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MELTING STRESS—THE RESULT OF A GOOD MEAL

October 15, 2020

Roast Chicken or Cornish Hens amazing flavor

 

Deadlines are amazing ways to resolve seemingly insurmountable tasks.

Writing Le Kitchen Cookbook has taught me how to write a book, the hard way. Organizing papers has never been my forte, but now that the book is finished, I’m finally understanding where to file all those critical tidbits that are its foundation in a way that’ll help me actually remember where they are—well most of the time anyway.

Throughout the project I’ve found that just as I’m beginning to feel good, there is another mountain to climb—currently, formatting the book for publishing. Figuring it out makes my head hurt. It’s not because it’s hard but because there are so many details that have to be done exactly as required. On top of that there is the interior design of the book; it’s not so easy when your design isn’t like the books they use as examples. But the clock is ticking, so as they say, where there is a will there is a way.

There is nothing like a good meal at the end of the day to get rid of the stress headache of learning new skills.

The other night I made Cornish game hens. Instead of following my usual recipe, I decided to spice them up a bit. It was so easy and the result was amazing!

All I did was pick some herbs—rosemary, sage, chives, and parsley. I added crushed garlic and inserted some of that assortment into the hen’s cavities. The rest I placed under the breast skin. Sounds harder than it is. All you have to do is slide a finger between the skin and the breast meat, separating them to create a pocket on both sides. That’s where I insert the herbs, the crushed garlic, and salt and pepper.  

Once the skin is crispy, the meat is cooked through, and when you take a bite to taste all that infused flavor, you’ll be delighted. Best of all, the day’s stress is now replaced by the pleasure of a good meal—that was super easy.

You can do the same thing with roast chicken. Try it with my perfect roast chicken recipe.

CORNISH GAME HENS

Cornish game hens are produced from a cross between two breeds of chickens: the Cornish and White Plymouth Rock. The offspring are little chickens that weigh about two pounds each and are low in fat. Because of their size, they are faster cooking than regular chickens. The skin gets crispy while the meat stays moist. They are a great alternative to the larger roasting chickens.

Serves: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour and 20 minutes
Preheat oven to 400°

 

Ingredients
2 Cornish Game hens—The hens are usually sold in a package of two. I plan on ½ a hen per person but if you have big eaters, serve 1 per person.
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 lemon, sliced
3 sprigs rosemary
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Olive oil, enough to coat bottom of the pan
2 medium potatoes, sliced into ¼” rounds
Salt and pepper
 

Directions

  1. Using a brush, coat the skin with melted butter, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Place the lemon slices, garlic, and 1 sprig of rosemary into the cavity of each hen.
  3. Coat the potatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on the bottom of the roasting pan, adding the last sprig of rosemary on the bottom of the roasting pan. Place the hens on top.
  4. Put in the center of the oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour. You want the internal temperature to reach 165° and the juices to be clear.
  5. If the skin hasn’t become crispy brown, raise the temperature to 500° for the last few minutes of roasting.
  6. If you like the skin to be very crispy, turn the hens over and let them brown for the last few minutes of cooking.
  7. While you make the sauce, tent the bird with foil and rest for 10 minutes to let the juices redistribute before carving and serving.

 

To make Pan gravy

  1. Pour pan drippings into a fat separator or a small bowl.
  2. Remove fat; if using the bowl, spoon off the fat with a tablespoon.
  3. Place the drippings back into the pan and place on stovetop on medium heat for about a minute to heat the drippings.
  4. Add 1 cup of chicken stock to deglaze the pan. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up all the drippings and any burnt pieces from the bottom. That is what contains most of the flavor.
  5. Cook until the liquid has reduced by half—5 or 6 minutes.
  6. Pour the gravy through a strainer using the wooden spoon to push through as much of the solids as you can.
  7. In a glass jar with a tightly fitting lid, place 4 tablespoons of flour plus 1 cup of warm broth. With the top closed, shake the jar vigorously until the flour and broth are combined creating a slurry.
  8. Slowly pour the slurry into the pan, stirring to completely combine while the gravy continues to cook over medium heat a few minutes so it can thicken and the flour flavor has time to cook out. Add more broth until your gravy is the consistency of heavy cream.
  9. Taste and adjust flavors.

Bon appétit  

What do you do to get rid of stress at the end of the day?
Let us know all your thoughts and suggestions help. 
Leave a comment below. Merci





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