Sunday, October 9, 2011

FFWD: In Which I Ponder Serving Size and Game Hens

As some may recall, I made the Olive-Olive Cornish Game Hens last week.  Of course, this week I notice that they are on sale for less than half the price I paid.  Typical!

This was a new experience for me as I've only ever made Cornish Game Hens once before.  Frankly, I'd rather roast a full-sized chicken, though I'm not really sure why.  I guess I just don't find them all that interesting, though they are pretty on the plate (and the more I think about it, the more I think that's why people like them).  Most of the times that I've had CGH's at other people's houses, they're overly dry and too huge for me to eat on my own.  This brings up one of my pet peeves: Why do we have such large serving sizes at dinner parties?  Or at restaurants, for that matter?

The big thing is that I've never done that en crapaudine technique.  I've never even butterflied a chicken, though I've often read it's a nice way to roast it.  I hate to admit that I'm not a huge fan of the whole removing the backbone thing.  I try not to be grossed out by that kind of stuff, as we tend to have an odd separation from our food sources as it is.  I don't mind sticking my hand under the skin to rub some olive tapenade-y goodness, however. Sort of an odd thing there.

I made the tapenade from scratch with Dorie's recipe.  And I followed the current recipe as directions as stated.  Overall, it was pretty good.  I paired it with some fabulous haricots verts I'd gotten that morning at the farmer's market, and we had the salad from last week as the first course.  I served each of us half a hen, and saved the other one for leftovers.  As you can see in the photo, it got some nice caramelizing/crisping of the skin and was overall a pretty easy way of dealing with CGH's.  I'm not sure how often I'll make this dish, but it's nice to know I've got a reasonably quick recipe ready to go.

As for the wine, we served it with a pinot noir from Central Coast California as I thought the fruity earthiness would pair well with the subtle olive flavors (and with the hens).  It was a good pairing, but I think a nice unoaked Chardonnay would've done in a pinch if it were a tad warmer outside.


  1. Glad that you enjoyed making these. I thought they were fun. Yours look terrific!

  2. Looks great....I love this dish too and shall be making this again for the coming pot bless :)

  3. Your dinner plate looks just right! Great job with the CGHs. The skin looks perfectly crisp.

  4. Beautiful color on the skin - and I love fresh beans....
    There is something about man-handling poultry that just makes me a little weak-kneed.

  5. I should have had a glass of mine with my poussins! :) I like the cornish game hens, maybe not so much for the presentation, but that I can have all the bits of the bird that I like in a serving that is really suited for one person? ... Plus it cooks up faster than a regular chicken! Glad you liked it! I loved the lemony crispy skin!

  6. I think Cornish game hens are really about the presentation. I managed to find some particularly robust ones, so there was a good deal of meat and it was all very tender. That said, I think this recipe would work as well with a whole chicken or chicken pieces. Your bird looks beautiful.