Stuffed Peppers with Woodcock
Bone the woodcocks: remove the carcass but keep the bird in one piece, with head and legs. In a saucepan, brown the bird skin-side down in a little bit of butter, until it’s crispy. Do not brown the meat side. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Take the red peppers and cut off the tops. Remove the seeds. Place them standing up in an oven –proof saucepan. All around the peppers, add onions, thyme, garlic, rosemary and parsley. Add a dash of olive oil and water to the saucepan (about 2 cm in height).
Stuff the peppers with eggplant stuffing halfway. Put a woodcock in each pepper on top of the stuffing. Add more stuffing and top with a thick spoonful of ricotta mixture.
Cover the peppers with aluminium foil. Cook in oven for 2 hours at 350F.
Sauté the eggplants in olive oil until they are brown and fully cooked (to ensure that they are not bitter.) Set aside.
In the same pan, brown the onion and garlic in same olive oil. Add thyme and rosemary. Add the bread cubes and a little more olive oil, if necessary to moisten the bread. Season with salt and pepper.
Combine the bread mixture with the diced eggplant in a large bowl. Add the Parmesan and pecorino cheeses, the eggs, the capers and parsley. Stir well.
Combine all ingredients and stir well.
Pluck the woodcocks without removing the skin. Burn off the down with a blowtorch.
Reserve the carcasses for the woodcock stock (see Woodcock Stock recipe).
Reserve the innards of the woodcock for the tapenade (see Woodcock on Strings recipe) .