Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tiny Turkey

We had our Thanksgiving meal with the traditional turkey on Saturday but it wouldn't seem right not to have some form of poultry in the oven while the parade and dog show play on the telly. So this morning the pot of homemade sage and garlic stuffing went on the stove top, and the sweet potatoes in their foil jackets went into the oven with the single serving birds. I have always wanted to try my hand at Cornish Game Hen...

Mind you, the sweet potatoes actually took longer to cook through than the birds. I got some huge ones this year (2-3 pounds each). Bigger than the "turkey." And, yes, that one sweet potato is rather piggy shaped -- I couldn't resist adding ears by tipping up the corners of the foil.
The little hens were surprisingly easy. If you've managed to cook a full-sized turkey you can certainly do a game hen.

I stuffed dried rosemary sprigs and whole black peppercorns in the cavity.

Rubbed the tops with olive oil and garlic powder, and a few more sprigs of rosemary.

Drizzled in the fruit juice, I used lime juice --because pepper and lime is a great combo but it's not the best fruit flavor for enhancing this bird. I think apple would be better.

My game hens were about 1 1/2 pounds each (once I removed the gizzards a little less) and they took about 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees to bake. I didn't really time it that well. The key to knowing when any poultry is done? Poke the bird with a fork -- if the juice runs clear (no tinge of pink) then it's cooked through.

Aside from going in and dipping up juices over the birds (to keep them moist) there's not much to do. They really just sit in there and bake themselves.

Happy Thanksgiving

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