Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Into the Unknown: Cherry Sweet & Sour Cornish Game Hens

I have actually been thinking a lot about my blog lately, but without really writing much. It's kind of funny, but when I started out I never really decided what direction I wanted it to go. I just wanted it to revolve around food. Finally, I decided that I would try to incorporate a new ingredient or a new technique into one recipe for my blog every month.


My decision to continue developing my culinary skills begins this year with a fabulously fun recipe, Cherry Sweet & Sour Cornish Game Hens. This recipe was a perfect choice to kick off the year as it involved a new ingredient (the game hens) and a new technique (brining).


This recipe even got me to cook on the barbeque, which is something that I never do because, well, Diesel always does it for me! The barbeque is his domain, and this was only the second time in the course of our relationship that I have attempted to use it. So, while he slept, I cooked. And I was so proud of myself. This dish turned out very well, the meat was juicy and the saucy tangy. I really could not have been happier with how this recipe turns out and I think it is a good sign for the upcoming year.


Game Hen Brine
6 cups cold water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

Mix everything together in a large metal or glass bowl. Add game hens, completely submerging (A plate can be placed on top of the birds to hold them in the mixture). Let brine for 6 - 8 hours or overnight.

Cherry Sweet & Sour Cornish Game Hens
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1/2 cup cherry preserves
2 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon hot Chinese mustard
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon garlic chili sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup dried sour cherries
2 Cornish Game Hens

Heat the barbeque to medium-high heat.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a small saucepan. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until softened and fragrant. Turn the heat down to medium-low and add cherry preserves, soy sauce, vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, garlic chili sauce and honey. Stir and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Divide the sauce in half leaving one half in the saucepan.

Oil the grate of the grill & place the hens over direct heat breast side up. Cook with the cover closed for ten minutes. Brush the hens with the 1/2 of the glaze not in the saucepan. Close cover & continue to cook for another 10 - 20 minutes until the hens are fully cooked.

Remove the hens from the grill and allow to rest for 5 minutes. While the hens are resting, add the dried cherries to the remaining glaze in the saucepan. Turn the heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for about 3 minutes.

Serve the hens over the wild rice, drizzling both with the remaining glaze.

(source A Good Appetite)

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