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.


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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