Showing posts with label cornish hens. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cornish hens. Show all posts

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Cornish hens on the grill

By Victoria Abbott aka Victoria and Mary Jane Maffini

This is a speedy new take on two of our old favorites: the grill (yay summer!) and Cornish game hens (yay anytime!).  This is also birthday month for Victoria and in our family we like to make birthdays last and have more than one special meal. So MJ invited Victoria for marinated Cornish game hens on the grill this week, because that seemed like one nice way to have a little celebration.  The weather was beautiful and perfect for dinner on the deck.  These grilled hens are an adaptation of a Lucy Waverman recipe. Thanks for the inspiration!

Cornish hens are like a one-serving chicken (or chicken for one). We are finding that some people are overwhelmed by the idea of an entire chicken (even a small one). If so, it's easy to give them one-half, or serve the white and hold the leg and thigh.  There are always seconds and if not, they are great as leftovers.  

Here’s our own marinade:  
¼ cup olive oil
Juice of one lime
1 clove garlic slivered
1 shallot coarsely chopped
2 sprigs (or more) fresh rosemary
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon maple syrup
S & P to suit yourself
3 to 4 Cornish hens

Combine marinade ingredients.  

Cut hens through the back and remove bony bit of back.  Slice part way through breastbone and flatten hens. 

Marinate hens from four to twenty-four hours.   

Pre-heat your grill to 350 F.  We use a charcoal grill/smoker.  We will try it at 325 next time we cook these (and we will) as one of the hens got a bit too dark.  It didn't burn and was still tasty though. Maybe we'll brown for a little less time. Live and learn!

Remove hens from marinade and place skin side down on grill for ten minutes or until nice browned. Weigh down the birds with a cast iron pan (or a brick). Flattening the birds allows them to grill quickly and yet remain crispy (juicy too).  We didn't have a brick so we used the lid from a cast iron Dutch oven AND a cast iron frying pan.

They looked weird but did the trick. When skin is brown, flip birds and cook for another 15 minutes until cooked through.

Test with a meat thermometer for poultry.  Let hens rest for 5 minutes and then serve.

We served ours with orzo salad (recipe to come soon!) and grilled asparagus.  

It was a simple meal, much easier than pie, and we enjoyed eating outside on a lovely June evening. 

That shadowy figure known as Victoria Abbott is actually us, the mother and daughter team of Mary Jane Maffini and Victoria Maffini.  We write the book collector mysteries.  Victoria's birthday isn't all that we're celebrating. 

Every since we first saw the  cover for The Marsh Madness (the fourth book collector mystery) we felt like dancing.  It's out in September, but you can pre-order it NOW  either here or through your favorite bookstore.

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Friday, April 1, 2011

Ruby Glazed Cornish Hens on warm spinach salad

Happy April Fool's Day everyone!

Our blog guest this past Sunday was Libby Fischer Hellman. She talked about her new book, SET THE NIGHT ON FIRE and gave us a great recipe for Chicken Marsala.

In her post, she also talked about another recipe, and since then she's gotten so many requests for it that we thought it might be a good idea to post it here this week. So, what follows is Libby's recipe for Cornish hens.

Now... in order to include photos, I actually prepared this for my post this week. One problem: I didn't have Cornish hens. But I did have some recently defrosted chicken. Why not substitute, right? What's a recipe without a little improvisation?

As fabulous as this recipe was, I'm sure it would be even more wonderful with real Cornish hens. Enjoy!

Link to a PDF of the recipe: Ruby

Ruby-Glazed Cornish hens on warm spinach salad

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour

Yield: 6 servings

Cornish Hens:

3 large Cornish hens, thawed

salt, freshly ground pepper

½ cup currant jam or jelly

1/3 cup cranberry juice cocktail

2 TBs Dijon mustard


8 cups young spinach leaves (stems trimmed), rinsed, chilled

4 slices lean bacon cut into small dice

3 TBS canola oil

1 ½ TBS each: red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar

½ TB water

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 ½ tsps sugar

½ cup cranberry juice cocktail

2 TBS dried cranberries

4 thin slices red onion

Put a rack in lower third of over, set oven at 400 degrees. Line a shallow roasting pan (big enough to hold hens in a single layer) with tin foil. Set aside.

Split the hens in half. Cut out the backbone from each half using kitchen shears. Rinse hens well and blot dry with paper towels. Generously season hens with salt and pepper. Place skin side up in prepared pan. Mix jam, cranberry juice, mustard, ¼ tsp salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl.

Roast hens 30 minutes. Brush on glaze. Bake until deeply colored and juices run clear, about 25 minutes longer, brushing glaze once more half way through the cooking. Remove hens from oven. Brush on any remaining glaze. Let rest 10 minutes, loosely tented with foil.

For salad, put spinach leaves in large bowl. Keep chilled until ready to use.

Cook bacon in 8-inch non stick skillet over medium high heat until well-browned and crisp, about 3 minutes, stirring often. Use slotted spoon to transfer bacon to paper towels. Spill off and discard any excess bacon fat from pan but do not wipe it out.

Add remaining infredients and ½ tsp salt to pan (except onions and a few dried cranberries to use as a garnish). Stir until well-mixed. Simmer 1 minute. Can be made several hours ahead to this point and kept at room temperature or refrigerated overnight.

To serve, heat dressing in pan over medium heat. When hot, add onion slices, separating slices into rings. Remove from heat. Pour hot dressing over spinach. Toss well to coat spinach with dressing. Adjust seasoning. Divide salad between 6 plates, arranging a few onions and cranberries over surface. Sprinkle bacon over, dividing evenly. Place hens on warm spinach salad. Serve immediately.

I have to tell you, this was *delicious*!
Really wonderful.
It takes a little bit of work, but it's fabulous!

Hope you enjoy!