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:
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.
CORNISH HENS PLYMOUTH
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!