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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Cornish hens

Last weekend I made Nigella Lawson's Cornish hen recipe and thought the birds came out too dry. I pretty much followed her recipe, except that I also threw in some poultry seasoning on the inside. I felt all the flavor was on the skin and the meat underneath was on the bland side. The dark meat (drumsticks) were ok, however the breast meat was dry as the Sahara. I still have 2 more birds in the freezer, so my current goal is to try to make these Cornish hens come out more palatable. Perhaps baking at a lower temperature for a longer time would work out better than 45 minutes at 425ºF (218ºC) ???

I'm trying to gather ingredients to make Trish's Double Chocolate Mocha Cookie recipe. Miss M likes to help me with baking. I'm pretty sure these cookies will be a hit with her. I need to find a place in my new town to get some unsweetened cocoa powder and semisweet chocolate chunks. In my old city, I would have walked over to the Ferry Building and stopped by the Scharffenberger or Sur La Table.

Gas station at El Camino & Wolfe in Sunnyvale, CA

The insanity continues, $4.79 for super unleaded. Unfortunately my wagon uses super unleaded.

Ever since birth, Miss M has never been a very good sleeper. She never liked being in her infant carrier, and unlike most babies she also hated riding in the car. I can still hear the wah wah wah! from those days. I believe one of the deciding factors for choosing the wagon we have is that Miss M fell asleep during our test drive. Yup. Miracles do happen. It was sort of a pain to have to redo the car seat base whenever we test drove a car, however I don't think any of the people at the dealerships minded the extra time it took for us to get situated.


Ok, I've got Miss M napping today. I'm gonna go work on a little knitting now. I need to fix something I was knitting last night. I got carried away while chatting with DH that I overknit by several rows. It's an easy knit/purl pattern, so it will be a cinch to fix the error.

Then maybe I'll lie down and close my eyes for a while. My left eye has been bothering me for over a month now, and it feels like it needs a rest.

And perhaps I will finish up the 2nd arm band on my mom's vest tonight.


8 stitch(es):

Anonymous said...

This is not the best way if you want a pretty presentation, but have you considered cooking the bird breast side down? That method had always made the breast meat much more moist for me.

Cindy said...

I have never cooked cornish hens at 425F. That seems pretty high. Have you looked at All Recipes to see their recipes? They have fabulous ones.

MLE said...

Have you tried Paul Deen's recipe:,,FOOD_9936_29113,00.html

I know she's not the healthiest cook on food network, but her recipes look tasty. I also like Ina Garten's recipes in general.

hakucho said...

I'm no help with the cornish hens as I have never cooked them. That cookie recipe sounds awesome...I'll have to give them a try. We really like cookies in our house :)

...and I thought gas was expensive here(4.o5/gal-reg.)

happy knitting :)

Anonymous said...

Do you have a slow cooker (ie, a Crock Pot)?

I used the Coq au Vin recipe from the "Fix it and Forget it" cookbook, and substituted a game hen in place of the chicken.

The meat came out very tender and flavorful.

Anonymous said...

You are going to LOVE those cookies! I think I'll make some right now! It finally cooled down enough around here to turn the oven on. Sometimes I don't even bother to smoosh them when they are still warm on the sheet.

I have that recipe of Nigella's but haven't tried it yet. Is that the one with the sweet potatoes? I think that same episode is the one where she made the mustard pork chops with gnocchi. I have made that numerous times, and it is one of my favorite recipes.


Karen said...

I've learned to cover the breast of any chicken I cook with slices of bacon. It adds a nice flavor and preserves the moistness. I'm sure it would work with cornish hens as well. Also, that does sound like a long time at high heat. Maybe 15 minutes at 425 and then reduce the heat to 375 for half an hour.

Kate said...

Two ways I do Cornish Hens:
1) If it is just for the family I take a big kitchen knife and split the hens in half. Then after seasoning them-usually just salt and pepper-I put them all into the oven at 350. You can put some butter or oil on the hens if you wish. Just watch them until they are done. Because they are smaller cut in half they take a shorter period of time and the breast is moist.
2) Take the hens and carefully put your finger between the skin and the breast meat making a pocket on each breast side. Season the hen. Make your favorite dressing/stuffing. Stuff the cavity of the hen and also well stuff each pocket you have made between the skin and the breast. You may put butter or oil on the hens and put them in the oven. Test for the juices to run clear for doneness. The stuffing helps to keep the breast moist.