Thursday, August 9, 2007

Cornish Game Hens with Mashed Potatoes and Garlic Broccoli

This was a surprisingly easy meal. I was expecting some major hiccup and the hens would be burnt or raw or the side dishes inedible, but no. This worked out just fine! It took a good bit of time, but was really kind of easy.

I wanted to make a nice, romantic dinner for the boy. Inspired by “My Husband Hates Veggies,” I decided on Cornish game hens. Her description of the little birds as “gluttonously carnivorous” sounded perfect for the boy who wants to eat his way through the animal kingdom. I wanted to edit the recipe slightly since it seemed like it would be rather plain on flavor and dry with no cooking liquid. For that I turned to allrecipes and decided on cornish game hens with garlic and rosemary. The result is a delicious combination of the 2 recipes.

Wow, gluttonously carnivorous indeed. It was so good, and so filling! I couldn’t finish my bird (the boy could, but really, isn’t that expected?). It was juicy and meaty, yet sweet from the roasted garlic and wine. Oh, it was divine. And the skin! Normally I don’t eat the skin of poultry, but this was crispy and tasty, so I couldn’t help it!

I served it with mashed potatoes like my mom makes and garlic broccoli. It was, indeed, a romantic feast! Or, as the boy put it, “a real gourmet dinner!” I dimmed the lights, put flowers on the table, and it really was just as good as any fancy restaurant.

Tips and changes for next time: I was worried the garlic was going to burn, so I added the liquid early. I think this was wise as it was already dark brown in some spots. Thus, next time, I will put the liquid in after about 10-15 min, as I did this time. I may thicken the pan sauce like it recommends in the recipe, but it isn’t necessary, just a possibility. I will mash the potatoes with a fork before I use the mixer so that I don’t end up with milk and potato all over the kitchen! Oops!
Garlic and Rosemary Cornish Game Hens Stuffed with Mirepoix

½ cup of finely chopped carrot
1 onion finely chopped
1 stalk celery finely chopped
1 tsp chopped garlic
Dried rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cornish game hens
½ lemon
Olive oil
10 cloves garlic
2/3 cup white wine (divided)
1/3 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup water
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
Combine chopped carrots, onion and celery. Add chopped garlic and some rosemary, salt and pepper to taste. This is the mirepoix. Rub hens with a little olive oil. Lightly season hens with salt and pepper. Rub hens inside and out with lemon wedges and then squeeze lemons over the inside and outside of the hens (making sure to hold back the seeds). Stuff both birds with the mirepoix, dividing evenly. Put a garlic clove inside along with the mirepoix. Arrange in a large, heavy roasting pan, and arrange leftover garlic cloves and the used lemon wedges around hens. Roast in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes (until garlic is brown where it was touching the pan).
In a mixing bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup wine, chicken broth, 1-2 tablespoons of oil and some rosemary; pour over hens. Roast 10-15 min. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Pour remaining wine and water over birds if the sauce is starting to dry up. Continue roasting about 25-40 minutes longer, or until hens are golden brown and juices run clear. Baste with pan juices every 10 minutes.
Transfer hens to a platter. Tent hens with aluminum foil to keep warm. (at this point I just served the garlic cloves and poured the pan juices into a bowl, but you can also try this) Transfer pan juices and garlic cloves to a medium saucepan and boil until liquids reduce to a sauce consistency, about 6 minutes.Mashed Potatoes
3 large or 6 small potatoes (I used 3 large Russetts)
¼ - ½ cup milk
2-3 TBSP butter or margarine
Salt and pepper to taste (I like a lot more pepper than salt)

Peel and cube potatoes. Place in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook (depending on the size of your cubes) 15-25 minutes until very tender. Measure very tender by the idea that you want to be able to fully mash these wish a fork if you need to. If you can’t easily break it with a fork, it isn’t done. Drain the potatoes

In the same pan you used for the potatoes, heat the milk and butter until the butter is fully melted and the milk warm. If your pot is big enough you can then just add you potatoes back in, but if it will be too small when mixing, transfer milk combination along with potatoes to a mixing bowl. Use a fork to first break down the potatoes, then use an electric mixer. Add salt and pepper and keep beating until smooth, light and fluffy.

Garlic Broccoli
½ head broccoli
1 TBSP chopped garlic
1 TBSP butter or margarine
A little olive oil

Cut broccoli into “extended florets” where it is the thickness of florets, but include a little bit of the stalk so they are about2 inches long. Lightly steam until crisp-tender (about 2 minutes with high heat).

In a sauté pan, heat olive oil to medium. Sauté garlic for a minute or 2. Add broccoli and butter and sauté until butter is melted and all the flavors are combined. Add salt and pepper if desired. Can also add parmesan.

1 comment:

Kitty said...

Glad you enjoyed the recipe!

Yours looks like it came out great with the addition of the garlic and liquid. I cooked mine on a roasting rack, so the intended result is a bit different, aiming for the crisp skin over the entire bird...but I am sure yours was delish.

Thanks for reading!