hens sitting or sitting "ducks"?

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Cornish game hens are tasty and simple to prepare, and the end result offers each diner all of their favorite parts; no bickering over who gets the drumsticks, etc. I have a simple Spring menu I put together yesterday for company tonight.

Pear & blue cheese tarts, cheese assortment

Herbed & grilled rock cornIsh game hens

Spring rice pilaf with vidalia onion & peas

Asparagus with lemon

Strawberry rhubarb crisp with vanilla ice cream

I was going to make triple chocolate cookies. But decided those would just be for me, and I don't need two desserts in one evening, even if I did not have dessert last night. (here's the lowdown on that: We went to Lakeville Ct. for an impromptu dinner alone Saturday night, and ate at a charming, comfortable roadside restaruant called The Woodlands. The meal was great, drinks were better, and the manager/barkeep/card shark put a thrill in the finale of the evening. (We got card tricks instead of dessert, plus we really needed to step out before it got dark to take a nice walk and enjoy a cigar.)

Back to tonight's meal. I have some photos of the hens: they looked odd sitting, draining after I rinsed them, on a kitchen towel, so I took a shot of that DrainHens.JPG , plus pictures of how I split poultry. Make sure the surface is stable, your heavy kife is sharp, and use a sawing motion, and pounding with the heel of your hand, hacking. The rib bones are quite small and will eventually yield. firstSplit.JPG Take care not to cut through the other side. I turn the hens over, spread them until I hear one of the sides of the breastbone crack, then I go ahead and cut through the other side of the spine. CutOutSpine.JPG You don't have to remove the whole thing, but I do; I just like to finish the job. splitHen.JPG I put those bones in a water-filled stockpot with whatever gizzards I had last put in the freezer for stock-making. This will go into the pilaf pot instead of water. The split chickens go in a zip bag (in this case, a few bags, with oil, wine, herbs, s&p already measured, shaken and added). hensMarinate.JPG I put them in the refrig for the afternoon; turn every now and then.

I'll go out and work in the yard for awhile (I have another 15 corms of asparagus to plant this week), but not before prepping the pilaf: measure out the ingredients, cut the onion, do the mise en place, put the pot I'll cook it in on the stove. Later on, turn the hens, start to layout the plates & table setting. I still have to make the crisp, but I want it to be very warm when it comes to table, so although I can cut the fruit and measure the topping out now, I actually will wait until 30 minutes before we sit for dinner, during appetizers in the livingroom, to put it together, & put it in the oven. If it comes out right about when I get the hens off the grill, I think the vanilla ice cream will melt very nicely on top at dessert!


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This page contains a single entry by Carol published on April 30, 2006 12:26 PM.

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