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HERB CORNISH HENS WITH CRANBERRY SAUCE

herbed Cornish HensHerb Cornish Hens and cranberry sauce

In our household, November was typically the kick off to the eating fest which lingered thru December. Traditional family recipes, marathon cooking and over indulgence became the standard. Eventually, the threat of New Year’s resolutions, and the tightness of my clothes snapped me back to reality. And as if the holiday season coming to an end was not traumatic enough, I realized that once January arrived my taste buds would be lulled into hibernation with the blandness of cottage cheese and celery sticks.

That said, traditions are passed on to the next generation, college bowl games ensue, families gather together and food is an inevitable consequence of holiday celebrations. Therefore, I plan to devote this month’s blog on Paleo remakes of family favorites, along with some new options that are sure to have your guests saying “Oh this is Paleo..hmmm”. If you follow the Paleo diet you will have heard that statement before, as well as my other favorites “That is your lunch bag..wow, that’s a lot of food!” or “Isn’t eating Paleo expensive?” and “Are you eating AGAIN?”

My standard responses to the aforementioned remarks are:   yes it’s a family recipe from my Neanderthal relatives; Yes, that’s my lunch, you should have seen my breakfast; I figure it’s a wash, I can either pay my deductibles at the grocery store now or the doctor’s office later; and I’m training for a marathon, I’m planning to live to be 100! Sometimes, on my geeky days, I throw a little Biology lesson in about balancing blood glucose levels, or the integrity of muscle tone based on diet.

Although I grew up eating garden harvested vegetables, wild game and fish, Paleo has been a great incentive for me to explore new culinary trends and break out of my “weekly menu” rut which I had constructed around spaghetti and garlic bread dinners, make your own taco night,lasagna, lasagna leftovers, Sunday meatloaf, and sloppy Joes/ order pizza Fridays. I still have my standard rule of “kitchen to table in 30 min or less or be able to eat it for multiple days” rule, but in the past three years I’ve tried more new recipes than I had made in my entire life.

Today’s recipe is for Cornish hens, although this recipe would work equally as well for turkey breast, and chicken, wild duck, pheasant, or partridge.  Biology factoid: although in most bird species hens are female birds, both male and female birds are referred to as Cornish hens.

HERBED CORNISH HENS

prep time 20 min, cook time 1hr 15 min, table ready in 1 hr 45 min

Ingredients

Original recipe makes 4 cornish hens from Michelle Mullis

4 Cornish game hens

5 stalks celery

1 large onion, quartered – divided

1 lemon, quartered – divided

4 sprigs fresh rosemary, divided

1 tablespoon olive oil

sea salt to taste

lemon pepper to taste

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed and chopped

1 head garlic, peeled

1 large onion, chopped

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 cup chicken broth

3 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
  2. Arrange celery stalks next to each other in the bottom of a heavy roasting pan.
  3. Place 1 onion quarter, 1 lemon quarter, and 1 sprig rosemary in the cavity of each hen. (option: paleo stuffing recipes will be added to the menu soon)
  4. Rub outside of hens with 1 tablespoon olive oil; sprinkle with salt and lemon pepper.
  5. Arrange hens atop celery; sprinkle with tarragon, basil, thyme, and chopped rosemary.
  6. Scatter garlic cloves and 1 chopped onion around hens.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  8. Whisk wine, broth, and 3 tablespoons olive oil together in a bowl; pour over hens.
  9. Cook hens until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, about 50 more minutes, basting every 15 minutes with juices in pan. An instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone should read 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).
  10. Turn off oven and let hens rest in the oven for 10 more minutes.

CRANBERRY SAUCE

from the kitchen of Patti Kryzanowski

INGREDIENTS:

1 bag fresh cranberries

1-1.5 cup water

4 fresh dates-pitted and minced

¼ C raw honey

1 honeycrisp apple-peeled, diced

1T organic cinnamon

1T butter

DIRECTIONS:

Mix cranberries, apples and dates with water in med saucepot, when you hear cranberries start to pop reduce heat to low

Add in honey, cinnamon and butter. Stir until desired thickness

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