Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Cornish Game Hens with Toasted Pistachio Raisin Rice

  Roasted Cornish Game Hen with Toasted Pistachio Raisin Rice
Cruising through my cookbooks, I ran across a recipe for stuffed game hens in Capital Classics (an old Jr. League cookbook from Washington, D.C.) and thought I could adapt it to make it less soggy.  Rice stuffings are frequently too wet and mushy to my taste. 
The rice turned out great and we will make it again to go with basic roasted chicken.  The Cornish game hens were messy to eat, but tasty.  As we ate them, we laughed about needing bibs, like you get when eating lobster.  Doubt I will buy them again.  (They were an impulse purchase.) 

Cornish Game Hens with Pistachio Raisin Rice
(adapted from Capital Classics)

Serves 4

1 Cornish game hen person, or ½ if large
2 shallots, peeled and cut in half
Oil or butter to coat the birds
Salt and pepper
½ cup golden raisins
¼ cup cognac

1.5 to 2 cups of cooked basmati rice
1/2 t. salt added to the cooking water

½ cup toasted pistachios, chopped

1 large or 2 small shallots, peeled and chopped
2 T. butter

¼ cup fresh chopped parsley or chervil, or dried if necessary

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Remove the giblets and wash and dry the birds well, inside and out.  Pat dry with paper towels if necessary to remove all the water.  Season the insides with lots of salt.  Oil the skin outside well, then season well with lots of salt and ground pepper.

Place half of whole shallot inside the cavity , then place them breast side down on a roasting rack inside a roasting pan.  Roast for 1 hour or until the juices run clear.

Meanwhile, place the golden raisins and cognac in a small pan, and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and let it simmer until the liquid is reduced by at least half.  Take off the heat and let the raisins stand, at least 10 minutes to absorb the cognac.

Toast the pistachios, let them cool, then chop roughly.

Rinse and spin dry the parsley or chervil.  Chop.  Or use dried.  Just don't leave out the herbs.

Cook the rice in salted water and have it ready for when the games hens are done.

While the birds rest,

sauté the shallots in 2 T. of butter until translucent and fragrant. 

Place the pistachios, raisins, parsley or chervil in a serving bowl, add the rice and mix together until thoroughly combined.

Serve under the Cornish game hens or as a side.  And a nice salad for simple, but elegant meal.

Note:  Turn the game hens over so the breast side is up when you serve them.  You can brown them under the broiler briefly if you prefer a crispier skin.  (I should have done both of these things.)

The rice is really delicious!


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