I hope everyone had a fun and safe New Year's Eve. The hubby and I worked overtime. I am needing (wanting) a DSLR camera and can only justify the price by working OT and not dipping into the household budget. In addition to loving to cook, I also love to scrapbook and while I really like my little Canon digital, after seeing how my photos post, I know with a better camera the pictures will be better. I also have a hard time capturing fast movement with this one and my girls play sports so I have a lot of blurry pictures in their scrapbooks. After spending many hours of the last two days on a forklift (how many times do you read that in a post?), I am glad to have today off. 6 twelve hour days in a week are a little killer, plus I don't get to cook and that makes me a little sad. I had a post ready to go yesterday before work, but the darn food didn't turn out. I was so upset. I had made the same thing 2 weeks ago, but I changed the cut of meat and added an extra ingredient and it was terrible. I don't know if the meat wasn't good, but one taste and the whole thing went in the trash. I'm not a proponent of throwing away food, but I guess I was more concerned that no one got sick. I was rumbling about how I didn't have a post for yesterday and The Hermit Crab (read: oldest daughter-she is a homebody) asked why I couldn't post a flop. I told her that wasn't an option. Then she said "Well, don't you think Rachael Ray has ever had a flop?" I told her that she probably has, but they don't put those episodes on TV! So while I won't post yesterday's flop-I hope to get it back to its yumminess before photographing and eating it, I am posting a sort-of flop. At 3 AM the day before Christmas Eve, the hubby and I were watching Food Network while laying in bed and Rachael had her holiday version of 30 Minute Meals that was expanded to an hour. She made Orange Balsamic Game Hens and the hubby turned to me and said "man, you should make that". So I made it this past weekend, but the results were not what we hoped. It smelled amazing and it looked pretty coming out of the oven, but there wasn't a whole lot of flavor in the meat. I was going to use my 'flavor injector' to put some of the glaze-marinade into it, but the needle portion of the syringe was missing (what could they possibly need that for?) I want to try this again-once I get a new injector and I am going to try marinading it and maybe use chicken pieces. The girls were not too keen on the hens, but I thought it tasted like, well, chicken.
This is adapted from Rachael Ray's recipe as I added a few things.
Orange-Balsamic Rock Game Hens:
4 hens, thawed, rinsed and patted dry
1 small (6 oz) can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 TBSP olive oil
3 TBSP honey
garlic cloves, peeled and just split
fresh rosemary-I used basil as I'm not a big rosemary fan, but the basil burned a little
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line two rimmed cookie or jelly roll pans with foil as this gets sticky. Place a low baking rack on each lined pan (I totally forgot this step). Split each bird by cutting down the backbone. Place it on a meat safe cutting board with the bones/innards side down. Give it a good a squish to flatten each bird so they cook evenly and cook faster. Mix the orange juice concentrate, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and honey. Brush over the birds, covering very well. I placed the garlic cloves around the birds, sticking under the wings and legs. Tuck the wing tips under so they don't burn (yep, forgot this step too). Chop the rosemary and sprinkle across all the birds. Place in oven for 15 minutes. At the end of 15 minutes, lower heat to 375 degrees and roast for another 30 minutes. Tent the birds for 10 minutes to let them rest.
Our youngest, who is a big time animal lover, was concerned that they were baby chickens. We told her that baby chickens were eggs. She didn't think that was funny. I thought it was pretty funny, but then again, I always think I am funny. Maybe stand up is in my future. Oh wait, I hate public speaking.
As I said, I was disappointed with the lack of flavor, but I really think that marinading it and maybe injecting some of the marinade into the meat would really give it a boost.
I'm going back to the kitchen now to make some bars for my hubby and then I am going to attempt something french. I know, I said I don't make 'fancy, schmancy' food, but french doesn't have to mean fancy, right?