Irish Hen with Bacon and Cabbage
Cabbage and bacon are quintessential Irish ingredients, simmered here with rich cream and a Cornish hen. This recipe makes a cozy supper for two. To serve four, add another Cornish hen, quartered, and increase the cabbage by 1/2 pound or so. Increase the other ingredients by half, but it's not necessary to double them fully as the flavors will stretch.
1 small head cabbage, preferably Savoy (about 1 pound)
1 Cornish hen (or about 1-1/2 pounds chicken pieces)
1 teaspoon Global Gourmet Herb Seasoning
6 ounces sliced bacon
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 cup dry vermouth
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1. Core and thinly slice the cabbage. Rinse the leeks well, split in half lengthwise, and rinse between the layers to remove hidden dirt. Thinly slice the leeks crosswise, into half circles. Divide the Cornish hen into quarters using a sharp knife or kitchen shears. Rub the pieces with the Global Gourmet Herb Seasoning.
2. Slice the bacon into 1/3-inch wide pieces. In a large skillet, fry the bacon until crispy. Drain on paper towels, leaving 2 tablespoons rendered bacon fat in the pan and reserving any poured-off fat.
3. Over medium-high heat, brown the hen pieces on all sides. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook the pieces until almost done, just slightly pink in the center. Remove from the pan and set aside.
4. In same pan, fry the leeks for a minute or so until they begin to soften. Add the cabbage and 2 thyme sprigs and cook just until the cabbage starts to soften, adding more bacon fat if needed. Add the vermouth, cook 1 minute. Stir in the cream and nutmeg. Place the hen pieces on top. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover and simmer 10 to 15 minutes, to cook the hen through and to blend the flavors.
5. Just before serving, season the cabbage with salt and pepper to taste, and stir in the vinegar, adding more as needed to perk up the flavors. Arrange the hen pieces on top of the cabbage. Sprinkle with bacon and the remaining 2 thyme sprigs, and serve.
A Chicken In Every Pot
Global Recipes for the World's Most Popular Bird
by Kate Heyhoe
Photos and Styling by Thomas Way & Kate Heyhoe
Recipe reprinted by permission.
Copyright © 2004, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.
This page created March 2004