My Retro Recipe Submission

Finally got around to tracking down and making a dish for this season’s Retro Recipe Challenge sponsered by  Laura Rebecca’s Kitchen .  The theme is Boozy Holiday and I was so excited when I found this 1963 cookbook in an antique shop.


Chose Cornish Hens Plymouth with Fruit Stuffing. It’s made with a sauce of Plymouth Gin and red wine, which certainly seemed boozy enough!

This intrigued me, as the company who produces Plymouth Gin claims it is the smoothest in the world. Figured I could put it to the test by sipping on a martini while cooking, ensuring the "high spirits" I imagined the book title suggested!!  Needless to say,  it  really does make for a very smooth cocktail. Highly recommend.

Here’s the recipe:

                           FRUIT STUFFING

1 TBSP  butter                               Pinch salt, sage, thyme, 
1 small onion, chopped                   marjoram, white pepper
1/2 c celery chopped                      1/2 pineapple pieces
1/2 c dry bread crumbs                  1/2 c orange pieces
1 c cooked rice                              1/4 raisins
                                                    2 TBSP sliced almonds                           

Melt butter, add onion and celery. Cook until tender. Add bread crumbs, rice, seasoning, fruits and almonds. Stuff fowl loosely.


4 Cornish Hens (approx 1 lb each)       1 TBSP potato starch
Fruit stuffing                                     1 c beef stock
2 TBSP butter                                     Pinch salt, garlic, dill
5 Tbsp Plymouth Gin                           1/4 c Black currant jam
1 tsp crushed juniper berries               1/2 red wine

Stuff hens with fruit stuffing, tie and brown quickly in butter in large skillet. Flame with gin and remove from pan.
Sauce: Add crushed juniper berries to pan, potato starch, stock, seasonings and jam. Stir until smooth. Add wine. Put birds back in pan, cover and cook for 40 minutes.

And here’s the finished product.  Tried this recipe out on some friends I had over for dinner last night and everyone found it to be quite tasty.  The sauce does have a distinct gin like flavor, especially because of the addition of the juniper berries. The addition of the black currant jam adds a nice sweetness. 

Did make a few changes to the original recipe.  Substituted dried cranberries for the raisins.   Made sure to use fresh herbs and  roasted the hens in the oven at 350, occasionally basting with sauce,  instead of cooking them in a pan on the stovetop. Did make sure to flambe them, as that was half the fun!



By | 2013-11-15T19:32:54-04:00 December 11th, 2006|Food and Drink|3 Comments

About the Author:

Hi, I'm Theresa, owner and chief classy dame at the Blue Velvet Vintage online boutique. Lover of mid century fashion and home decor, classic films, Old Hollywood, pretty dresses, red lipstick, swing dancing and retro culture in general. Between my ecommere site and vintage style blog my mission is to revive the eras of classy dressing and inspire women to add more glamour to their lives! So don't be shy! I love to hear from others who share my appreciation of the styles of the past.


  1. Avatar
    The TriniGourmet December 13, 2006 at 7:43 pm

    lovely dish 🙂 and i love the whole theme and vibe of your blog 🙂 i’ll definitely be back! 😀

  2. Avatar
    Theresa December 13, 2006 at 7:22 am

    Thanks very much for the compliment and for coming up with the retro recipe challenge. It has started me on a new fun hobby of collecting old cookbooks!

  3. Avatar
    Laura Rebecca December 12, 2006 at 8:33 am

    Wow — that’s gorgeous!

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