Well Isn’t this Fancy! (Cornish Hen recipe for important dinner guests)
by Kristy Gherlone
So, you’ve decided that, even for a writer, you’ve been spending entirely too much time alone. You think, ‘Hey, I should host a dinner party for other writers in the area!’
For about two minutes, you consider this thought. You picture all of those creative minds sitting around your table. Wine glass clanking, smiling, happy people, sharing ideas and reading excerpts from their latest works. Before you change your mind and retreat back into the dark cavern you call a work space, you sit down and send out a bunch of email invitations.
Now, don’t lie. You spend the rest of the day hoping that no one will respond. At least you can say you tried, right? Except they ALL respond. Why wouldn’t they? They have been feeling just as isolated as you, and it’s a free dinner!
You panic! What can you cook that would be worthy of such company?
I’ve got you covered. Here’s what you do. Pre-heat the oven to 450 and follow along….
Purchase one Cornish Hen for every dinner guest.
Get out that Thanksgiving turkey roasting pan and coat the bottom with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss in some sliced garlic, some fresh squeezed lemon juice, and ringlets of Shallots. Throw down some beds of fresh Thyme.
Rinse the hens, pat dry and place into the pan in rows on top of the mess you just made. The hens can touch each other(they’re dead and won’t mind)
Stuff each bird cavity with a slice of lemon, a whole garlic clove, salt and pepper, a whole small shallot, and more fresh Thyme.
Put a pat of real butter on each hen, sprinkle with more salt and pepper, and more thyme.
Roast these at the 450 degrees for the first half hour and then reduce the temperature to 350 and cook for another 45 minutes or so. They should be beautifully browned like this:
For the side dishes you can do fancy or extra fancy. It’s up to you. For extra fancy, I would add baby carrots to the turkey roasting pan when you cook the hens. Let them brown at the bottom of the pan and remove when done. Serve the hens on individual plates on a bed of wilted spinach with the baby carrots off to one corner of the plate. You can even serve cranberry sauce! Also, toasted baguettes would be great with the dinner with a homemade dipping oil like this recipe:
Mix olive oil, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, fresh crushed garlic, and dried basil in a bowl. Transfer to a pretty dish when ready to serve.
For just plain fancy, perhaps even rustic sides, roast fingerling potatoes tossed with olive oil, fresh rosemary, and salt and pepper until almost done. Transfer into individual, tiny cast iron pots like these: (Bass pro shops)Spray with Pam and finish baking at 400 degrees until tender and slightly browned. On the dinner plate itself, you’ll have the hen and perhaps some sprigs of roasted asparagus, and then serve the potatoes in the individual pots on the table next to the plate.
You can even do mashed potatoes instead of the fingerling if you want but dress them up! For this: when the potatoes are cooked and ready to whip, add some dried parsley, celery salt, ground Coriander Seed, and of course your melted butter and cream. Keep whipping until all of the lumps are gone or your guests will write their next story about your lumpy potatoes.
If you must do appetizers, and you probably must, do some stuffed mushrooms:
Wash and remove stems of medium sized, whole mushrooms. Chop the stems and brown in olive oil with Hannaford Supermarket’s seafood(breaded) stuffing, or whatever seafood stuffing you use. Cool slightly.
Stuff the mushrooms with that mixture and top with either shredded cheddar or mozzarella. Bake on a slightly greased pan for about 15 minutes at 375, or until tender and cooked throughout.
And I would do a crackers and cheese plate with various cheeses and a variety of crackers, plus colorful grapes.
(or you could do cocktail shrimp)
You’re on your own for desert. I can’t think of everything!
When your dinner guests arrive, undoubtedly someone will gasp, “Well, isn’t this fancy!’ when they see your table.
You will enjoy the meal and the company and pat yourself on the back for coming up with such a great idea. But when the party is over and you have to clean up, you will vow never to host a dinner party again.
The End. Enjoy the brief escape from solitude.
*On a side note, another short work of my fiction has just been published by The Mystic Blue Review. See, “The Whupping Tree,” here: themysticbluereview.weebly.com
and The Letter Words has me in the spotlight! See that here: https://theletterworks.com/blog