Thursday, December 29, 2011

Simply Cornish

Can I whisper is it over? Did you all overeat as much as we did? I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas holiday with family and friends. I'm playing catch up this week, stopping by my fave blogs, starting my year end inventory, taking down the tree and decorations. In general, simply re-grouping for the New Year.

I'm just thrilled to have a few unexpected days off here to do all this catching up and prepare some of our favorite dishes. I seldom get the chance to bake, so this also is one of my goals set for this week and then I'm going to read a good book. No real agenda's for me this week--just kick back and relax, and then one New Year's eve dinner party with some very dear friends--what better way to end a wonderful year-- and best of all, I'm not even going to be cooking! Well, perhaps just a few appetizers.

Wishing you the happiest and healthiest New Year..Buon anno!

Are you looking for an easy recipe for cornish hens? Around here, we eat a lot of poultry, and I'm always on the lookout for an affordable, yet tasty meal made with few ingredients that can be ready to serve in under an hour. Keep it simply is my motto.

Sometimes I roast my hens basted in a Shiraz jelly and citrus sauce or, if I'm in a really lazybones kind of mood just roast them in lemon and tarragon, other times I'll spice them up a bit and after splitting them in half, glaze them with a honey mustard and cilantro glaze--and toss them out on the grill. But these past few days have been pretty cold and windy here, too cold to be grilling outdoors, so this is how I prepared my cornish hens last night.. just simply tasty. You don't need to reserve this recipe only for hens, it's equally as good for roasters or turkey as well. Enjoy!

Simply Cornish Hens

3 cornish hens, rinsed and pat dry
1/2 cup olive oil
1 lemon, squeezed
fresh basil leaves
kosher salt
ground pepper
3 TBLS dijon mustard
2 TBLS white balsamic vinegar
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 TBLS total of dried herbs --I used thyme, marjoram, parsley, rosemary, and summer savory

Season the hens with salt and ground pepper. Place them in a large bowl. Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, vinegar, garlic and herbs together and pour over the hens. Cover lightly and allow the hens to rest for an hour at room temperature.

Take the hens out of the marinade and preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the cornish hens on a rack in your baking dish. Stuff each hen cavity with basil leaves and reserve the marinade. Roast the hens in the oven for 20 minutes. Then lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Baste the hens every 10 to 15 minutes with the reserved marninade and continue roasting for 50-60 minutes longer. I served this with fresh asparagus, darling clementines, fresh plums and a garden salad. No spuds, no rice, no stuffing... simply Cornish. Enjoy!