French Pan Roasted Hen with Clavados and Apple
This dish I learnt from the book and net site of one of the most esteemed Chef. He is none other than Chef Andrew Zimmern. I have always admired his talent and the technique. This dish was prepared with Cornish Hens. Just because it is very difficult to get Cornish hens, even in metro cities, I decided to use normal hen, but small ones. I simply followed his instructions, except in another place (though this too was his suggestion, which I opted for) I used Brandy instead of Clavados. I have never tasted the dish of Chef Andrew Zimmern, by I hope my recreated dish would be somewhere near him. In case any one of my readers happens to know Chef Zimmern, my request to you would be, please prepare my recreated version and get his opinion... I'd be really thankful.
Preparation Time : 15 minutes
Cooking Time : 50 minutes (including browning the hens)
Difficulty : Easy
Serves : 4
- 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- 2 tablespoons Extra-virgin Olive Oil
- 3 Cornish Hens, quartered and backbones removed (I used local small hen sand used poultry scissors)
- Kosher Salt to taste
- Freshly ground Pepper
- 5 Shallots, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 cup Apple Cider
- 1 cup Chicken Stock or low-sodium Broth (I prepared some fresh stock for this dish)
- 1/2 cup Calvados / 1/2 cup Brandy (as suggested by Chef Zimmern)
- 1/3 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 Granny Smith Apples , peeled, cored and thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup Heavy Cream
- 1/2 cup Dried Currants
|Courtsy to Chef Andrew Zimmern|
Method :1) In a large deep skillet, melt the butter in the olive oil over medium heat.
2) Wash clean and pat dry the hens and then season the hen pieces with salt and pepper.
3) Add half of them to the skillet, and cook over moderately high heat, turning, until browned all over. (This will take about 8 minutes)
4) Transfer browned ones on to a plate.
5) Repeat with the remaining hen pieces.
6) Add the shallots to the skillet and cook over moderate heat until softened,(This will take about 3 minutes).
7) Add the cider, stock, Calvados/brandy and vinegar and simmer over moderately high heat, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until slightly reduced, (this will take about 5 minutes).
8) Now add the apples and heavy cream and bring to a simmer.
9) Return the hens to the skillet and simmer over moderately low heat until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest piece registers 160°,(This will take about 10 minutes) In case you don't have a thermometer, go for a fork test, i.e. the meat should easily flake when pricked with a fork.
10) Transfer the hens to a platter.
11) Add the currants to the skillet and season the sauce with salt and pepper. Check the seasonings and adjust if required.
12) Now spoon the sauce over the hens and serve Hot with a bowl of fresh salad or some fresh crusty bread.