When I opened my packages of Cornish game hens and instantly smelled barnyard, I had a pretty good idea of how the evening’s meal was going to turn out. I honestly don’t know whether the birdies truly tasted like barn or if my olfactory senses were simply bamboozled by the odor from preparing them, but either which way, I do think the fowl truly fouled up my dinner … sorry, couldn’t resist.
Seriously though, how could cute little chickens slathered with lemon, butter and honey turn out to be anything but delicious? They were ok and my husband liked them enough, but the game hens were, in fact, gamey. I have roasted game hens a number of times and this was a first. Next time I’ll stick with a petit poulet, which I often choose when game hens are unavailable. I still don’t know why the package reads “petit poulet” rather than simply “little chicken,” but no matter, I am confident a petit poulet will deliver flavorful, non-barnyardy results.
I do think this recipe (please see weekly menu for a link) warrants a second try, however, especially since I am always looking for something to do with the preserved lemons I make during the summer influx of citrus. If you can find preserved lemons at the market, by all mean buy them, but they are also a breeze to make. The following is my go-to preserved lemon recipe from Dean & Deluca. The recipe can easily be doubled.
- 2 Lemons
- 1/3 cup coarse salt
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- Wash the lemons well. Cut each lemon into 8 sections and place them in a glass jar. Add the remaining ingredients. Cover tightly and shake jar well to combine ingredients. Leave lemons at room temperature, shaking the jar every day for 2 weeks. Rinse lemons before using.
- Refrigerate after opening. Lemons will keep in the refrigerator for 6 months.
I know I sort of made fun of the quinoa on my menu, but it was actually quite good and had a very pleasant nutty flavor. And, as my husband said between forkfuls of the hallowed ancient grain, “I can feel my muscles growing bigger.” Needless to say, he has requested the leftovers as part of his work lunches this week.
As for the roasted red pepper and onion salad — absolutely delicious. Something magical happens to vegetables when they are blasted with heat and allowed to caramelize. I spooned the vegetables over arugula and added just a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt. Definitely try this one.