Friday, March 25, 2011

I know I just did this, but ...

I'm settling in to the idea of a different format for my postings. I will not always post an actual recipe. Rather I will share my successes (and failures (as if)) that I deem worthy of your interest. I commented to Peter over tonight's dinner that I had avoided cooking Cornish hens over the years simply because I was never happy with the results (dry stringy little breasts, ok, but chewy legs and thighs). Well, I have completely conquered the little mothers.
I start by cutting down the backbone (not actually removing it) and brining for several hours with salty water and sometimes some other things. It doesn't matter what, because none of you brine anyways. Then, rinse, dry, add paprika, pepper, other stuff if you wish. Melt 1 1/2 tbsp butter in 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet. Put the bird in the pan skin side down until it's nicely browned. Turn it over, add some stock or wine, cover the pan, reduce the heat, and slowly simmer it for about 30 minutes. You will not be sorry.
The other oddment of today's dinner was spaghetti squash. I was well aware that Peter hasn't been crazy about this stuff. The truth is, with him making a few suggestions, we came up with a really savory result. After baking the squash (1 hour at 375 degrees) and scraping out the "sketti," we threw it in a pan with olive oil, butter, chili garlic paste and some pan juices from the Cornish hen. When Peter's happy, I'm happy. Peter was happy.


Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

I love brining chicken! It makes it so flavorful and juicy, totally worth the extra time :) Last year we grew spaghetti squash and well, none of us liked it. I still have about 15 squash left!! I'm going to try your method & see if we can actually enjoy these golden beauties. Thanks Stephen!

Michael Toa said...

I brined my turkey last year for Christmas and it really made a difference. I've been wanting to try it on chickens too and with your result, I cannot wait. Looks and sounds great.
Thank you for visiting my blog. I am always excited discovering new bloggers. I look forward reading your delicious posts.
Have a great weekend. :)

Jenn said...

I brined the Turkey last year for Thanksgiving...before I smoked it. I couldn't tell a difference as I think the smokiness of it was what was the most noticeable. I need more time to brine and always forget :) Glad you found a way to enjoy both the cornish hens and the squash. I took a healthy cooking class a long time ago and they taught us how to the spaghetti squash... I only did it once after that, though.

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