POSTED BY: Stefanie LaSalle
We had two Cornish hens in our freezer. Why? Because I saw them, and they were cute and I had to have them.
And this weekend I cooked 'em up in a little pre-Thanksgiving dinner.
To go along with our tiny bird feast, I also wanted to try some new recipes from my favorite food sites. I don't get a chance to cook any other time during Thanksgiving, since we have two full dinners prepared for us (Tale of Two Turkeys) so this was a good excuse to try out some classic Thanksgiving favorites in case I need them one day.
Green Bean Casserole, from The Novice Chef
Sausage & Cornbread Stuffing, adapted from The Pioneer Woman
A few summers ago we went to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico and one night I ordered, "A baby chicken, cooked in it's own juices" from the menu. I don't know if it was for real a baby chicken, or exactly what those "juices" were, or if something just got lost in the translation. But either way, it was delicious and ever since then I've wanted to cook up a tiny bird of my own.
Here's the Mexican baby chicken. So tiny.
Considering this picture of me was taken at the end of a week in Mexico, I am surprisingly NOT tan. That's probably because I'm terrified of burning and I spent the entire trip slathered in sunscreen, under a hat and a towel and an umbrella and a canopy and a palm tree. You know, just to be safe.
Here are my two Cornish hens, defrosted. Naked.
I poured melted butter, and dusted with salt and pepper at this point. Then I covered with tinfoil and baked at 350 degrees for 45 mins.
There were too many steps and I was too hungry to correctly document every step, so I only have pictures of the final products. I've been researching food photography a lot recently, and the number one tip from all my sources was USE NATURAL LIGHT. I started cooking a bit late, but I did manage to get some shots of the green bean casserole in the light from the window in my kitchen. I think it really did make big difference and I will TRY to cook during the daylight hours as often as I can. This recipe can be found at the Novice Chef
Here is the cornbread and sausage stuffing, adapted from Pioneer Woman. I cut the recipe since it was just the two of us. It still made quite a bit of stuffing and we have a bunch of leftovers. I also don't really like apples in my food (other than sweet, dessert type foods) so I left those out. It came out SO good.
The sausage that I used in this was from Moody Street Delicatessen and Provisions in Waltham. It's a brand new place on food row (a.k.a. Moody St). We visited for the first time on Saturday and I bought a lot of meat and cheese. Hopefully around the holidays I'll have a day off and can get in there during lunchtime to snap some pics so you can see the beautiful shop. The prices are higher than you would pay in the supermarket, but that's because all the meats are handmade on the premises.
The final feast!
After the hens cooked for the first 45 mins. I took them out. I smothered the left hen in Pioneer Woman's turkey butter found in her holiday cookbook, which consists of butter, fresh chopped rosemary and the zest of an orange. The bird on the right has a mixture of sriracha, honey, soy sauce, lime juice and melted butter. It was adapted from The Comfort of Cooking's recipe. It would have been EXACTLY like their recipe, except when I tried it my "sauce" came out all crazy.
I don't know exactly what happened, but I think it had to do with the honey and the heat. SO I used the same ingredients without heating them it it came our very tasty.
HAPPY (mini) THANKSGIVING!