Thursday, October 6, 2011

Olive Olive Cornish Hens

"La Rentree". The re-entry indeed. 

Nana and I encountered this term throughout our recent visit to France.  Fall in France means the "re-entry" to work, school and virtually all other non-vacation activities. 

It was enjoyable to see how the French transitioned, but we soon enough had to face re-entry ourselves.  Let's just say that our re-entry involved taking a 3rd week off the FFWD routine.  

Having to only cook a Cornish hen with a bit of tapenade and spices this week proved to be a much easier transition.  Thank you all for the well wishes regarding our trip.  When we have fully completed "La Rentree" I will post a separate link with photos and specifics on our trip, but suffice it to say that it was lovely.  Like French Fridays and Dorie, France does not disappoint.

Per Nana :

(this should be the title of our post)

We have been in this house for 13 years and that
 is the first time I have set off the smoke alarm.
A 500 degree oven can do that, to say nothing of
the mess that little bird made of my oven.
That being said, the recipe was fantastic. 
 Even though the skin was crispy and well
done, the white meat was not dry. 
 I thought the amount of tapenade was perfect,
as it can be quite salty, but I think the
 lemon actually helped on that score.

This is a recipe that I will definitely make again. 

 Per Tricia:

Unfortunately, this is a recipe
that I will NOT make again. 
But not because we didn't love the taste....
I can not handle dissecting that poor
 little bird to get the spine out.

And even though Nana gave me the heads up about the smoke
 alarm, it didn't keep mine from going off by the 20 minute mark. 
Since I cooked it for 28 minutes, even my younger son was
 declaring that this "better be good" after listening to the ruckus.

(Though I have to admit this was not
the first time the smoke alarm went off in MY house. 
My husband used to joke that it was our "dinner bell".)

This recipe was very simple and quick.
  I love the idea of a quick prep and the end result looked
 gorgeous with all it's crispy skin.  We very much
 liked the taste of the tapenade. 
 I am used to putting spices under my poultry skin
 but adding this ingredient was a new one for me.

 My family raved about it so while I may not be
 revisiting it, I will not be surprised to see my
 fearless hubby in the kitchen with page 225 open
 and a large knife in his hand......


  1. Welcome back - cannot wiat to hear more about your travels!!!

  2. Welcome back, happy to hear your trip was fun. We really enjoyed this one as well and luckily my smoke detector didn't make a peep. Although, I seriously doubt that my wimpy little oven actually made it to 500 degrees so that might have played a role. Your little hens both look delicious.

  3.'re both back! And with gloriously spatchcocked hens at that. I didn't get to do this recipe as my oven doesn't go up to 500F (haha, good excuse) and I couldn't bear to manipulate the bird to its final position without a lot of persuasion. Good to know that your fire alarms were working properly, LOL.

  4. Sounds like you had a wonderful trip! Can't wait to hear more about it. Your birds look delicious. My skin didn't crisp up as much as I expected it to. Mine was cooked properly, but Matt's came out bloody on the inside, so I'm guessing they both could have used another few minutes. Oh well.

  5. Welcome back! I am so glad to hear that you had a wonderful trip, but I can't imagine that you would not in France. Looking forward to reading about it and seeing your photos.

    What an adventure you had in the kitchen Nana! Good way to test that your smoke alarm is working. ;) I also thought the tapenade was perfect and your dinner looks so delicious.

    Sorry, you didn't like this one Tricia. I didn't have a fear of spatchcocking, but I was a little anxious about adding anchovy to the tapenade, but it gave just the right amount of salt. Your bird came out beautifully and hopefully you will team up with your husband and make it again. ;)

  6. Yeah! Welcome back. Looking forward to hearing about your trip.
    This was a tough one for me. I wish I had self-cleaned the oven before I turned it up to 500F AND I wish I didn't have to crack the things open.

  7. I'm reading several mixed reviews on this one. But, the main downside seems to be the spine removal. Welcome back!

  8. Welcome home...can't wait to see your photos. I could not do this recipe...mentally could not get up for it. But, nice to see what everyone else accomplished. I must say, that some of the photos so far are not appetizing even though the cooks liked the recipe.

  9. This recipe seems very French, doesn't it? Using simple ingredients and making them shine.

  10. The dinner bell... heehee! Glad to hear the meal was worth the ruckus. I wish I could have found the Cornish game hens - had to settle for chicken thighs instead.

  11. So great that you went to France!! Unlike Tricia, I like cooking chicken like this (spatchcocked) - cooks so least you both liked the final dish.

  12. I'm so glad that you're back! I can't wait to hear all about your trip! I loved this recipe, but I'm not sure how often I'll be making it ... although I would definitely enjoy it if someone else made it for me!!

  13. Your ' toad ' looks delicious :p I so love this olive tapenade for the chicken ! I am glad that I did not give it a miss :) It was the best roast chicken I have tried out this year . Love Dorie and most of the recipes . Have a nice day, Tricia!

  14. I think your birds look wonderful! And I'm with you, it's fun to get back into cooking with Dorie. I have to admit, I only put my oven to 400 degrees since I was making some other things (and frankly had been warned by others!), but they turned out perfectly too!

    Looking forward to hearing about all of your adventures!

  15. Nana- I loved the lemony, crispy skin and you are not the only one that set off the smoke alarms! I was thinking mine were going to go that way too but it turns out not.

    Tricia - I will make the poussins again, but just not with the olive tapenade, neither my husband nor I really like those flavors too much at all.

  16. Both of these hens look fabulous! We are away and was unable to get this done on time but I did get it done at my son's house. My grandson's really enjoyed this dish! I still haven't posted it! So glad you're both back safe from your adventures in France...looking forward to pictures!

  17. LOL. Your posts are always so great, so entertaining! Love the smoke alarm/ dinner bell comment. Great photos, as usual.

  18. Glad you're back and I'm looking forward to reading about your travels. We really loved this recipe and after using my mother's kitchen shears, I've got a new item on my "To Buy" list. I was worried about the smoke alarm myself, but luckily, it didn't happen. Tricia, don't give up on this recipe - you can always get the butcher to spatchcock it for you!

  19. Can't wait to hear about your trip! Your birds look lovely. Totally chuckled at the fire alarm = dinner bell!!