I was introduced to Rock Cornish Game Hens when I was at university.
poor college students a friend and I arranged to clean house for two
guys every Sunday in exchange for dinner and drinks.
Naturally, we had to do the cooking.
Neither of us actually had much experience cooking, but what we lacked in actual skill and knowledge, we made up for with enthusiasm and creativity.
Most of what we made was edible…. sometimes helped along by copious amounts of beer and wine.
of the guy's mother worked in a supermarket and used to pick-up the 'seconds' to put in the weekly care package ot her son. He had a freezer full of (among other things) damaged Cornish
Games Hens…. Missing a wing or a leg.
Sunday we would spend about an hour cleaning their apartment and 3
hours fixing the fanciest dinner we could come up with using whatever
foods Mom had sent down that week.
After I grew up, got a place of my own and started entertaining, Cornish Hens became my signature dish.
They were easy to make – just pop them in the oven.
They were impressive to serve – each diner getting their own, perfectly (I hoped) roasted little bird.
They were cheaper than the other popular dinner party item of the time: steak.
No one else did them.
I had found a niche.
We can't get them here. We can get little chickens or coquelet. They are about the same size as a Cornish Hen, 16oz (500gr) each….
Perfect for individual servings.
Roasted Cornish Games Hens (Poussin) with Red Wine
2 Cornish game hens or poussin (little chickens)
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs lemon juice
1/2 (4oz, 125ml) cup red wine
2 tsp Dijon-style mustard
2 tsp dried rosemary
2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried sage
Wash hens and pat dry with paper towels. Mix 1 tbs oil with lemon juice and 1 tsp each of the herbs. Divide herb mixture and put half into each of the hens. Tie legs close and bend wings around and under the back – so it looks like they are lying there with their arms akimbo. It keeps them from flapping and gives the hen something to rest on. Lay them on a rack in a shallow baking pan. Mix the remaining oil, herbs, mustard and red wine and brush on hens. Put into 400F (200C). Bake for 50 – 60 minutes, basting every 15 minutes with wine mixture, until done. I recommend a meat thermometer.
For those who don't know – I'm giving away a cook book…..
See the prior post for details on how to enter the contest.