The Ligurian kitchen often utilises game meat and fowl, and this dish is traditionally cooked with guinea fowl. For convenience, we have substituted spatchcock.
120 g (¾ cup) sultanas
500 ml (2 cups) dry white wine
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
6 whole black peppercorns
80 ml (⅓ cup) extra virgin olive oil
3 eschalots, finely chopped
2 oregano sprigs, plus extra leaves, to serve
6 oranges, 4 juiced, 2 halved, thickly sliced (skin on)
95 g (½ cup) seedless green grapes, halved
95 g (½ cup) large, seedless black grapes, halved
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Place sultanas and 80 ml white wine in a bowl and set aside. Pat dry spatchcock skin and cavity with paper towel. Place in a saucepan with onion, carrot, celery, peppercorns and 1 litre water. Bring to the boil, removing any scum from the surface, then reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes or until spatchcocks are almost cooked through.
Using tongs, transfer the spatchcocks to a plate. Drain and reserve 250 ml cooking liquid, discarding solids. Using a sharp knife or poultry shears, cut on either side of the backbone of spatchcocks. Discard backbones, then cut the spatchcocks into 4 even pieces.
Heat oil in a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Cook eschalots and oregano for 3 minutes or until eschalots are softened. Add sultana mixture and cook for 2 minutes or until wine is almost evaporated.
Increase heat to high and add spatchcock pieces, skin-side down. Cook for 4 minutes or until skin is golden. Turn over spatchcock, add reserved cooking liquid, remaining 420 ml white wine, orange juice, 1 tsp salt and season with pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 30 minutes or until spatchcock is tender and the sauce is slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper, and add sliced oranges and grapes just before serving.
Drink 2010 Tiefenbrunner Pinot Grigio, Trento-Alto Adige, Italy ($25)