We decided to try something different for Thanksgiving this year. I’m not very fond of turkey meat (too dry, too much leftover and too much work) so we substituted with Cornish Hens instead with fantastic results! It was the perfect portion, juicy, only took just over an hour to cook and was much tastier meat.
Here’s what we did: First, we marinated them overnight in butter, fresh thyme, fresh rosemary, salt, pepper and some extra virgin olive oil. Then I started making the gravy. I peeled and chopped fresh celery, carrots, onion and garlic and sauteed in butter until caramelized (my fav!). I added organic chicken stock (from Costco), whole peppercorns and fresh rosemary and thyme. Then I poured the pan drippings from the hens into the gravy concoction and let simmer on low until the hens are toasty browned on the outside. I should mention that we found it helps seal in the moisture by pouring some water into the pan while cooking. It also makes more delicious drippings for the gravy.
I didn’t make my Cranberry Orange sauce this year because my husband bought dried cranberries instead of fresh cranberries. So I tossed a handful into the stuffing instead and voila! cranberry sauce and stuffing in one. Next time I’ll try adding freshly roasted almonds.
For dessert, I baked 2 sweet potato pies using organic pie crusts (from Whole Foods). Here’s the delicious recipe I used. I only added a tablespoon of vanilla extract to the recipe. My husband is Dutch so dessert in our house is unthinkable without freshly whipped cream. Using the handmixer, he whipped heavy cream until it was deliciously light and fluffy. The sweet potato pie with fresh whipped cream was a hit. Everyone was fighting for the last slice. Needless to say, no leftovers. I ate so much my limbs felt like unnecessary extensions just using energy that was needed to digest. I’m just glad Thanksgiving is only once a year.