Alauda arvensis – Laverca – Skylark
Serra da Lousa, Portugal
Photo by: Vitoriouzan
HERB-STUFFED SKYLARKS RECIPE - adapted from Barbara Santich’s
“Herb-stuffed chicken” (from Libro per Cuoco) Mediterranean Cuisine, p.88
For 4 persons:
Très Riches Heures,
illustrated by the Limbourg brothers
from Nijmegen (Netherlands)
... bread, soup, some roasted birds and wine –
*4-8 skylarks or other small birds
3 1/2 oz (100 gr) fresh ewe’s cheese
1 hard boiled egg
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp ground blanched almonds
2 tbsp finally chopped chives
1 tbsp finely chopped mint
1 tbsp finally chopped marjoram
1 pinch salt
freshly ground pepper
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp cinnamon
olive oil for roasting
16-24 mini-pastry shells
Preheat oven to 350º F/191º C
Pluck and clean the birds.
Roughly chop the cheese and egg, place in food processor and add almond, herbs, salt and spices. Process until mixture is firm and cohesive – somewhere between a paste and a crumble.
Rub inside of larks with salt, then stuff cavities and tie them shut.
Lightly oil a casserole dish with a cover. Place a layer of stuffing on the bottom. Put the birds in this. If there is any more stuffing put it on top of the birds. Cover and roast for 30-45 minutes. Uncover at the end of roasting time to brown the breasts.
Allow the roast to rest for 5-10 minutes minutes when done. Remove the stuffing and put it into pastry shells. Serve larks whole with a plate or bowl for the bones. They should be eaten with the index finger and thumb of the right had in the medieval fasion.
*This recipe can be used for roasting a 2 lb chicken for dinner. Then the stuffing is placed under the skin of the bird. Roasting time would be 45 min - 1 hr. After roasting it is left to rest 15-20 minutes before carving.