09.23.10: dinner (Catalan lemon and garlic sauce over Cornish game hens)


Cornish Game Hen in Lemon and Garlic Sauce


Thank you for linking in, readers! Elizabeth found this recipe inside of a Catalan cookbook she’d found recently and after going my own way on the Spanish chicken wings, I promised to make it according to factory specifications later in the week. We have a good deal of Spanish cookbooks in the house, probably more than of any other national cuisine save perhaps Italian, so I can say that this dish was very emblematic of its nation. [Ed. – SIX SEVEN Spanish cookbooks to TWELVE Italian books, thank you very much!] I know we’ve been hitting España pretty hard lately, so we’ll be posting one last solidly Spanish plate then moving East.

It called for a 2.5-3 lb guinea hen, which I found odd, since in the US that’s very close to being a full-fledged chicken. I substituted 2 small game hens, the same birdies I used previously. I spatchcocked these little guys as before, but this time I quartered them once flattened. Next, I browned them in my Dutch oven, then removed them and followed up by browning lots of diced onions with some chorizo until they got brown on the edges. I added garlic as well and had I thrown in tomatoes, I’d have made a classic sofrito. Next, I deglazed with white wine, added the chicken back and covered with stock. We’d had roasted some red peppers a few days prior, which I chopped and added those to the pot as well, along with the prescribed lemon and orange peels. The recipe calls for a 1.5-2 hour simmer, but I killed it after an hour or so because, well, it was dinner time.

I topped with some extra diced chorizo and served all the chicken pieces over arugula and brown rice (with a bit of saffron thrown into the water). The cooking liquid reduced to a thick and rich sauce. All the little chicken bones render a good amount of gelatin into the pot. The garlic cloves are now sweet and soft. As you can imagine, this all melds together quite nicely. Honestly, you don’t need the tiny hens and a larger bird or some smaller pieces (thighs!) would stay juicer than the wee hens. Regardless, it’s fun to immerse one’s self in a specific cuisine to become proficient, even though things may get a bit repetitive. Well, next time we’ll venture into new territory. Until then, thanks for reading and cook on!

1 comment
  1. robyn said:

    You had me at spatchcocked. I’m already a fan and will frequent your digs often. If nothing more than to improve my vocabulary. I’ve gotten in such a rut speaking with the daughters, that awesome and dude are seen and hear far too often. ;o)

    I look forward to getting to know as a newly married person!

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