Main Dishes

 

CORNISH HENS WITH COCONUT CURRY SAUCE AND BASMATI RICE CAKES

 

MAKES 4 SERVINGS

 

Ingredients

 

Marinated Hens

 

4 Cornish hens (about 1 pound each)

½ cup olive oil

2 shallots, thinly sliced

2 garlic gloves, crushed

4 fresh thyme sprigs

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, crushed

½ teaspoon salt

 

Curry Sauce

 

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ cup finely chopped onion

¼ cup finely chopped celery

¼ cup finely chopped carrot

¼ cup finely diced banana

¼ cup finely diced ripe pear

¼ cup Madras curry powder

¼ cup fresh orange juice

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 cup chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth

2 tablespoons unsweetened Coco Lopez ® Coconut Milk

1 tablespoon Major Grey’s ® chutney

½ cup heavy cream

 

Rice Cakes

 

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 shallots, finely chopped

1 cup Basmati or Texmati rice

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)

1 tablespoon finely chopped chives

1 ¾ cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth

   Salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

 

Instructions

 

Cut up and marinate the hens; using kitchen shears, cut out the backbone from each hen. Then cut through the breastbone

to divide each hen in half. Remove the whole legs from each bird by cutting through the hip joints; you should have two breast

sections and two leg sections from each of the birds.

In large dish, combine the oil, shallots, garlic, thyme, peppercorns and salt. Add the hens; turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate

overnight .

 

Make the curry sauce:

Heat the olive oil in a medium non-reactive saucepan. Add the onion, celery and carrot. Cook over high heat,

stirring occasionally, until slightly softened for about 4 minutes. Add the banana and the pear to the saucepan and cook, stirring

until nearly disintegrated, about 3 minutes. Stir in the curry powder and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Add the orange and lemon juices to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in the chicken stock, coconut milk and chutney, and bring

back to a boil. Add the cream and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain the sauce, pressing down on the solids, and return in to the saucepan.

Boil over moderately high heat until reduced to ¾ cup, about 7 minutes.

 

Make the rice cakes: 

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the shallots and cook over moderate heat until translucent, about 2 minutes.

Stir in the rice, coriander and chives. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over moderate heat until the rice is

tender and all the liquid has been absorbed, about 25 minutes. Season with salt.

Line a medium baking sheet with foil and brush lightly with olive oil. Brush the insides of 4 metal ring molds measuring about 3 inches

across and 1 inch high with olive oil and set them on the baking sheet. Divide the rice evenly among the ring molds, packing it tightly

so that it is flush with the top of the rings.  

 

The recipe can be prepared to this point up to 1 day ahead; cover and refrigerate the curry sauce and the Basmati rice cakes.

 

Preheat the broiler. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skilled. Add the rice cakes in their rings and fry over moderate heat until the

cakes are browned and crisp on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn the rice cakes over in their rings and brown the other side for

another 3 minutes. Transfer the cakes to paper towels to drain; keep warm.

 

Remove the hens from the marinade and pat them dry with paper towels. Place the hen pieces, skin side down, on a baking sheet

and broil for about 12 minutes, until well browned; shift the pan as necessary so that the pieces will brown evenly. Turn the hens

skin side up and broil for about 10 minutes longer, or until the skin is browned and the juices run clear when a thigh is pierced with

a fork.

 

To server the Cornish hens, re-warm the curry sauce. Set each rice cake in the center of a large warmed plate and remove the ring

mold. Spoon the curry sauce around the rice cakes. Arrange 2 legs and 2 breast halves around each of the rice cakes and serve at

once.

 

Represented by permission of David Ruggeri’s Le Chantilly Restaurant