Spatchcocked Mini-Chooks. That’s my new name for these little darlings. Better than poussin en crapendine. I wasn’t really bonding with a name quite like that. Besides, unlike Dorie, I kind of think that the idea of spatchcocking something sounds fairly fun. Like maybe there are some shenanagins involved. And once they are in the oven, there’s even a bit of time for lollygagging. I might make these again soon, just to get to use the word again!
OK, we have a wonderful family friend who (I was told by a reliable source – my mother) makes a mean tapenade. I decided to depart a bit from Dorie’s just for fun. I’ve been meaning to make Karyl’s for a while and hadn’t gotten to it. When I realized that I had not one, not two, but three jars of kalamata olives in the pantry, I thought – hey, it’s about time you made that!!! So, after finding the recipe again, I was a little enchanted by it, and was happy that I had made my choice.
Very much like Dorie’s recipe, there were a few little differences in the one I was using – and luckily, everything on hand. Olives, capers, lemon, olive oil, anchovy paste and seasonings.
And here’s the really charming part – the recipe calls for 20 (not 19 or 21) olives. Who could resist something like that???
The ingredients are either chopped and mixed, or put together quickly in a food processor. As easy as can be!
Once that’s ready, it’s quick work for the hens.
I just cut the backbone out with some kitchen shears. Then flatten them out – I guess, they do look kind of like toads! I was skeptical about the tapenade… I didn’t know if the flavor combination would be great. I was kind of (?) relieved that it only called for 1 teaspoon per bird (though wondered about making all of that for 2 t – I guess it’s time to get creative – because it’s tasty!). Of course, that presented its own challenge, since I ended up using a fair number of spoons, since I didn’t want to contaminate my tapenade… not the best planning on my part – but it all worked out!
The hens were very quickly ready for the oven, with their seasonings and lemon juice. I was already cooking some garnet yams, so stuck with a bit lower oven temperature, so I popped them into the oven at 450 degrees. True to Dorie’s word, they only took about a half-hour, even at that temperature. The skin was nicely browned and crispy, and the meat perfectly cooked, juicy and tender.
I was pleased that the flavors worked so nicely (and since I love capers, I thought they added a nice element). This was such an fast preparation, that it made for a very quick, easy meal, as long as you have your hens defrosted ahead of time. Definitely something I’d make again.
6 thoughts on “ffwd – olive-olive cornish hens”
Your hens look delicious! I like the little hedgehog looking over your plate. I will have to try these with home made tapenade, as my purchased tapenade was a little too mild.
Thank you for the welcome. What an initiation with this first recipe!! =)
Looking forward to this week’s.
It sounds like you had fun with this one 🙂
I think every kitchen needs a hedgehog. Too cute.
Glad you had some fun with these birdies. They do look a bit like toads.
I wasnt crazy about the tapenade at all! It was ok tasting, but too strong for the poussins we made. Glad you liked it though!
Shenanigans! Lollygagging! Those are great words, too. This was a great recipe and your friend’s tapenade sounds like a winner.