The more comfortable I get with this cooking thing the braver I become. Not octopus brave that’s going to take some time. More like poultry brave. I have not eaten/cooked any bird outside of chicken. So, last night I decided to grill Cornish Hens under a brick. Okay, some might argue that Cornish Hens are just small chickens; it’s baby steps here! Soaked in a miso marinate and grilled to a golden brown they’re as easy to make as they are tasty.
If you, like me, haven’t had Cornish Hens before you might be surprised to learn this tiny bird is a juicy version than its larger fowl friend chicken. I’m going to serve it alongside a bean ragout. Garden fresh beans are a beautiful late-summer ingredient. I’m throwing them in along with some fresh garden corn, red bell peppers, and shallots. I love the colors in this dish and when set next to the golden hue of grilled hens it makes a beautiful dish.
Marinade the Cornish Hens:
Combine 3/4 cup white miso, 1/3 cup sake, and 3 tablespoons sugar in a small saucepan. Chop 4 scallions and add the white and light green slices to the pan. Save the dark green slices for later. Cook over medium heat bringing to a simmer for about 5 minutes, or until thick. Let cool. Whisk in 1 tablespoon vegetable oil.
Pat dry 2 Cornish Hens. Cut hens in half making 4 pieces. Place in a large pan and cover with the miso mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 – 2 hours.
While the Cornish Hens marinate, make the bean ragout: In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 diced red bell pepper, 2 diced shallots, 2 minced garlic cloves, and a pinch of salt. Let it sweat until softened but not browned, about 4 minutes.
Add 2 cups fresh corn kernels, about 2 ears corn, 1 cup sliced green beans, and cook for about 1 minute. Add 1 cup chicken stock and 3 tablespoons butter. Turn heat up to medium-high and cook until the liquid is reduced, and the corn and beans are tender, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and add the reserved green onion slices.
Remove the Cornish Hens from the marinade and season with salt and pepper. Oil the grill grates by soaking a paper towel in oil and using tongs wipe down the grill. Place Cornish Hen on the grill skin side up and weigh down with foil covered bricks.
Grill for 10 minutes. Turn, placing bricks back on chicken and grill 5 minutes. Remove the bricks, turn skin side up and continue to grill to the desired doneness. Remove from grill and let rest 5 – 10 minutes.
Serve the Cornish Hens with the bean ragout alongside.
- 2 Cornish Hens, cut in half
- 3/4 cup white miso
- 1/3 cup sake
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 4 scallions, sliced
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 2 shallots, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups fresh corn kernels
- 1/2 pound green beans, sliced
- 1/2 pound wax beans, sliced
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons butter
- Salt and pepper, to taste
In a small saucepan, mix together the miso, sake, and sugar. Add the white and light green slices of the green onion to pan. Save the darker slices for later. Bring to a simmer over medium-heat and cook 5 minutes, or until thick. Let cool. Whisk in the vegetable oil.
Place the Cornish Hen in a large bowl covering with the marinade. Turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, make the bean ragout: In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the bell pepper, shallots, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the corn and beans; cook 1 minute.
Add the chicken stock and butter. Turn heat up to medium-high and cook until the liquid is reduced, and the corn and beans are tender, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the reserved green onions slices.
Remove the Cornish Hen from the marinade and season with salt and pepper. Place Cornish Hen on the grill skin side up. Grill for 10 minutes. Turn, and grill 10 minutes. Turn skin side up and continue to grill to the desired doneness, about 15 – 20 minutes more. Remove from grill and let rest 5 – 10 minutes.