Friday, March 19, 2010

Minted Hen

Every now and then, My Beloved likes to be treated to a Cornish hen. To me, they taste so much like chicken that I might as well make a full-sized bird, but there is something festive and special to him about these funny little birds so I humor him.

Roasting the hen makes the skin nicely brown and crisp, but these diminutive birds need some stuffing to keep the white meat moist. This time, I stuffed the cavity with two lime quarters that I had squeezed over the olive-oiled skin and added a wadded handful of fresh mint, stems and all. Stuffing the bird shaped the breast as well as keeping it moist and the fresh mint pervades the meat with a mint-but-not-sweet flavor. Oddly, these tiny critters take the same amount of time to roast as a big chicken does - about 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

After roasting, I used kitchen shears to cut our hen in half, the perfect amount for each of us to enjoy with our wild and brown rice medley and some bright green broccoli.

6 Comments:

Blogger Greg said...

Mint in poultry, that is a new one for me. I use mint mainly as a garnish and in cocktails.Will have to explore that one. BTW I like the brown food photo idea.

Friday, March 19, 2010  
Blogger Louis la Vache said...

Here's another way to stuff the cavity....

Friday, March 19, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Greg, I learned the mint trick in college from a Chinese classmate. You have to use a lot of mint, but it's wonderful! Why don't you propose a contest for the best brown food photo? Prizes aren't necessary; the glory is sufficient reward.

Louis, oh, my! Have to admit I giggled just a little.

Friday, March 19, 2010  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

I would never have thought of mint in a chicken. And here you are endorsing it, so I gotta try.
:)

Brown photos! I am ON.

Friday, March 19, 2010  
Blogger dancingmorganmouse said...

So, if Google is correct, a Cornish Hen is a young chicken, yes?
I'm going to give the mint thing a go, but with a grown up chook, so there's some left over for soup or risotto the next day :)

Friday, March 19, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Cookiecrumb, try it - it's mint!

Morgan, I think Cornish hens are, in fact, chickens but bred to be smaller at maturity, rather than the French poussins, which are just young chickens. It's a fine distinction. I have made the mint chicken with a big chicken, too. It takes a lot of mint to fill that cavity but it really does taste wonderful.

Saturday, March 20, 2010  

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