Monday, May 9, 2011
Little Kittens and Saffron Scented Cornish Hens
When our daughter Julia was a little girl, around 8 or 9 years old, she arrived home from school one day and as was her habit, asked what we were having for dinner.
I replied, "Cornish Hens". Confused, she asked me what Cornish Hens were. I replied, "Oh, they're little chickens", to which she started to cry and told me she would never eat that.
I reminded her that she liked chicken.
Through tears she agreed, yes, she liked chicken but there was no way she was eating dinner tonight.
She thought I had said, "They're little kittens" instead of "little chickens".
I was reminded of the Little Kittens story as I was preparing last night's dinner.
From that day forward we always called Cornish Hens, "Little Kittens"
Little Kittens (or more commonly known as Saffron Scented Cornish Hens) serves two to four, depending on appetite size.
Two Rock Cornish Hens
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
freshly ground pepper
Two tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Wash and pat dry the hens. Sprinkle the cavity with salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a small bowl combine the saffron threads, ginger and salt.
Rub the skin and under the skin on the breast meat the saffron / salt / ginger mixture. Set aside.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Or prepare the rotisserie. (I prefer the rotisserie, especially at this time of year).
If you are using the oven, place a rack over a rimmed cookie sheet. Place the hens breast side down, brush with butter and roast 20 minutes per pound, turning breast side up half way through and brushing breasts with butter.
If you are using a rotisserie, arrange the hens on the skewer, place on rotisserie and brush all over with butter, basting every ten minutes until cooked through.
I served the hens with steamed asparagus (the first of the season), tri-colored couscous and lots of memories.