Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fancy Dinner Plans

**Note: This was supposed to be yesterday’s post, but the internet was down… so here it is**

Lunch: Grilled Cheese and Soup
Dinner: Chili Mac, Veggies and Dinner Rolls

I’ve noticed that the guys have started straying into my kitchen more and more. While I don’t like people messing with my kitchen arrangement, I do love having someone to talk to. My brother is in Tennessee doing a co-op, and I’ve really missed having my baby brother there to talk to and make fun of. I kind of like playing the big sister part to the guys that make a point to come in and chat with me. One of the guys came in all lugubrious and was having a bad day. He recited the long list of his sorry woes. I asked him if he wanted a cookie. He looked as if to ascertain whether not I was being sarcastic and making fun of him and I pointed to a batch of chocolate cookies fresh out of the oven. As he ate his cookie, he said, “I feel better now”. I felt a sense of accomplishment. While I really love cooking, I’m a social person, and spending a day drudging in my little dungeon of a kitchen (and it is a windowless dungeon) tends to take on the tedious if there is no people interaction. One of the joys of cooking is knowing who you’re cooking for and knowing not only that they like the food but that they appreciate it. The real job satisfaction in cooking for frat boys is not in making a perfectly executed gourmet feast, but in making a meal that you know will be well appreciated and even comforting. After all, no matter how well you cook, if it’s for a nameless, faceless horde it’s somewhat like that old joke about the priest. You know, the one where he skips Sunday mass to play golf and makes a hole in one, but can’t tell anyone. Well it would be kind of like that, what is success without sharing it?

I made a success this weekend. My hubby had a few friends over to drink and kill zombies. (If the zombie apocalypse ever comes, I feel safe knowing my husband has had so much training in fighting off the zombie hordes). When I asked him what he wanted me to make to feed the zombie-killing battalion, he said he wanted, “those little orange chickens”. In other words, orange and rosemary roasted Cornish game hens with orange and white wine pan sauce. Hey, a zombie-killer has to eat right? I adapted this recipe from a few that I found online. While it sounds super fancy and looks impressive to guests, it honestly isn’t that difficult. It isn’t even much more expensive than making roast chicken, which is in fact a rather cheap meal. I think it looks so fancy because each person gets their own little chicken, and who doesn’t love individual-sized chickens. I’m going to caution you now, if you make this recipe, do not, under any circumstances substitute lemons for the oranges. I tried this once figuring that people eat lemon chicken all the time. The chicken turned out fine, but the sauce was just plain nasty. Just say no to anything but orange.

Orange and Rosemary Roasted Cornish Game Hens
Serves 4

4 Cornish Game Hens, 1 lb each
4 tbs Butter, softened
Salt and Pepper
½ an Orange, cut into 4 wedges
Several Sprigs of Fresh Rosemary, cut to about 3 inches long
1/2 cup White Wine
1 cup Orange Juice
1 1/4 cup Chicken Stock

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees with the oven rack placed in the middle of the oven. Rinse and dry the game hens; carefully tucking their wings back (so they don’t burn). Rub a ½ tablespoon of butter all over each hen then salt and pepper the hen all over including in the cavity. Stuff each cavity with an orange slice and a few sprigs of rosemary and then arrange the birds breast side up in a shallow roasting pan. Roast for 10 minutes then using a tongs, gently move the birds a little to keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Roast another 10-15 minutes or until the birds are done. Remove the birds to a plate and cover lightly with foil. If your roasting pan cannot be used on stove top, scrape as much of the juice and chicken morsels from the bottom of the pan into a sauce pan, otherwise put the roasting pan on the stove and turn the heat to high. Add the wine and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen all of the little morsels. Allow the wine to boil until its volume has reduced by half then add the orange juice. Allow the mixture to simmer again until its volume has reduced by half and then stir in the chicken stock. Allow the chicken stock mixture to simmer until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Serve with the roasted game hens.

No comments:

Post a Comment