Thursday, September 29, 2005

La piedra marinada gallinas de Cornualles

Marinated Rock Cornish Hens are a delicious treat if you like poultry - who doesn’t? And it takes only about 45 minutes to an hour to prepare this meal (after marinating the hens for 12-hours).

Ingredients Marinade:

2 TBS oil
1 Shallot chopped
1 Small onion finely chopped
1 Clove of garlic crushed
2 juniper berries crushed
½ tsp dried rosemary
2 peppercorns crushed
2 cups of dry white wine
1 cup vinegar
1 whole clove

Remaining Ingredients:

4 one pound Rock Cornish hens
1 TBS lard
¼ Lb Prosciutto diced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 TBS flour
2/3 cup chicken stock
1 TBS meat extract
1 TBS lemon juice
8 slices of stale bread fried in butter at the last minute
6 TBS butter


Prepare a cooked marinade by placing 2 TBS oil in a saucepan and lightly browning the shallot, onion, garlic clove, juniper berries, rosemary and peppercorns. Add the wine, vinegar, and clove then bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and cool mixture. Place the hens in a bowl and cover with cooked marinade. Cover and marinate for 12-hours.

After the marinating process, remove hens from the liquid, dry them, and truss the birds. Strain the marinade and reserve the juice. Place 1 TBS lard in a casserole and gently brown the prosciutto. Add the hens and brown them on all sides. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle the flour, and add several TBS of the marinade liquid. Cover tightly and simmer over low heat, occasionally basting with a few spoonfuls of the stock. When the hens are cooked through (about 30-minutes) stir in the meat extract and lemon juice; mix carefully.

Transfer the hens to a cutting board and split in two. Place each half on the butter fried bread slices. Spoon the hot pan juices over the hens.

A tasty accompaniment to this meal could be artichoke hearts with butter, or baby snow peas with steamed pearl onions. You might also want to consider freshly steamed asparagus (if they are available) with a sprinkling of Balsamic vinegar and a little melted unsalted butter.