Sunday, January 27, 2013

Dutch Oven - Herbed Game Hens & Vegetables

Breaking radio silence to bring you this easy one pot meal. We were going to ride up the canyon yesterday with our besties, but when we looked across the valley to the mountains and couldn't see them through the fog, we decided that spending the night in our car on the side of the canyon road was not ideal, so we went to the store and picked up a few staples.

I've never really had a great cornish game hen meal, and this one didn't break tradition. The problem is that one or more birds does not cook fully for some reason. I was grateful that my bird was semi-raw instead of my friends, but still, come on! Gimme a break! They tasted great, but I think my bird didn't fully thaw before cooking, so it didn't temp up like the rest. I probed them, and it registered green which is near 165, but I didn't check the lcd on each one, so I think mine was a little low.

The problem with game hens is that you have a mini whole chicken to eat. It's a lot of meat and you have to butcher it yourself. Thanks to alton brown, I knew how to quarter it and trim off the breast meat, but it is a bit unwieldy.

2 - 12" deep dutch ovens

6 cornish game hens
3 pounds potatoes
1 pound carrots
4 onions
1 bunch fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced

Thaw the hens in warm water and chop the vegetables into quarters. Oil the dutch oven and layer the vegetables in the bottom of each dutch oven, shake liberally with salt and pepper. Add the minced garlic to each pot. Chop the parsley and mix with 1/2 cup of oil and liberal shakes of salt and pepper. Coat the hens in the oil & herb mix and place radially with the feet inside on top of the vegetables, breast side up. Cover and place on 12 coals in a ring, place 12 coals on the top, place the second oven on top and place 12 coals on top of it. Keep a side fire going for coal replenishment. You'll want to keep a ring of coals active on all ovens at all times. Check every 20 to 30 minutes and rotate and replenish coals as needed. Serve hens with a heap of vegetables on the side. Your guests may appreciate steak knives. This dish matches well with green kool aid and no dessert-- trust me, you'll be too full.

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