Cooking again – Cornish Hens Giverny

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Giverny's water garden

Giverny's water garden

I told Larry not to get used to my cooking every night; as of next week, I’ll be back on a very tough schedule, and this will end. But today, at home with gray skies and cold temps, I decided to get busy in the kitchen. I had some left over homemade cornbread from the weekend (my favorite scratch recipe that uses buttermilk and real butter) and I had some light bread getting stale, so I made my own stuffing; with dried herbs from my own garden (sage, rosemary, basil and oregano) this proved to be quite a feast. I also added an apple, some onion, and celery, all chopped by hand. But for the piece de resistance, I also decided to open the apple liqueur I bought at Giverny in 2005 while in France. Giverny is the home of the French impressionist, Claude Monet. I toured his home there and the gardens, which are preserved by a trust. The liqueur is the perfect thing to add to the pan, instead of the usual sherry, for a delicious apple flavor.
I moistened the dressing before stuffing the hens, by adding a bit of cream of celery soup (the fat free version) and stirring well. The hens were cooked in a 375 degree oven for 1 hour and 45 minutes; the last half hour I took the cover of the roasting pan off to allow the hens to brown. I also measured the temperature of the hens internally, before serving – to make certain they were cooked thoroughly and had reached 180 degrees.
Here are some photos of the cooking:
Chopping the apple

Chopping the apple


I used my Cuisinart 11 food processor to process the cornbread and light bread into small crumbs.

I used my Cuisinart 11 food processor to process the cornbread and light bread into small crumbs.


After chopping the dried rosemary, sage, basil and oregano in the food processor, I put it through a sieve so the stems wouldn't get in the dressing.

After chopping the dried rosemary, sage, basil and oregano in the food processor, I put it through a sieve so the stems wouldn't get in the dressing.


The moistened stuffing is ready to put in the hens.

The moistened stuffing is ready to put in the hens.


The hens are ready for the oven. I drizzled some fine olive oil on top, and dusted some smoked paprika on the skins.

The hens are ready for the oven. I drizzled some fine olive oil on top, and dusted some smoked paprika on the skins.


The liqueur. I have to say this will be best for cooking. It has a strong flavor. It would also make a good apple sour. But not that great straight.

The liqueur. I have to say this will be best for cooking. It has a strong flavor. It would also make a good apple sour. But not that great straight.


The finished hens are succulent, with a hint of apple. I served these with baked sweet potato and a green salad with crumbled Danish blue cheese and Otts dressing. Yum!

The finished hens are succulent, with a hint of apple. I served these with baked sweet potato and a green salad with crumbled Danish blue cheese and Otts dressing. Yum!

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