Let me start by telling you that I love to cook. DO NOT confuse cooking with baking. Baking, as far as I'm concerned, is a whole different animal. But marinades and vegetables and meats and stews and casseroles.....Now, that's what I'm talkin' about.
When I was little, I lived in the apartment upstairs from my Lebanese immigrant Grandparent's. I called them Sitto and Giddo. Their kitchen was always filled with the most wonderful smells. Certain aromas can sometimes take me right back there. Even as a little girl, I was encouraged to take part in the meal preparation. I wasn't always a willing participant, but as I grew into adulthood and motherhood, something of that time in the kitchen took hold. I began to see cooking as more of an adventure in food rather than just a means to an end.
So.....I want to share from time to time some of my favorite recipes. Some are my own and others may be borrowed, but all are worth sharing with those that may embrace the same feelings for a good meal that I have.
Here was yesterday's Sunday Dinner
Baked Cornish Hens
Start with the right ingredients.
Two Cornish Hens that have been thawed in the refrigerator. You can submerse them in a sink of cold water if you're in a hurry. Don't forget to remove the package of innards if they are there.
4-6 cloves fresh garlic - minced 6 more whole cloves of garlic
4 thin slices of lemon - halved Lemon wedges from the unused lemon
1/8 - 1/4 c olive oil 1 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley added to the olive oil
1/3 c chicken broth or stock 1/3 c good white wine Combine the wine and stock and add
2 Tbs Olive oil
salt and pepper onion wedges
Start by gently separating the skin from the breast tissue by using your index finger to gently release it.
I like to salt and pepper both the inside and outside of the hens. Then use your minced garlic and smear it around under the loosened skin on the breast tissue. Slide two pieces of lemon under the skin on each side. Then, stuff the cavity with the remaining lemon and onion wedges.
Use the parsley infused olive oil now and just get happy rubbing it all over that Hen. Don't forget to rub under wings and all around the legs. Then, just tie up the legs so they keep all the goodies inside.
Ok, now it's time to bake.
Preheat your oven to a hot 450 degrees. It's important to preheat for this recipe because it forms a nice skin and holds the moisture in.
Put your prepared Hens in the hot oven for approx. 30 minutes. They will be a little brown after this amount of time.
Whisk the olive oil, wine and stock together and pour over your Hens at this point while reducing the heat of the oven to 350 degrees.
Continue to bake for another 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 175- 180 degrees. When you remove the Hens from the oven, lightly tent them with foil for 10 minutes and they will continue to cook a little bit more.
You should allow one Hen per person. When it's time to serve, just snip the string holding the legs together and plate them with your desired sides. Here, we had steamed green beans and a fresh garden salad with a homemade vinagrette.
Let me know if you decide to try this recipe and for sure, share your results with me and let me know your thoughts