corn kernels removed
Olive oil for frying
Flour for dusting
Bring the milk to the boil in a thick-bottomed pan, then add the garlic, bay leaf, salt and pepper and nutmeg. Simmer for 5 minutes then whisk in the polenta. Cook on a low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring every so often so that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. Beware: polenta spits a bit like a volcano as it's cooking. Add the cream and cook for a further 5 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the corn kernels a little and stir into the polenta and leave to cool a little, then line a 12cm sq or similar-sized mould – such as a plastic storage container or small terrine mould or gratin dish – with clingfilm. Spoon the polenta into the mould and smooth the top, fold over the excess clingfilm and leave to cool, then refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 240C/gas mark 8, season the grouse and rub the breasts with butter. Roast for 15 minutes then remove from the oven and leave to rest for 5 minutes or so.
Meanwhile, cut the polenta into 4 pieces. Heat a non-stick frying pan, lightly flour the polenta slices and then fry them in olive oil for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden.
Keep warm in a low oven.
Heat the butter in a frying pan, add the girolles, season and cook on a medium heat for a few minutes, turning them every so often until tender, then stir in the parsley.
To serve, remove the breasts from the grouse and cut into 4-5 slices, place the polenta on a warmed serving plate and place the grouse on top and spoon over the girolles and butter.
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