Our Daily Dinner

Our Daily Dinner

November 28, 2010

Small Bird vs Big Bird: Rock Cornish Game Hen

Since we were going to have Thanksgiving dinner at George’s brother’s house whose wife is a fabulous cook, I decided to celebrate Thanksgiving Eve with Rock Cornish Game Hen. Actually, this is neither a game bird, nor a hen, but a baby chick that weighs about 1 pound.


Roasted Cornish Hen
Sautéed Mushrooms
Cranberry Sauce *
Wine: Chiroubles, Domaine de la Chapelle des Bois, 2009
Dessert: Biscotti

Recipe: Cornish Hen

2 Cornish Hens, butterflied, patted dry
Salt and pepper
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
¼ cup Madeira

Preheat oven to 400°.
Rub the skin of the chicken with 1 tablespoon of butter. Season with salt and pepper. Smear an ovenproof baking dish with additional butter. Add the rosemary springs. Place the chicken on top of the rosemary sprigs, skin side up, and put into the oven. Baste several times with pan juices. Roast for 25 minutes, or until the juices run clear. Remove the dish to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Let rest while making the sauce.

Place a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Sauté the garlic in butter and olive for about 2 minutes. Scrap up juices from the baking pan and add to the skillet. Add the Madeira and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by half. Adjust seasoning.

Carve the chicken and arranged on a serving plate. Pour the sauce over it and garnish with the rosemary springs.

The Beaujolais, recommended by Will Helburn of Rosenthal Wine, dispersed my prevbious prejudices against Beaujolais. A cru Beaujolais from a small producer, it was a bright and youthful wine, with just  enough fruitiness. I will definitely add the wine to our wine list.

*Store-bought at Ottomanelli


Robert said...

It must be in the air: little birds for Thanksgiving. We had the good fortune to spend the holiday in New Orleans to visit our daughter - first time in her life-time, more than 30 years that our Thanksgiving dinner was at a restaurant. Those in our party who selected turkey for the main course were disappointed; those of us who selected quail were wildly satisfied. If we're cooking next year at home, we may serve little birds instead of one big one.

Our Daily Dinner said...


Glad to initiate a trend. Quail? How interesting. Might try it one day.

Katy K. said...

My father's wife brought the bird this year. The last time she did this, she brought a HUGE turkey for our very small extended family (five people total). So this year, I asked her to think small, and I even suggested just getting a turkey breast. But she showed up with a capon, which was delicious, but just didn't quite fit our vision of Thanksgiving. My 17-year-old daughter (a serious must-have-turkey-on-Thanksgiving person) threatened privately to go buy turkey (which I told her she couldn't do and which she thankfully didn't do).

Now that the holiday is over, we are getting a good laugh out of the situation by referring to it as the Thanksgiving of the Castrated Rooster!

Happy holidays, all!

Our Daily Dinner said...


Holidays can be trying. How about a goose for Xmas?

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