This is another padding post. We had the Cornish game hen one evening on Sunday. It appears Cornish game hens are not popular in Japan. I have posted more-than-you-ever wanted-to-know about cornish game hens. The vast majority available here were previously frozen (Tyson being the predominant brand) but rarely you can find some that are non-Tyson and non-frozen. This time, I got one that had not been frozen (Purdue).
We made quite a few varieties of salads on the weekend and I served these salads (bulgur wheat edamame, wheat berry with olives, and potato salad). The Cornish game hen was seasoned with fresh French tarragon (from our herb garden). For greens I also served broccolini, which was blanched and then sautéed in butter.
One of the original aims of developing Cornish game hens was to create a bird that was the perfect size for one serving but I served a half a bird per person but even this was, of course, too much for us.
At least, portions of the skin were crispy and somehow it tasted better than its larger brethren. Even the thigh meat was like white meat but juicer.
Preparing Cornish game hen:
Thaw (if frozen) and wash thoroughly inside and out. Using kitchen shears, cut along both sides of the back bone and butter-fly the bird by flattening it on a cutting board pressing on the breast bone using your palm. Using a chef’s knife or any heavy knife, cut through the middle of the breasts (through the sternum or keel bone) to make two halves. Season it with pepper, salt and finely chopped french tarragon.
Preheat the oven to 400F
In a large sauté pan which can hold two halves snugly, I added a small amount of olive oil and placed the chicken halves with the skin side down on medium high heat (placing weight such as a cast iron skillet make skin brown better). I browned the skin 5-6 minutes. I turned the chicken halves over and poured dry sherry (1 tbs) into the pan and put the lid on to steam. After 1 minute (or less) when the liquid was all gone, I removed the lid and transferred the pan to the preheated oven. When the internal temperature (near the hip joint not touching the bone) reached 165F (about 15 to 20 minutes), I removed the pan from the oven. I let the meat rest for 5-10 minutes.
We like Cornish game hens. They don’t taste gamey in any way. The meat is similar to any other chicken but more succulent and flavorful. It went very well with grain salads.