Friday, January 9, 2009

A Normandy Christmas

This recipe is one I made for Christmas dinner this year--I just was not signing on for turkey, and my family has a whole spectrum of eating habits, so we decided on Cornish hens. Alton Brown says that he makes them for his family on Christmas day (using a sandwich iron of all things), but mine we a little different. Still, they were uber-juicy, to the point of my worrying that they were undercooked, but no, they're just like that. The flavors in this recipe give them a sweetness that's really pleasant, and the sage and nutmeg balance it really nicely.

A tip. The garlic I used was pre-crushed, which saved a lot of time and pain. When I made these before, I chopped it myself, but the crushed is easier to spread.

One last note. I assumed everyone would need their own hen, since they are smaller than chickens. Oh no. Even Dad only had one half. Leftovers are always great, but for planning purposes, be on notice.

Anyway, the recipe itself, below (from

Cornish Hens Normandy

3 Cornish hens, frozen
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sage
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 clove garlic, crushed
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. orange juice
3 thick slices navel orange, cut in half

Thaw and split hens in half down the middle. Combine salt, sage, garlic, nutmeg, garlic and lemon juice. Rub mixture over skin side.

Melt butter in shallow roasting pan in 350 degree oven. Place hens, skin side down, in melted butter. Roast 15 minutes. Turn skin side up and roast 15 minutes longer. Pour orange juice over hens. Roast 15 minutes or until brown and tender.

Remove to platter. Pour pan juice over. Garnish with orange slices. Slices may be sauteed in butter to which a dash of cloves has been added. Serves 6. Freezes well.

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