Friday, January 1, 2010

New Years... the main course!

Once again "Fine Cooking " magazine is my source for the following recipes.

Roasted Cornish hens with cranberry -port sauce.

Here's how!

Prepare the hens the day before....

I prepared 3 hens...

  • 4 tsp finely chopped sage, save stems for the broth

  • 4 tsp chopped fresh thyme, save stems for the broth

  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1 tbsp melted butter

Remove the backbone from the hens and the last 2 joints of the wing tips. Place hen breast side up and flatten by pressing down with your palm, cut bird in two. Remove the breast bone, save with wing tips and back bone for the broth.

Combine sage thyme salt and pepper...dry the hens apply rub on all sides. Place on a cookie sheet skin side up on a rimmed cookie sheet so they are not touching and refrigerate uncovered overnight.

Brush the birds with a tbsp of melted butter and roast at 450 degrees F for 30 minutes... let rest for 5 minutes.

Make the broth (the day before)....

In a 4 quart saucepan add 2 tsp olive oil and add the reserved bones stirring until brown. Add 1/3 cup chopped shallots and reserved sage and thyme stems. Add 2 cups chicken stock and simmer for 30 minutes. Cool the broth for a few hours in the fridge. Skim off the fat.

Make the cranberry port sauce in advance. I finished it the day before and refrigerated until I was ready to use the the sauce ....

Combine 1/3 cup dried cranberries and 1/3 cup ruby port and let sit for a few hours or overnight.

Heat 1 tbsp of butter in a medium saucepan, add a tbsp of minced shallots - cook ~2 minutes. Add 1 tbsp of flour and mix until it forms a thick paste. Strain the port into the saucepan...( don't press the cranberries). Whisk for ~30 seconds and then slowly add the refrigerated broth. Simmer and reduce by a third ~5 minutes. Stir in reserved cranberries. Just before serving, add any accumulated juices from cooking the hens.

The Pear Potatoes

Although the picture isn't clear. the potatoes were made in the shape of a pear with a piece of spaghetti for the stem and a bay leaf for the leaf.

Peel and boil 2 1/2 lbs of white potatoes... Dry them in the pan. Put the potatoes through a potato ricer and mix with 2 egg yolks. Form the potato into pears and use a piece of spaghetti for the stem and a bay leaf for the leaf. Roll in dry bread crumbs and deep fry until lightly golden brown... I made these ahead and reheated in the oven with the hens for the last 15 minute of the cooking time.

The broccoli...

Cook enough broccoli for 6 people in boiling water for 4-5 minutes. Drain.
Just before eating, heat 4 tbsp of olive oil, 2 tsp minced garlic, 2 tbsp of calamata olives and 2 tbsp of capers. Serve hot!

Lots of different tastes and flavours...FANTASTIC!!

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